Bolstered once again by loans from Premier League side Chelsea, can Vitesse Arnhem better their fifth place from last season?

  • By Michael Bell
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vit logoFinancial restrictions continue to hamper Peter Bosz from creating a squad of his own, as despite losing Marko Vejinovic, Jan-Arie van der Heijden, and Davy Propper, he has had to turn to parent club Chelsea for more loans to replace them, or pick up free agents.

Five players from Chelsea have arrived, and although they are all big talents, can they really raise Vitesse to the level of Ajax and PSV next season and improve on last season’s fifth place finish?

Summer Transfers

In- Maikel van der Werff (PEC Zwolle), Milot Rashica (Kosova Vushtrri), Sheran Yeini (Maccabi Tel-Aviv), Lewis Baker (Chelsea, loan), Nathan (Chelsea, loan), Isaiah Brown (Chelsea, loan), Danilo Pantic (Chelsea, loan), Dominik Solanke (Chelsea, loan)

Out- Gino Bosz (Heracles), Jan-Arie van der Heijden (released, joined Feyenoord), Zakaria Labyad (returned to parent club Sporting Lisbon), Josh McEachran (returned to parent club Chelsea), Dan Mori (released), Marko Vejinovic (Feyenoord), Davy Propper (PSV), Wallace (returned to parent club Chelsea), Bertrand Traore (returned to parent club Chelsea)

Stars of Chelsea’s youth squad over the past season, Dominik Solanke, Isaiah Brown, and Lewis Baker have all arrived in Arnhem, while the London club’s new signings Nathan and Danilo Pantic were immediately loaned to Vitesse. Defender Maikel van der Werff was a free transfer arrival from PEC Zwolle, while 19-year-old Milot Rashica looks a good addition from Kosova Vushtrri.

Top scorer from last season Bertrand Traore returned to Chelsea, while Vitesse lost star midfielders Davy Propper and Marko Vejinovic to Eredivisie rivals PSV and Feyenoord respectively. Zakaria Labyad is also a big loss for Vitesse as he left after a two season loan spell to return to Sporting Lisbon.

Pre-season

Vitesse had a positive pre-season were they were unbeaten in their five ties. A 2-2 draw with Belgian side Oostende was followed up with a 4-0 hammering of Dundee United. Bosz side drew 1-1 with Sparta Prague before ending with wins over Rizespor (1-0) and  Asteras Tripoli (3-2).

However Vitesse’s time in the Europa league looks set to be a short one after a 3-0 loss to Southampton in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie.

Strongest line-up

Room, Diks, Leerdam, Kashia, Van der Werff, Baker, Rashica, Vako, Oliynyk, Brown, Solanke

Key Players

qazValeri Kazaishvili (Vako)

The tricky Georgian midfielder is set to be the star of the midfield after the departures of Marko Vejinovic and Davy Propper. The 22-year-old scored 12 goals in 40 appearances last season, and Vitesse will need his creativity if they are to challenge for the top three.

vit gokdjkdGuram Kashia

The Vitesse captain and centre back is one of the club’s most experienced players and his leadership will be needed to control the young Arnhem side. Coming into the last year of his contract, there are fears he may be sold to earn the club money, but with a lack of defensive options, Vitesse need him at the back.

Youngsters to watch

solankeDominik Solanke

Considered to be one of England’s biggest young talents, 17-year-old Striker Solanke will lead the attack for Vitesse this season. Solanke was top scorer during Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League last season with 12 goals in 11 games and netted 13 times in 19 reserve games for the club. Could be a star in the Eredivisie this season.

diks vitKevin Diks

Vitesse’s squad may be packed with Chelsea youngsters, but young Dutch right back Kevin Diks is a graduate of their own academy. The Netherlands U19 international has made 22 league appearances for Vitesse so far, and should be a regular starter for the club this campaign.

Prediction

Despite constantly loaning players from Chelsea, Vitesse have the basis of a good squad in Arnhem with the likes of Vako, Oliynyk, Kashia and Rashica all talented Eredivisie players. The likes of Solanke, Brown and Nathan will only improve the squad as a whole, and if the talents can hit the ground running in the Eredivisie, Vitesse could be in for another positive season, but not one that see’s them challenge the top three.

Predicted position: 5th again.




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