Not every player out on loan has quite the same level of success that the likes of Ryan Bertrand experienced this season.
The left back was bought by Southampton in the January window after impressing Ronald Koeman. Meanwhile, a tier down in the Championship, Patrick Bamford has been regularly turning heads by his ability to score goals. Disappointment caught up with his team though, as Boro were unable to seal promotion against the Canaries. However, had the youngster been fully fit, it could have been a different story altogether for Aitor Karanka’s men.
Some of the loan players end up not having the chance to start many games, or when they do, they end up injured. Christian Atsu at Everton is an example of just that. As the toffees fortunes floundered, the Chelsea loanee must also have become desperate not to have played minutes. It was a story of despair.
In between these two kinds of loans lies Marco Van Ginkel’s stint with fallen Italian giants A.C. Milan. Inzaghi’s men have not been able to secure European Football, and yet the manager is hopeful of keeping his job. In fact, he is also looking to not only keep his job but also his players. One of them being Marco Van Ginkel. You see, the Dutchman was not the luckiest of players in Milan. He did not get many starts in the beginning when Milan were flying high. Then when they were not, Van Ginkel was injured. Such misfortunes basically kept him away from regular football, which any youngster needs in order to evolve and develop.
However, there finally came a time when Van Ginkel started a consecutive string of Matches, around March. Confidence started to build up and the Dutch International got his first goal of the season, then his first assist came. Since March, he started all of Milan’s 11 games, being the Man of the Match on two occasions. That is not a lot, but when you consider that he has only had four appearances prior to this run of selections, it becomes something that counts greater than its face value.
Consider this: AC Milan were hosting Roma on the 9th of May, and the Roman club have been way out of league for Milan for much of the season. One club is pushing for European qualification, the other fighting to just stay at a respectable position in the table. A huge game for any player, particularly for those of the lesser side. To step up in these circumstances and condemn the almighty opposition to a loss with a goal, your first for the season is certainly reason enough to recall cometh the hour, cometh the man!
The question now is: Will he be the man next season? What would Mourinho do with him? Chelsea have been linked with all kinds of players in all kinds of positions. Van Ginkel is primarily a central midfielder, a role that is synonymous with Frank Lampard’s exploits. To succeed, Van Ginkel needs to do a lot still. Perhaps he’s half way there already.
Van Ginkel wins a total of 40% of all his duels. He is particularly very strong in Aerial challenges, winning 56% of the time. That is better than Frank Lampard at City, Morgan Schneiderlin at Saints and even Angel Di Maria of United, whose Aerial duel numbers are not disclosable. He is also very good at finding the teammates from far across the field, long passes are another of his forte. His average pass length is 19.40m, of the named players, only Di Maria better him, that too only marginally so at 19.44m.
Of the named players, each ninety minutes, Van Ginkel is the player who plays the least number of backward passes and is almost tied with Di Maria in terms of the forward passes. To be clear, none of this is to say that he is better than Di Maria, or Lampard. But yes it means that he is on the right track, he needs a little bit more time and Chelsea will perhaps have a good alternative to Cesc Fabregas in a couple of seasons. For that to happen, the Dutchman needs playing time, this is where Inzaghi and Milan come in. The Milan manager was appreciative of the Chelsea loanee and saw him as a revelation this season. One wonders what would have been possible if he had believed in him since the beginning. Recently, Inzaghi had this to say:
“Unfortunately he is not our player, But he has grown a lot.”
“He has played seven or eight games in a row and we are starting to see a great player.
“He does really well in training.
“Chelsea have great midfielders and he is need of playing.
“My will would be if possible to keep him because he can give us a big hand.”
That last line says a lot, because it is not only the Milan manager’s will that will decide the future of the midfielder. Whether he goes on loan or stays at Chelsea to fight for his plays will be his decision and Mourinho’s. In the meantime, it is good to know that he has been positively developing since he came to Chelsea. Here’s hoping to see him play a lot of minutes and make an impact on a lot of games wherever he plays. In case he wants a loan, Milan are waiting with open arms it seems.
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