OFFICIAL: Chelsea Defender joins Ligue 1 side FC Nantes

Other than a few appearances in the backgrounds of pictures taken at Chelsea pre-season training this summer, not much had been seen of or heard from USA international defender Matt Miazga.

That sort of anonymity quickly dispelled any notions of Miazga perhaps getting a shot at the Chelsea first-team, even though he had himself a second successive good season on loan at Chelsea B.

But, as we’ve come to learn over the years of this partnership, a good time at Vitesse, even with 73 total appearances, is not exactly the last step towards the Chelsea first-team.

At best, it’s an intermediary step, good enough for generating loan interest from one of the top five leagues in Europe.

And so, Matt Miazga is off to the continent again, a little further south, though not too much, to Nantes on the west coast of France. Miazga was reportedly close to joining SM Caen last week, but that clearly did not happen.

Nantes finished mid-table last season in Ligue 1 under the guidance of Claudio Ranieri, but the former Chelsea boss left my mutual consent at the end of the season.

The new head coach is Miguel Cardoso, who was a youth and assistant coach at Shakhtar Donetsk for many years. Miazga’s loan does not appear to have a buy-option.

In fact, he signed a contract extension before heading out, tying him to Chelsea until 2022.

Miazga, who turned 23 a few weeks ago, joined Chelsea in a surprise move from MLS’s New York Red Bulls in January 2016, making two appearances in the second half of that season under interim manager Guus Hiddink.

He had been on loan at Vitesse since. Now he goes to a slightly better league, hopefully to continue to grow and improve.

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