The central midfield unit was probably the most problematic for Chelsea last season as they failed in the Champions League and to some degree in the Premiership as well. Among all the big names flying around in the rumor mill as potential arrivals, taking care of that problem might take a young, relative unknown Dutch talent from Vitesse named Maco van Ginkel.
One of the more promising young talents developing in the Netherlands, the 20-year old Van Ginkel has been playing for Vitesse since he was 7 years old, and joined the senior team in the 2009-2010 season, before his 17th birthday.
For the last three seasons he has grown into one of the best central midfielders in the Dutch Eredivisie, even earning himself one cap with the national team in a friendly match against Germany, and will have a chance to show his talent in a relatively big tournament, the U-21 European championship which begins in just over a week in Israel.
Van Ginkel scored a career high 12 goals last season along with 12 assists. He plays as more of deep-laying play maker than an attacking midfielder, which is exactly what Chelsea need, who had a problem filling out the two positions between the defense and their creative trio up front. Van Ginkel will have Frank Lampard to battle with for the position, but tactics might be changing a bit now that Jose Mourinho is about to arrive.
It seemed like the midfield duo was in constant flux last season at Chelsea, as John Obi Mikel was the constant (when he was healthy), while Ramires and Frank Lampard got the chances next to him, while David Luiz also filled in the role more than once as Benitez turned him into a defensive midfielder.
If Mourinho isn’t keen on selling Luiz as some media agents are spreading, it’s going to be an even bigger battle for the positions at center, and Van Ginkel, who is valued at around £8 million, will only add to the depth and the positional war among the players.