With Bertrand Traore heading to Vitesse Arnhem on loan, and the Dutch club sitting joint top of the Eredivisie, we take a quick look at how Chelsea's other loan stars have performed in the Netherlands this year.
Cristian Cuevas - The young Chilean has perhaps had the most disappointing time in Holland, failing to make an appearance for Vitesse despite being a versatile and promising midfielder. Cuevas has only made it on to the bench twice in the first half of the season, surprising given that Vitesse have named benches with less than the full allocation of substitutes on more than one occasion.
Sam Hutchinson - Recalled by the club recently, 24-year-old Hutchinson will also be unhappy with how his spell went. Having experienced a series of injuries in recent years the defender will be keen to play as much as he can while he is fit, but Hutchinson had to be satisfied with a place on the bench for most of his time at Vitesse. He played just one minute in the Eredivisie, coming on at right-back at the end of their win at Ajax, and his only other two appearances came as centre back in the Dutch Cup, playing the whole game in a 5-0 win over VV Noordwijk, before another brief appearance as Vitesse crashed out to Roda JC in the next round. With just 18 appearances since making his debut 7 years ago, it is unlikely Hutchinson will remain at Stamford Bridge much longer.
Gael Kakuta - Another recalled player, Kakuta has struggled to live up to his early promise at Stamford Bridge, and after playing 26 times last year, it is surprising to see him brought back to London. The winger had been featuring mainly from either flank for Vitesse this season after overcoming an early injury, playing 12 of their last 13 games despite scoring just once. The recall may mean it is possible he will be sold or sent out to another English team as it's unlikely he will get much game time at Stamford Bridge. Has been labeled the French Freddy Adu, and Kakuta seemingly has some way to go to get his career back on track.
Patrick van Aanholt - Has been one of the real success stories of the link between Vitesse and Chelsea. Joining on loan as far back as January 2012, Van Aanholt has seen his stock rise after playing 70 times for Vitesse, in a period which has coincided with the club's surge up the table. Having also won his first Dutch cap in November, Chelsea are likely to be keen to keep hold of the player considering their uncertainty at left-back. The 22-year-old has been one of the Eredivisie's stand out players this year, and has 4 goals in 21 games so far.
Lucas Piazon - Piazon has really impressed so far this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 8 assists in just 16 games, figures that leave him third top scorer in the league. The Brazilian enjoyed a relatively successful loan spell at Malaga last year, where he managed to play 14 times after joining last January but failing to score. This form in the Netherlands, coupled with the promise he has shown at youth level for Brazil, seem to indicate that Piazon has a big future in the game. Capable of playing anywhere across the front line, the youngster has excelled from the left for Vitesse.
Christian Atsu - The former Porto winger was one of the strangest signings made by Chelsea in the summer, being nearly 22-years-old and playing in a position that the Blues were already very strong in. At the time, it fell in line with a criticism that the club were only signing players to stop Premier League rivals landing them, which at a cost of £3.5m, is quite some act of monopoly. Atsu bizarrely made his debut at left-back as a substitute in a 2-1 loss to Feyenoord, however, since then he has started every game playing just behind the striker, a spell that has seen them win 7 of 9 games. Will seek to add to his one assist and one goal, a penalty, if he hopes to break into the Chelsea first team next season.
Which of the Vitesse loan stars have the best chance of breaking into the Chelsea team next year?
image: © Vincent Teeuwen