Wulfert Cornelius “Marco” Van Ginkel, the forgotten man at Chelsea Football Club.

Van Ginkel began his career at Vitesse in 1999, joining the club as a six-year-old. In 2010, after progressing successfully through the clubs ranks, Van Ginkel made his senior team debut and cemented himself in the first team for the immediate future. Two seasons later, in July 2013, London came calling. Chelsea, the club who purchased the Dutch starlet for a fee of around £8 million, signed the player to a five-year deal.

Unfortunately, on September 24th of the same year, Van Ginkel suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury in a League Cap game vs Swindon Town. This injury would keep him out of action for around 7 months, an injury which was the catalyst of Van Ginkel’s turbulent career as far. Loans to AC Milan, Stoke City, and more recently PSV have since occurred, yet Chelsea fans are still no closer to seeing the true potential of the player. You may be asking, what kind of player is MVG? Who better to ask than the man himself:

“A box-to-box player who covers a lot of metres and can score a goal” – Marco Van Ginkel, when describing himself as a player.

Need another opinion? Here’s what Jose Mourinho said about Van Ginkel in his second stint as Chelsea’s manager:

“I liken him to Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Van Ginkel has an engine, with immense physical power. He covers a fantastic area of the field defensively, and after that he has this instinct where he wants to go in finishing areas, he wants to score goals. He is very good in the air” – Jose Mourinho.

chelsea-v-southampton-premier-league-2-5c5b21718fd1e76ae2000003.jpgSource – 90min.com

Van Ginkel’s loan at PSV is the closest the footballing world has come to realizing how good the Dutch midfielder really is. In his first year there (2016/17 season) he scored 8 goals on the way to helping PSV win the Eredivisie Title. He then, unfortunately, suffered another knee injury, which again halted his development. After another series of recovery at Cobham training facility with Chelsea, Van Ginkel signed a new 3-year-deal on December 31st, 2016 and rejoined PSV for a second loan spell. On July 2017, Van Ginkel’s loan spell at PSV was extended for the 2017-18 campaign, where he went on to succeed Luuk De Jong as captain, despite being only a loanee. PSV went on to secure the 2017-18 Eredivisie title, with Van Ginkel playing a fundamental role yet again.

In his two years with PSV, Van Ginkel finished with 31 goals in 64 appearances. A highlight of that goal-scoring ability many have spoken of.

Fast-forward to now, Van Ginkel has only managed two appearances in a Chelsea shirt. Those of which came when he first signed for the club, against Swindon Town and Basel in the Uefa Champions League. So why are we talking about this guy as a potential bright spot in Chelsea’s future? Van Ginkel is currently in London recovering from yet another serious knee injury sustained in June 2018. Here’s his latest post on his official Instagram page:













Alongside the player’s own optimism, is the fact that Chelsea has also added Van Ginkel to their revised Premier League squad for the remainder of this season. With the sale of midfielder Cesc Fabregas to AS Monaco, accompanied with Maurizio Sarri’s desire of a new midfielder in the squad, the answer to Sarri’s request may be within Chelsea’s very squad now, in Marco Van Ginkel. Well, what can he bring exactly?

The Numbers:

Vitesse Arnhem – 111 apps, 38 goals, 21 assists; PSV Eindhoven – 64 apps, 31 goals, 10 assists; Stoke City – 21 apps, 0 goals, 0 assists; AC Milan, 18 apps, 1 goal, 0 assists, Chelsea, 2 apps, 0 goals, 0 assists; Netherlands; 8 apps, 0 goals, 0 assists.

According to numerous scouts, Van Ginkel has the ability to play in a multitude of positions, including defensive midfield, and across the attacking midfield. Van Ginkel is recognized as a solid, well-rounded player who has all the tools of a future superstar. On the pitch, he is widely known for his maturity on the ball, impressive ball control and an extensive range of passing. He is comfortable with both feet, makes intelligent runs into the box and has an exceptional long-range shot.

Sounds perfect for Sarri’s system right? He could potentially slide in as a backup regista to Jorginho, with his maturity on the ball and extensive range of passing suitable attributes. If warranted, I believe he is more than capable of using those intelligent runs into the box, and exceptional long-range shot in one of the center midfield roles either side of Jorginho. Fans are still unconvinced by the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley’s ability in those roles, is this position Marco’s for the taking? With no transfer needed, and Kovacic certainly not coming cheap if signed by Real Madrid on a permanent deal, I feel we have a new midfield signing right in front of us.

process.jpegSource – 90min.com

With the player seemingly close to full fitness, and a hint of trust coming from the club, is this the newfound opportunity for Van Ginkel to resurrect his Chelsea career? Or simply a way to get the player fit enough to sell on? I hope the former. Time will tell…

Written by Dan McCarthy – @maccasport