Chelsea academy graduate Jamal Blackman has followed the footsteps of many other Blue prospects joining Vitesse Arnhem on a season-long loan.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper will be spending the season on loan in Holland in search of a path back into first-team football having suffered a broken leg in November.
Blackman was on loan at Leeds United last year and that leg injury put an early stop to his season. He made just two appearances for the Yorkshire side before returning to Cobham Training Ground as he focused on his recovery.
‘The gap at Chelsea is too big for Blackman to fight for’
In a statement on the club’s website by Mo Allach, the Vitesse Technical director, he insisted that the gap between Blackman’s desired ability and of his competition (Willy Caballero and Kepa Arrizabalaga) is too big.
The Dutch club have said to be offering the goalkeeper a platform to play again having recently suffered an injury.
Allach said: “As soon as Jamal is fit again, he joins us. Jamal is a good keeper, but he comes back from a serious injury. That is an intensive process. In consultation with Chelsea we have determined that he can optimally work his way up to the desired level with us.
“After all, the gap to the first team of Chelsea is too big at the moment and it is impossible for Jamal to join the youth academy. And so, thanks to the good relationship with Chelsea, we can offer him a solution. Let it be clear that we already have fantastic keepers in our selection, in which we have complete confidence.
“The deal with Jamal therefore focuses on offering him a platform where he can work towards the desired level again. ”
Time at the academy
The London-born goalkeeper won the FA Youth Cup and under-21 Premier League with the Blues and even captained the youth side on a single occasion. He made 44 appearances for the Development side keeping 14 clean sheets in the process.
While at Chelsea, Blackman was capped for England’s under-17 and under-19 sides, however only made five appearances (two and three respectively.
During his time in the Chelsea under-21s, Blackman played alongside players such as Tammy Abraham, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fikayo Tomori, Nathaniel Chalobah and Lewis Baker.
They enjoyed great success together at the club before diverting onto their own paths.
Blues in Vitesse
Chelsea have had a healthy relationship in the past with Dutch side Vitesse allowing the London club to send players in need of game time on loan.
The Blues file reports and measure the success of the player on loan meanwhile Vitesse secure themselves a (likely) quality player for free to help them fight for a European place.
More often than not the deal works in each clubs’ favours however that was not the case last season.
Musonda was sent on loan to Vitesse and suffered a season ending injury that saw the player return to Cobham. The Belgian winger has since returned on loan this season for a second stab at the challenge.
Blackman will be meeting up with a former-teammate and friend easing the introduction process to the side.