Forgotten Chelsea signing destined for breakthrough in surprise position?

What does the future hold for Chelsea's Christian Atsu?

Chelsea's drive to snap up the best prospects in football showed no signs of slowing down last summer, with Marco van Ginkel and Willian big additions.

An injury to the Dutchman has hampered his progress, but a player whose arrival is often forgotten is Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu.

Atsu was signed for £3.5 million from Porto, later speaking of being thrilled to join national legend Michael Essien at the club.

He would never get the chance to join the current Milan star on the field, himself dispatched on a season long loan to Van Ginkel's former club, Vitesse Arnhem.

In Holland, Atsu has been a regular for the sixth placed finishers in the Eredivisie, making 27 starts.

He netted five goals and provided six assists over the course of the campaign, the club's fifth highest scorer, and second in terms of assists, bettered only by fellow loanee Lucas Piazon with eight.

So what does the future hold for the 22-year-old, will he get a chance to battle it out on Chelsea's flanks next season?

Perhaps that is not the answer. Belying his reputation as a wide player, Atsu actually made 17 of his 27 starts as a central midfielder, scoring two and creating two in this role.

With Chelsea's midfield in flux, thanks to the unknown futures of Frank Lampard, and Jon Obi Mikel, rumoured to be for sale, Atsu may have a chance of making an impression yet, especially with Van Ginkel being yet to carve his place in the side.

For now, Atsu is surely off to the World Cup, named in Ghana's 26-man preliminary squad, where he will hope to feature in high profile games against Germany, Portugal, and USA in a tricky looking Group G.

Breaking through at Chelsea will not be easy, in the centre or out wide, due to the level of competition, but in terms of the Vitesse loan, it was certainly mission accomplished for the player, who now needs a fresh challenge.

Whether this be at Chelsea, or on loan at a higher level, may just depend upon how quickly he is able to hit the ground running in pre-season and make an early impression on manager Jose Mourinho.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch