Czech Republic international Tomas Kalas seems delighted that he has traded a loan spell at FC Koln for Middlesbrough, if his interview with Boro’s official website is anything to go by.
Having spent the first half of the season on loan with Koln in the Bundesliga, the 21-year-old failed to make a single appearance for the German club, wasting six months of his development after a promising debut season in the Chelsea first team.
Kalas made just two appearances for the reserve team of Koln, and the Blues swiftly moved to cut his loan deal short, before agreeing to send him to Championship side Middlesbrough for the second half of the campaign, allowing him to link up with Aitor Karanka, who worked with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
He was quoted by the Express in October as being disappointed with the manner of his deal with Koln, confirming that he would have to change club if the situation did not improve, and, having now joined Boro, he spoke to their official website to reveal his pleasure at moving to the Championship club after such a poor start to the campaign.
“It was quite quick how it all happened,” Kalas was quoted as saying. “I arrived and was a bit ill, but I was training and hoping that all the papers would go through so that I could play the first game and they did so it was great.
“The first game came quickly but I’m glad that I could play.
“I could count the games I’ve played in the last year-and-a-half on one hand, so it was the best possible start for the future and I think I’m at the right place.
“Everyone knows my spell in Germany didn’t go the way I wanted. I don’t have to talk about it because I played zero games and zero minutes. Everyone knows what it’s like for a player who wants to play, is not playing but is on loan to play – it didn’t go well.
“It’s a good start to play immediately and hopefully I can improve myself because even when you train, you can’t improve without playing matches.”
Alongside Patrick Bamford and Kenneth Omeruo, Kalas is the third Chelsea player who could be named in matchday squads, and the fourth Blues man to spend time at the Riverside this season - although Jamal Blackman has since returned to Stamford Bridge.
The once-capped Czech international enjoyed a positive start to his spell with the promotion chasers, playing the full 90 minutes and keeping a clean sheet as Boro secured a 0-0 away draw with Reading.