Last January Chelsea agreed a deal to sign Croatian wonderkid Mario Pasalic from Hajduk Split. The deal, which according to the Daily Mail, was worth around £3 million. He has now been discussing his current loan deal in an interview with Diario AS.
Chelsea could not offer him regular first-team football straight way, so decided to allow him a temporary exit to gain valuable first-team football.
It was therefore decided he would carry on his development in La Liga with Elche on a season long loan deal.
Now he is at Elche, he is realising the difficulties of top-class European football. He has struggled for regular form and his side are currently near the foot of the La Liga table. They were also recently comprehensively thrashed by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey, 9-0 on aggregate.
This weekend they face each other again, but Pasalic is far more hopeful of a more positive result. He told AS:
"Cup matches are not an example and if we're focused and we play our game, we can draw a positive outcome.
"If we are 100% and we believe, we can achieve victory. I like the fans of Elche because we have supported with good and bad results and we need them. On Saturday we'll have our people with us and that is a reason to give more and get a good result Barça."
Pasalic has not exactly set La Liga alight since his move to Elche. That even led to a report in Turkish paper Milliyet in December that Besiktas were hoping to take him away from the club for the rest of the season. However he has recently begun to show off his talent on a more regular basis.
In the interview with AS Pasalic has spoken about his time in Spain, stating:
“I can give more, but I’m feeling much better than before. We are a team in the top division and we cannot think about the second division.”
Pasalic will be hoping he can impress against Barca this weekend, to put his name firmly in the head of the Chelsea hierarchy.