The likes of Bertrand Traore, Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Atsu and Lucas Piazon must now wait to see what Chelsea want with them next season.
Chelsea’s affiliation with Vitesse Arnhem is well known and very controversial. Currently the club has four players on loan from Stamford Bridge in the form of Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Atsu, Lucas Piazon and Bertrand Traore – but many more have all played at the Gelredome.
For much of this season it looked like a plan that was working for both parties. Chelsea’s young players were getting regular football whilst Vitesse were on fire – challenging for the title for much of the campaign.
But since the turn of the year it has been a disaster.
Former owner Merab Jordania, whose previous relationship with Roman Abramovich made the partnership possible in the first place, accused Chelsea of asking Vitesse not to qualify for Europe:
“I wanted to be the champion with Vitesse, but London would ultimately not allow it. Having ambition is fine, but we were told Vitesse could not be in the Champions League with Chelsea.”
Obviously very extreme and potentially damaging claims against The Blues. However, if Chelsea secretly didn’t want Vitesse in Europe next season they have got their wish.
Yesterday they lost 4-1 at home to FC Groningen – completing a 5-1 aggregate defeat that knocked them out of the Europa League play-off at the semi-final mark.
After challenging for the title for much of the season Vitesse ended up finishing sixth and have not won in nine games after what can only be described as an implosion at the club.
Chelsea are said to be considering their partnership with Vitesse very carefully ahead of next season after the controversy of this campaign, but after the way in which Vitesse capitulated this term it would be no surprise if they reconsidered their own options as well.