Derby County close in on 'strong, intelligent' ex-Chelsea defender, claims Dutch media

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Derby County are reportedly close to signing Swedish U21 defender Isak Ssewankambo, formerly of Chelsea

Derby County are reportedly close to signing former Chelsea defender Isak Ssewankambo, now of NAC Breda

According to Voetbal International, the 18-year-old is in the process of leaving NAC Breda for Derby County after finding life in Holland difficult despite playing in 13 - starting in 12 - of Breda's 17 Eredivisie matches. 

The report states: ''Isak Ssewankambo departs at NAC Breda. The defender continues his career at Derby County. In the Rat Verlegh Stadium he had an unhappy time. In the last league match of the Brabant against Feynoord (0-1), he started. 

''He leaves, despite an ongoing contract for six months, a free transfer.'' 

The club's technical director, Graeme Rutjes, commented that the departure of the defender is a huge pity and that he is a player with the potential of a 'beautiful career'. 

''Isak is a strong intelligent defender, who has in the offing a beautiful career. Unfortunately, he was not happy in Breda and he has chosen to seek his fortune elsewhere.'' 

The youngster, who was tipped for a bright future at Stamford Bridge, left Chelsea of his own accord in search of first team football at the end of last season and at Breda, he found it. Nevertheless, despite playing a large proportion of the Dutch club's games from the start, he looks to have once again cut his ties in order for a move back to England. 

Last season, despite being only 17, he played a huge part in Chelsea's U21 Premier League win, making 18 appearances overall either in the right back or defensive midfield position. He also appeared in all five of the Blues UEFA Youth League matches, although only played 29' minutes of their quarter-final clash where they were knocked out by FC Schalke. 

At Derby, the Swedish youngster is likely to be initially asked to play in their own U21 Premier League side, but will be much closer to the first team as back-up to current first team right-back Cyrus Christie. 

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