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Success At Vitesse? Where Are Chelsea's Former GelreDome Loanees Now?

24/07/2015 18:03 BST | Updated 14/07/2016 10:59 BST

As another new season beckons, another raft of Chelsea prospects are heading to Dutch feeder club Vitesse Arnhem on loan. New Brazilian signing Nathan was deployed there almost immediately, while English pair Isaiah Brown and Lewis Baker arrive from the periphery of the Blues first team.

The partnership between the two clubs has been ongoing since the start of the decade, when Georgian footballer-turned-businessman Merab Jordania, a friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, became the Eredivisie's first foreign owner.

Since then, a total of 14 Blues players have trodden the path that awaits Nathan, Brown and Baker, with varying degrees of success. But what can the newbies expect from their years in industry and even after it? Here's a look at how the previous 14 have gotten on:

Matej Delac

Still not quite 23, the Croatian has been a Chelsea player for the last five seasons without clocking up a single first team appearance. He failed to turn out for Vitesse either, but has since enjoyed more productive spells at Inter Zapresic, FK Sarajevo and FK Vojvodina.

Nemanja Matic

Vitesse provided Matic's first real taste of competitive European football in 2010/11 although his 27 appearances and two goals were not enough to command a place in Chelsea's side upon his return to Stamford Bridge. It took two years as a permanent Benfica player to change that.

Slobodan Rajkovic

After similar spells at PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente - which coincided with a 12 month ban for spitting at a referee at the 2008 Olympics - Vitesse proved to be Rajkovic's most successful loan yet. The following season he moved to Hamburg on a permanent basis, but was released earlier this summer.

Tomas Kalas

Kalas is expected to rejoin Middlesbrough on loan this week after a spell at FC Koln last season proved fruitless. The Czech defender enjoyed two successful years at Vitesse, but has been unable to command a regular spot in Chelsea's first team despite showing initial promise.

Patrick van Aanholt

Now Sunderland's first choice left-back, Van Aanholt spent the longest of any Chelsea player at the Gelredome; two and a half years. It followed numerous spells on loan to Championship clubs and five unproductive months at Wigan.

Ulises Davila

Even the Vitesse fans (never mind the Blues) will do well to remember Davila, who is currently waiting for his next loan move after uninspiring stays at Cordoba, Tenerife and Vitoria Setubal. The 24-year-old has a year remaining on his Stamford Bridge contract.

Gael Kakuta

Another who struggled in the Premier League, for Fulham and then Bolton, before Vitesse handed him a career lifeline. The Frenchman's form prompted Lazio to acquire his services for the latter half of 2013/14, but just 26 minutes of football followed. He will begin the new season as a Sevilla player though, having impressed on loan at Rayo Vallecano.

Bertrand Traore

Arguably Vitesse's most successful Chelsea import yet, having scored 20 goals in 51 appearances since January 2014. Traore was finally granted a work permit in June, but at 19 years of age is expected to be farmed out again this season.

Christian Atsu

Named the best player at the 2015 African Cup of Nations, Atsu is still to justify that tag in the Premier League. After five goals and six assists in 30 Vitesse appearances, the Ghanaian featured sparingly for Everton last term and will spend the next 12 months on loan to top-flight new boys Bournemouth.

Lucas Piazon

Piazon's Chelsea career looked to have been going somewhere last summer after he returned from Arnhem with 11 goals and eight assists for the 2013/14 campaign. But the Brazilian failed to push on at Eintracht Frankfurt and will no doubt be on the move again this summer.

Cristian Cuevas

Signed from Chilean side O'Higgins in 2013, Cuevas was immediately sent to Vitesse while a work permit could be acquired. But after failing to make a first team appearance, the midfielder was recalled and sent down a division to FC Eindhoven. He is now back at Stamford Bridge following a season at Universidad de Chile.

Sam Hutchinson

Hutchinson may have featured just three times during his six months in Holland, but the midfielder's loan spell was more about fitness and rehabilitation than matches. Having retired once in 2010, he was able to prolong his career with the help of renowned Vitesse physio Eduardo Santos and subsequently signed for Sheffield Wednesday, where he remains 18 months on.

Wallace

After spending much of the 2013/14 campaign watching on at Inter Milan, former Fluminense full-back Wallace moved to Vitesse at the start of last season, hoping to play more games. And the 21-year-old achieved his goal; clocking up 23 appearances in all competitions.

Josh McEachran

McEachran finally found form at Vitesse last term following a string on unsuccessful loans at Swansea, Middlesbrough, Watford and Wigan. Nevertheless, the former England Under-21 midfielder was put up for sale this summer and joined ambitious Championship side Brentford on a four-year deal.

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