Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is not far off having a fully-fit squad to choose from at Chelsea, with the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi all expected to return to the first-team fold within the coming months, via Football London.
The Blues boss was given a huge boost yesterday with the news that Loftus-Cheek could return to action within the forthcoming 4-6 weeks, while Rudiger – who has been sidelined with a knee injury sustained at the end of last season – could feature for the west Londoners this weekend against Norwich, having played 90 minutes for the development side in a 3-0 win over Liverpool on Monday.
Hudson-Odoi rejoined teammates in training this week following his lay-off with an Achilles injury picked up against Burnley in April, which suggests that the teenager’s return could come sooner rather than later.
Another player who is advancing on his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, though, is forgotten man Marco van Ginkel. The Dutchman has spent last two seasons on loan at PSV, captaining the Eredivisie giants to the league title in 2017-18, but has now returned to his parent club.
The 26-year-old hasn’t even been allocated a squad number at Stamford Bridge this term, but could feature in some capacity for manager Frank Lampard this season upon his return from injury.
The midfielder, signed from Vitesse in 2013, has made just four appearances for the Blues in six years, and spent the previous five seasons out on loan.
Van Ginkel’s contract in west London expires next summer, so if he cannot break into the first-team within the next twelve months, it won’t be surprising to see the 12-capped Netherlands international move onto pastures new.
Indeed, with the Blues facing a gruelling schedule this time out in both the Premier League and Europe, enlisting the help of the club’s fringe players would perhaps be a shrewd move by Lampard, especially in competitions such as the EFL and FA Cup. Furthermore, while the Eredivisie is perhaps a lower standard than the Premier League, the player did average 1.6 key passes per game in 2017/18 for PSV, which is more than anyone outside of Eden Hazard and Willian did for the Blues last season.
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