Goal tells you everything that you need to know about the young Vitesse Arnhem midfielder, who is on the verge of sealing a switch to Stamford Bridge in the summer
By Floris Koekenbier | Goal Netherlands
Several years ago, under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea tried to sign Steven Gerrard from Liverpool. Now, with the Portuguese on his way back to the dugout, he may finally be about to acquire his own version of the England captain by securing the services of Vitesse Arnhem starlet Marco van Ginkel.
Goal exclusively revealed on Monday that the Blues are closing in on the signing of the 20-year-old midfielder, with the deal set to be Mourinho's first piece of transfer business on his return to Stamford Bridge.
|GERRARD IN THE MAKING?
|VAN GINKEL'S 2012-13 SEASON STATS
At first the youngster had a role as second striker or attacking midfielder but nowadays he plays deeper in a more holding midfield role. Former Vitesse manager Fred Rutten used him as a central midfielder last season, together with Theo Janssen. His most striking abilities are his stamina, technique, through-balls and his eye for goal, netting eight goals in the Eredivisie last term despite not being deployed in a particularly attacking position.
Van Ginkel describes himself as a "dynamic box-to-box player". The comparison with Gerrard is obvious, with the 20-year-old a big admirer of the Liverpool great. He told Goal: "I've always been a big fan of Gerrard. He works really hard for his team but is also a great footballer.
"He scores a lot of beautiful goals an he's an excellent team player as well. Liverpool are a great club but there are a lot of those in England, Spain and Germany."
It is hard to compare Van Ginkel to a player in Netherlands, with out-and-out playmakers such as Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart coming through over the years. The Vitesse starlet is a blueprint for the modern midfielder, who combines skill with stamina and defensive qualities but also with an eye for goal.
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Van Ginkel won the Johan Cruyff trophy for best Talent of the Year in Holland in 2012-13 and Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal also noticed his qualities, selecting him for a friendly against Germany in November 2012. He made his debut in that match, brought on as substitute for Ibrahim Afellay after 59 minutes. This summer he will also gain experience playing in the Under-21s European Championship, where it is likely that he will be a mainstay in the starting XI.
After that, it looks like the Premier League and life at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, where making an early impression could be key, with players like Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard and more as competition.
If Van Ginkel does fail to get regular playing time, it may be a good option if the Blues can arrange a deal similar to that of Kevin De Bruyne and loan him out but the Dutchman will be focussed on the first team and proving himself under one of the greatest managers in the game.
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