Charly Musonda is set to see out the season on loan at Vitesse, Goal understands, with a belated debut being lined up for after the Eredivisie winter break.
The 22-year-old signed for Chelsea's feeder club in the final hours of the summer transfer window, but then suffered a knee injury just two weeks later in a behind-closed-doors friendly match against Royal Antwerp.
The rehabilitation process has been slow for Musonda and he has been recovering at Chelsea's Cobham Training Centre. However, Vitesse have been coping without their attacking midfielder and they may lose patience, should he fail to prove his fitness by January.
It is understood that all parties remain happy with the initial loan arrangements and Musonda is hoping to finally make his bow in January – allowing him to help push Vitesse into contention for another Europa League spot this season.
The youngster had offers to join Roma over the summer, but felt that he would have been a back-up in Italy, while clubs in the Championship were snubbed as he preferred to head for a division renowned for a more technical approach.
There had been high hopes for Musonda after he made six appearances and his debut for Chelsea last season, but a failed loan move to Celtic stalled his development.
Brendan Rodgers boasted of signing the Belgium Under-21 international ahead of “24 clubs” when the Scottish giants took him on loan for 18 months in January.
However, he only made three starts during his time in the Scottish Premiership.
Chelsea still hold Musonda in high regard and renewed his contract until 2022 in December of last year.
Musonda will now be hoping that he can make the same impact at Vitesse as he did during the first half of his loan to Real Betis, where he made 16 appearances and was a regular starter for the Liga club.
His only two appearances of the current campaign have come for Chelsea's Under-23 side, with those outings delivering one goal and a red card.