Chelsea have agreed to loan young striker Stipe Perica to Eredivisie outfit NAC Breda for a second successive season, reports Dutch source Voetbal International.
The 19-year-old is one of many young international players currently contracted to Chelsea but has not done enough to win a coveted place in Jose Mourinho's squad. The source claims a deal has now been agreed to take him back to the Netherlands to continue his development away from Stamford Bridge.
"I believe very much in Stipe. He's a year older, has more experience and can do a lot for us," NAC coach Nebojsa Gudelj told Voetbal.
After signing from hometown club Zadar in 2012, Perica was loaned straight out to NAC where he struggled to break into the first team. Although appearing 25 times in the Eredivisie, only five of those were starts. He did, however, manage to score six goals.
Judging by Gudelj's comments, the young Croat obviously made an impression and the club have apparently fought hard to get him back for the upcoming season.
More playing time
Chelsea will no doubt be keen to see their young prospect playing for minutes next season. His 'super-sub' label will have to change if Perica is to reach his full potential.
Perica was certainly not alone in being a Chelsea loanee. The Blues sent a total of 27 players out temporarily last season as they continue to set up a business model of hoarding young talent and allowing them to develop elsewhere.
The model has drawn criticism from some circles with Daily Mail journalist Martin Samuel particularly lamenting their tactics.
The reality is that Perica is unlikely to ever play at Stamford Bridge in a Chelsea shirt. The hope is that he will increase his reputation enough so that he can be sold for a profit without ever costing them a penny in wages - assuming the loan club are paying his wages.
It's a smart model because if out of the 27 loaned out player emerges a genuine talent, such as Thibaut Courtois, they can choose to bring them back to the club and reap the rewards of another team's coaching system.
In the case of Romelu Lukaku, the player was able to increase his reputation away from the club, allowing Chelsea to sell him for a profit. He joined Everton for £28 million.
Christian Atsu is the most recent Chelsea player to seal a temporary move away from Stamford Bridge. The Ghana international has joined Lukaku at Goodison Park for the duration of next season.
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