Croatian midfielder Mario Pasalic is convinced he will be offered a new deal at Chelsea in the coming weeks and believes he is part of Jose Mourinho’s plans moving forward.
The Special One paid £3 million for Pasalic last summer but he was immediately loaned out to La Liga side Elche for the 2014/15 campaign. By all accounts he’s impressed in Spain and as a result interest has been generated in his future, with Italian outfit Lazio said to be monitoring his situation.
However, in a move that strongly hints he isn’t keen on the idea of being farmed out on loan again, the 20-year-old told Croatian website Slobodna Dalmacija that he is expecting to return to Stamford Bridge in time for next season.
“Given the intensity of communication (with Chelsea), I’m optimistic that I’ll go to London in late May for a new deal with Chelsea,” he said.
Of course winning a spot in Mourinho’s first-team is far easier said than done, and a number of players who are vying for a similar position that Pasalic is are currently plying their trade elsewhere.
Behind the usual suspects like Francesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, who have both been in incredible form this year, the likes of Marco van Ginkel and Oriol Romeu will also be hoping to have caught Mourinho’s eye this term, meaning that the path to regular football with Chelsea’s senior squad is littered with obstacles.
From his comments it looks as though Pasalic remains confident however, despite the fact that he has yet to feature for the Blues first-team in any capacity. The step up in expectation and indeed competition from Elche will be a steep one but the German youngster, who has played 30 times in Spain this year, obviously thinks he’s good enough.
Tough nut to crack
Were he to heed the advice of so many talented young stars who have gone before him and failed to cut the mustard in west London he might change his tune, for Chelsea have become a notoriously tough place for rising starlets to burst onto the scene.
Players like the aforesaid Matic and Thibaut Courtois are testament to the idea that spending time abroad can enhance a player’s opportunities of making their parent club’s first-team, though for the two current first-team stars who have made it there are plenty who have drifted into obscurity.
Given that Pasalic has been playing at Elche and not a more reputable club it’s unlikely he’ll get in ahead of the likes of Van Ginkel - who has been with AC Milan - and Romeu - who is currently with VfB Stuttgart - but at least he’s not letting the situation dampen his spirits. He’s got to get some credit for that, right?
Chelsea fans, do you think the competition for places in Mourinho’s squad is too much for young players? Or do you believe it provides a good breeding ground for success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.