Whilst Chelsea may need some surgery in the summer to replace aging legs, they can take some heart from two of their youngster who are sitting top of the Eredivisie.
Chelsea stars Miroslav Stoch and Slobodan Rajkovic are currently on loan at Steve McClaren’s FC Twente and Miroslav Stoch in particular is receiving rave reviews for his performances. FC Twente are at the top of Eredivisie four points clear of rivals Ajax and five points clear of PSV Eindhoven. Steve McClaren is slowly rebuilding his reputation over in Holland after the shambles of England’s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
After selling a host of the club’s top players, Steve McClaren turned to Chelsea to loan winger Miroslav Stoch and centre back Slobodan Rajkovic. Both deals have turned out well not only for FC Twente, but Chelsea as well. Much has been written of Chelsea’s squad after the Champions League exit against Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan. Aging legs and a team that once was all conquering being past it has been thrown around far too casually for my liking. Chelsea’s demolishing of Aston Villa 7-1 was a good reply to those critics. With players of the ability of Stoch and Rajkovic coming through the ranks, they should have no problem.
Miroslav Stoch has been something of a sensation this season. 8 goals in 27 league appearances from midfield is a great return. Having made some sporadic late substitute appearances for Chelsea last season, the 20 yr old Slovakian was allowed to join up with Steve McClaren for the season at FC Twente. Stoch is quick, versatile and has a sensational cross. Upon a most likely return to Chelsea in the summer, he would most certainly offer some pace and youth to the West London side’s ranks. The winger is already a full Slovakia international with ten caps to his name and one goal. With PSV Eindhoven keen to gain his signature, Chelsea is believed to be pulling the stops out to offer the talented youngster a long term deal.
Slobodan Rajkovic may not be setting alight the Eredivisie like his team mate, but he is rebuilding his career very well at FC Twente. The 21 year old Yugoslavian was signed by Chelsea in 2005 for £4.4 million from OFK Beograd. A world record at the time for a defender under 18 years of age. He has not made a single first team appearance for Chelsea as of yet. Having spent a year on loan at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, Rajkovic has been on loan at FC Twente for the past 2 years. On September 4th 2008, the Belgrade born centre back was banned by FIFA for a year after allegedly spitting at a referee during the Beijing Olympics. On appeal this was lifted to just international fixtures.
Having appeared thirteen times this season for Steve McClaren’s men he is slowly establishing himself in the team. Known for his towering height and strength, Rajkovic is a tough customer to get past at the back. It looks likely he will be given another year out on loan to hone his skills. He already has 5 caps to his name for the Serbia national side and is most certainly one to watch.
What is clear is that it’s not all doom and gloom at Stamford Bridge as has been reported recently. With players such as Gael Kakuta coming through along with Miroslav Stoch and Slobodan Rajkovic making waves in Eredivisie. The future looks bright for Chelsea.
Check out this video of Miroslav Stoch tearing up the Eredivisie:
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