Chelsea have always scouted proper young talents for club’s academy ranks but somehow failed to promote them for the senior side. Their youngsters usually spend seasons on loan and eventually settle in somewhere else mostly due to lack of assurance of enough first-team minutes.
Such has been the state of the Blues’ custodian Matej Delac, the former Croatian youth international who is finally set to draw an end of his frustrating Chelsea career without making a single appearance for them since 2010. The player had 10 different loan spells during his time but never made a competitive outing for the West London heavyweights due to work permit issues. Delac’s failure of resolving the work permit concerns stalled his career growth and the player is now almost certain of leaving Stamford Bridge permanently following a long association that made him club’s current longest serving player after John Terry’s summer egress.
“Yes, soon will come a time I’ll have to leave Chelsea. The problem was not my quality, Chelsea believed in me, extended my contract several times, but the problem was always work permit.”
The 25-year-old goalkeeper, however, is high-spirited as he considers the spell as a steep learning curve where he trained alongside some of world’s greatest of stars like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Fernando Torres etc. to name a few.
Delac was loaned out to Chelsea’s sister club Vitesse following his arrival from boyhood side Inter Zaprešić but could not break into their first-team ahead of Eloy Room. Then he had spells with Dynamo České Budějovice, Vitória de Guimarães, his former club Inter Zaprešić, Vojvodina, Sarajevo, Arles-Avignon and most recently with Belgian top-tier outfit Excel Mouscron where he featured regularly. He preferred not to accept another loan transfer back in summer with a view to force a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge. Although he is under contract until summer 2018, Delac might be allowed to depart on a Bosman transfer in January.
Delac, once called up by former Croatia boss Slaven Bilic for their 2010 World Cup Qualifiers back in 2009 thus broke the record for the youngest Croatian player ever called up for senior international duty, is now a forgotten name who hopes to resurrect his career back in his country.