Modern football eh?
Chelsea’s longest serving player is set to leave the club, he has confirmed – but all is not as it sounds.
After John Terry’s exit at the end of last season, the player who’d technically been on Chelsea’s books the longest was little-known Croatian goalkeeper Matej Delac.
The 25-year-old, as you may have guessed, has never actually played a competitive game for the Blues, existing only as an extreme example of the club’s famed loan policy with young players.
‘Yes, soon will come a time I’ll have to leave Chelsea. Many people ask me do I regret coming to Chelsea so young, and not joining some smaller club, but I feel no regret,’ Delac told SportSport, as quoted by Goal.
Joining as a teenager back in 2010, Delac has been loaned out an incredible ten times due to work permit issues, though that didn’t stop the tributes pouring in.
Although largely ironically, many Chelsea fans praised Delac’s loyalty for sticking it out at Stamford Bridge for so long without getting a look-in in the first-team.
Mostly though, a number of tweeters have noticed that Delac is narrowly set to miss out on a testimonial, which are usually offered by clubs to players who serve ten years on their books.
Chelsea’s longest-serving player Matej Delac set to leave the club. He’s 3 years away from a testimonial so it doesn’t look like he’ll make his debut before he leaves ? pic.twitter.com/WhdHc8UDXS
— ProTipster UK (@ProTipsterEN) November 8, 2017
Chelsea’s longest-serving player Matej Delac is leaving the club
His testimonial match will also be his debut ? pic.twitter.com/vMy0M1Zemn
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) November 8, 2017
What a man! #Matej #Delac despite not making it at #CFC he’s still grateful to the club.This are the sort of players we need here.Not all this over hyped young stars who think greatness is a day stuff.Thanks Matej Delac for your time with us..wishing u great success ahead LEGEND.
— Augustine Ofoegbu (@OfoAIC) November 8, 2017
Matej Dela? is Chelsea’s longest serving player:
Chelsea – 0
Loans while at Chelsea:
Vitesse – 0
Dynamo ?eské Bud?jovice – 1
Vitória de Guimarães – 0
Vitória de II – 1
Inter Zapreši? – 14
Vojvodina – 10
Sarajevo – 7
Arles-Avignon – 11
Sarajevo – 26
Mouscron – 28
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 8, 2017
— betclever (@bet_clever) November 8, 2017