Chelsea are set to say goodbye to one of their longest serving players in the summer, with Matej Delac set to seal a permanent switch away from Stamford Bridge after spending eight years at the club.
The goalkeeper, who has had ten loan spells since arriving in London in 2010, has never played for the Blues’ first team and is set to head to AC Horsens in Denmark, according to reports. Having played for the Croatia under-21 side, big things were expected for the shot-stopper at Stamford Bridge. However, work permit problems did not allow Delac to be registered for the Premier League.
The 25-year-old is currently impressing on loan with Mouscron in Belgium, and has now decided it is time to move on permanently away from London and build his career, with a view of becoming his country’s number one in the future.
Delac: ‘I have no regrets’
Having initially signed a five-year deal at the Bridge, he saw his stay almost double but had to spend the majority of his time on loan, with Vitesse one of the sides he spent time at honing his skills. Delac insists that he is not disappointed with how things worked out with the Blues and stated that he had no regrets about his time with the club.
“Many people ask me do I regret coming to Chelsea so young, and not joining some smaller club, but I feel no regret,” he told The Sun. “Your career can always be better, but I am 25 and have been through so much, met many coaches, players, gained experience.
“The problem was not my quality, Chelsea believed in me, extended my contract several times, but the problem was always the work permit.”
Delac has seen managers come and go during his time at Stamford Bridge, joining the side when Carlo Ancelotti was in charge, whilst outlasting Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and potentially Antonio Conte as well, who appears set to leave in the summer.