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Chelsea's Longest Serving Player Is Leaving The Club

Chelsea's Longest Serving Player Is Leaving The Club

When you hear that a club's longest serving player is bringing his time at said club to a close, usually you're well versed with that player's career and all the accomplishments that have come along with it.

Now, when the player is on the books of the Premier League champions, you would assume that he's one of the most well respected and potentially most decorated players in the English top flight. Yet that's not the case with Chelsea's current most loyal player.

Instead, you'd probably be forgiven for not knowing anything about 25-year-old goalkeeper Matej Delac, who has spent seven years at Stamford Bridge without making a single competitive appearance for the Blues.


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Delac arrived as an 18-year-old from Inter Zaprešić in 2010 but has never appeared between the sticks for the Blues due to work permit issues.

After John Terry departed Stamford Bridge in the summer, Delac became Chelsea's longest serving player, although he's spent the majority of his seven years at the club on loan at various clubs, including three seasons with Sarajevo, a year with Vitesse and most recently a season-long spell with Excel Mouscron, in Belgium.

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Speaking to SportSport, Delac said, via Goal, "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.

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"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 work permit.

"Chelsea had a plan for my career, but you can not plan some things. As I arrived, aged 18, it seemed like some movie, I can't describe that feeling. I will remember the greatness of Chelsea FC, they raised me and taught me human and football manners. And of course my first game, in Ljubljana vs Olimpija, when I plqayed with Fabregas, Costa," he said, while also backing manager Antonio Conte to turn things around after a mixed start to the current season.

"Conte is great worker, professional, even when Chelsea is not doing well, I know it is just a phase and Conte will find a way out."

Bosnian born Delac has represented Croatia at U15, U16, U17, U19, U20 and U21 level and will probably not be short of offers as his time at Stamford Bridge comes to a close.

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(H/T Goal)

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Chelsea FC, Premier League

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Joe Baiamonte

Northerner. Assistant Editor of SPORTbible. Studied Journalism and Broadcasting in a portakabin on a car park of Salford University for three years. Believes football peaked with Serie A in the '90s and strong-arms pro wrestling references into as many articles as possible. Neymar once took 50 euros off me during a game of poker.