Marco van Ginkel has admitted to having “gone through dark times” at Chelsea, but insists he is “not a quitter” and that he could end up staying at the club beyond the end of his current contract.
The 27-year-old midfielder moved to Stamford Bridge from Vitesse back in 2013, signing a five-year contract with the Blues after emerging as one of the most promising young players in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, the Dutchman has since been unable to establish himself in Chelsea’s first team, with a series of serious injuries cutting short his progress.
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Van Ginkel was sent out on loan to AC Milan, Stoke and PSV so that he could get some regular minutes under his belt, with his best performances coming while at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.
He helped PSV win the 2017-18 Eredivisie title, but was forced to undergo surgery that summer after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage.
Van Ginkel spent 18 months on the sidelines before returning to first-team training in November, with it now his main ambition to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible as his injury nightmare draws to a close.
While opening up on his recovery, Van Ginkel credited his current club for their support behind the scenes, after offering an insight into the mental strength he has had to develop to get through a hugely frustrating period.
“You get dispirited when you hear everything has to be done again,” he told NOS. “I needed a new surgery, but didn’t know when. My knee needed flushing out to get rid of that infection, so I had three surgeries in six days.
“That was quite an event, but infections like that could end your career. I wasn’t thinking about that, though. The flushing out helped me a lot, but I had to wait four to five months before I could get going again. That was a long time. I have gone through dark times.
“I usually am a very positive minded person. The people around me always supported me, as does Chelsea. I won’t give up easy, because I’m not a quitter. Of course, I had some very bad days, though.”
The former Vitesse starlet has only four senior appearances for Chelsea to his name to date, with his existing contract at the Bridge set to expire at the end of the season.
When asked if he could return to fight for a place in Frank Lampard’s squad in the near future, Van Ginkel responded: “You have to ask Lampard. Chelsea has an option to lengthen my contract for two years. I have to wait and see. My primary focus is to get fit again, and then we’ll see what happens.”
He added on whether he still sees himself as a Chelsea player: “Yes, I do. I walk around the club facilities every day, with all the players.
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“And when you’ve been around as long as I have, you know all the physios, doctors, everyone.”
Chelsea will be back in Premier League action when they take the short trip across London to face Tottenham on Sunday, with only three points separating the two teams in the standings after 17 fixtures.