Chelsea starlet Dominic Solanke has completed a season-long loan move to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, despite manager Jose Mourinho claiming a move away from Stamford Bridge for the player would be a "big mistake".
Solanke, 17, is the latest in a long line of Chelsea youngsters to join the Eredivisie club and will link up with fellow Blues starlets Izzy Brown, Lewis Baker, Danilo Pantic and Nathan who have also joined the club this summer. Vitesse released a statement early on Tuesday 4 August announcing the player had begun training with the club and Chelsea have since confirmed the move via their official website.
The decision to allow the striker to leave Stamford Bridge comes as a surprise, though, after Mourinho insisted the club would not allow such a talented player to leave, even on a temporary basis. Solanke made his club debut in a Champions League tie against Maribor in October 2014 and played integral role in the Chelsea sides that enjoyed FA Youth Cup and Uefa Youth League successes last season.
The teenager often trained with the first team and featured as an unused substitute against both Manchester United and Sunderland in the latter stages of last season, prompting Mourinho to question the logic of sending him away from the club on loan.
"His experience this season has been magnificent," Mourinho was quoted as saying by Get West London in April. "In my opinion, next year, he has two ways to go. One would be a big mistake and another one is the correct direction. To go on loan for a Championship team, or to another team in England or in Europe, would be a big mistake.
"Staying at Chelsea, training with the first team, having pre-season with the first team, some periods cover to the main strikers, playing for the U21s and U18s every week. I think he would never need to go out on loan and just go step by step here and in a couple of years he'll be a first-team player."