Chelsea midfielder Marco van Ginkel believes he will be ready to challenge for a first-team role at Stamford Bridge next season, following a spell at Stoke City.
Van Ginkel, 22, moved to the Britannia Stadium on a season-long loan as part of the deal that saw Asmir Begovic join the Premier League champions during the summer transfer window.
His arrival was one of several that indicated change was under way at the Potters, with manager Mark Hughes eager to fully implement a more vibrant style of football than the physical game that has come to define the club in their Premier League era.
The chance to help the club was what appealed most to van Ginkel, but getting himself ready so he is fit to contend for a place in Jose Mourinho's first-team next term is van Ginkel's biggest ambition. "My aims for the season? To be important for Stoke, to play a lot of games and to be prepared to return to Chelsea next season," he told Chelsea TV, as reported by Inside Futbol.
Along with the likes of fellow summer arrivals Xherdan Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay, and previous signing Bojan Krkic, Van Ginkel is part of a new wave of Stoke players challenging the perception of the outfit as a physical club.
"That's why I came to Stoke," Van Ginkel continued. "Sometimes we play really good, we have a solid defence."
"And up front we have decent players, who can create something out of nothing and they have the quality to do well. And we are doing well."
Van Ginkel saw his first season in the Premier League with Chelsea derailed by injury after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in September 2014. He spent last season on loan at AC Milan, where he initially struggled to impose himself while also suffering further injuries in September and December 2014, but HE ended the season part of Filippo Inzaghi's plans.