Van Ginkel vows to make an impact at Chelsea

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Chelsea have completed the signing of Netherlands midfielder Marco van Ginkel, the club announced last night.

The 20-year-old moves from Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem for an undisclosed fee and has penned a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge. Reports have suggested he was valued at £8 million.

Van Ginkel came through the youth system at Vitesse and made his international debut as a substitute in a goalless draw against Germany in November.

“I’m very happy to be at such a nice club with great players. The stadium is good and the training ground is fantastic,” he told the Chelsea website.

Van Ginkel, who scored 11 goals in 41 games last season and helped Vitesse finish fourth and qualify for the Europa League, added: “I am a box-to-box player. I cover a lot of metres and can score a goal, but I also like to defend and think of myself as a real team player.

“I want to learn a lot, to develop myself. I want to play games and not only sit on the bench, that’s what I hope for, to play in games at these great stadiums and hopefully be important for the team, whether it is from the bench or from the start.”

Meanwhile, defender Christopher Samba has rejoined Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala from relegated Queens Park Rangers for a club record fee.

“Christopher Samba has returned to Anzhi Makhachkala for an undisclosed fee [club record, thought to be approx £12m],” QPR tweeted yesterday.

The 29-year-old Congo international moved to QPR on a four-and-a-half-year contract from Russia in January for £12.5m. He made ten appearances for QPR but could not help them avoid the drop from the Premier League.

In Spain, Barcelona announced last night that forward Neymar and full-back Jordi Alba had their tonsils removed successfully in operations on separate continents yesterday.

Neymar, 21, was operated on in Rio de Janeiro and Alba, 24, had his surgery at a clinic in Terrassa near the Catalan capital, the La Liga champions said on their website. The two players, who Barca said would need around ten days to recover, appeared for Brazil and Spain respectively in last Sunday’s Confederations Cup final in Rio, which the host nation won 3-0.

In Italy, former international striker Luca Toni has signed a one-year contract with Serie A side Hellas Verona. The 36-year-old’s deal with Fiorentina ended at the start of this month. Verona, who won the league title in 1985, are back in the top flight for the first time in 11 years after finishing second in Serie B behind Sassuolo.

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