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Chelsea’s longest-serving player finally leaving without EVER playing for Blues

The 25-year-old keeper was one of Croatia's hottest prospects but has had TEN loan spells due to work permit problems

Chelsea’s longest-serving player is finally leaving for good – having never played for the Blues.

Keeper Matej Delac, who joined the club in 2010, will join Danish Superliga side AC Horsens in the summer after ten loans spells away from Stamford Bridge.


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Matej Delac is currently enjoying his tenth loan spell - with Belgians Mouscron

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Matej Delac was Chelsea’s longest-serving player – but will leave the Blues having never played a game for them,

The former Croatia Under-21 star, now aged 25, has never even been registered for the Premier League due to work permit problems.

Delac is currently shining on loan for Belgians Mouscron.

But he will move to Denmark when his Chelsea contract runs out in the summer.

He was initially given a five-year deal when he joined Chelsea as a hot prospect from his home country club Inter Zapresicon.

Matej Delac featured in a Chelsea friendly against NK Olimpija Ljubljana in July 2014

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Matej Delac featured in a Chelsea friendly against NK Olimpija Ljubljana in 2014

Regular loan star Matej Delac played for Croatia at many levels, including Under-21s

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Regular loan star Matej Delac played for Croatia at many levels, including U-21

But a year later he was off to Vitesse for his first loan spell.

And every season since he has had at least one temporary stint abroad.

But Delac insists he is still glad he joined Chelsea.

He said in November: “Many people ask me do I regret coming to Chelsea so young, and not joining some smaller club, but I feel no regret.

“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.”

He added: “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.

Croatian Matej Delac will finally leave Chelsea on a permanent deal this summer

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Croatian Matej Delac will finally leave Chelsea on a permanent deal this summer

“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 played with Fabregas, Costa.”

Delac also praised Blues’ manager Antonio Conte.

He said of the Italian: “Delac added: “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.”

Horsens, managed by ex-Kidderminster striker Bo Henriksen, are sixth in Denmark’s top flight.

Their ground has a capacity of 10,400, including 7,500 seats.

Matej Delac took part in the Under-20 World cup for Croatia seven years ago

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Matej Delac took part in the Under-20 World cup for Croatia seven years ago

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