Matej Delac is Chelsea’s longest-serving player since the departure of John Terry, but the irony of it all is that the 24-year-old has never played for Chelsea.
Since signing for Chelsea in 2010, it’s been from one loan spell to another and the goalkeeper’s contract is up at the end of this season and he knows that there is no hope of a renewal – but Delac has no regrets about signing for the club and has praised Chelsea’s loan strategy.
Delac told ESPN: “I have absolutely no regrets. I am proud to have been part of such a great club, and that is the way I have always felt, even though I didn’t get a chance to play for Chelsea.
“This club cares about players who are out on loan. We come to London every summer, and there are special coaches who work with our team – Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira.
“Chelsea constantly followed my progress and went to see my games. They visited six or seven Mouscron games last season.
“Signing players and loaning them out is a good project by Chelsea.
“We, the loanees, have our own Whatsapp group to get updates, even though it is not easy to become close friends when you rarely see each other face to face. I mostly stayed in touch with Jamal Blackman because he is a goalkeeper, and Mario Pasalic because he is a Croat.
“The problem with the work permit is a political one. I have been waiting for a decision to allow Croats to work in England without it, but it never happened.
“Now it’s time to move on. I would be glad to settle somewhere permanently and develop my career.
“It is important to choose the right club and make the correct decision. Then, maybe one day I will be able to return to England.”