BURTON Albion are delighted to confirm the signing of Chelsea defender Richard Nartey on loan until the end of the 2019/20 season!
Nartey is a centre-back capable of playing across the back four. He becomes the second player in as many seasons to join The Brewers from Chelsea's thriving Academy set-up, following the successful loan spell of goalkeeper Brad Collins last season.
"I can’t wait to get started," Nartey told iFollow Brewers. "It’s my first loan spell and I want to get out there and experience the real game.
"This is probably the best club (to join) that's equivalent to Chelsea at playing out (from the back). I’ve watched a couple of the games and it’ll be a similar philosophy here.
"I don’t even know if I can properly explain the feeling. With it being my first loan spell to a place like this, it means a lot. My family are proud and they’ll come to any game they can, which isn’t a short journey!
"I’m just excited to be here and I can’t wait for Monday (pre-season training) now!"
Nartey was a key part of Chelsea U18s treble-winning side of 2016/17 before making the step up to the Blues’ developmental squad.
The 20-year-old defender made 12 appearances for Chelsea’s Premier League 2 side last season, captaining the U23s in five of those games and scoring once in the final game of the season against Brighton.
Nartey also made four appearances for Chelsea’s U21s in the EFL Trophy last season, having made three the previous campaign during their run to the semi-finals, and netted a bullet header in the Blues’ 3-1 defeat at Peterborough United.
Manager Nigel Clough said: “He's another young player who needs to go out and get some league experience. He's had a little bit of experience in the EFL Trophy playing against League One sides and acquitted himself well. He's at the stage in his career where he's ready to go out and be part of a first-team squad.
"It's a good avenue for us and we are hopeful of getting another one or two more in before the start of the season. It suits both clubs and the player as well and it's great when the player recognises that U23 football isn't going to help him make further progress and he wants to get out and play.
"We aren't blessed with a lot of central defenders so he will add to our options and with Jake Buxton, Colin Daniel and John Brayford you have three players with hundreds of league games each and having those experienced players around him will be an important part of his learning."
The loan deal runs until May 24, 2020 but includes a recall clause for either club in January.
"Every loan we agree, it's a three-way recall so that either club or the player come January can say it's not working," said Clough. "If it's not working for one of the parties there's no point proceeding.
"The biggest thing is that we give them an opportunity. They are in the 18 every week. I hope clubs like Chelsea see that and the way we played in the second half of last season and think it would be a good experience for their players."
RICHARD NARTEY HAS SIGNED UP FOR 2019/20 - HAVE YOU?
Have you bought your 2019/20 Season Ticket yet?
Season Tickets for the next Sky Bet League One season are now on sale! Make sure to book your place and back the Brewers in 2019/20 by clicking here!