Date: 26th March 2010 at 4:48pm
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Coming on for Yuri Zhirkov at Fratton Park on Wednesday evening, young Patrick Van Aanholt got his first taste of first team action in a Chelsea shirt, featuring for twenty minutes as we ran out 5-0 winners.

Van Aanholt, 19, has had a very good season, with positive loan spells at Coventry City and Newcastle United under his belt, as well as a Premier League debut. The Dutch Under-21 international recently spoke out about his first appearance for Carlo Ancelotti’s Blues, and his hopes for the rest of the campaign and beyond.

‘I am buzzing, I had a great night last night (speaking yesterday morning) and I was really happy to make my debut,’ he said. ‘I am trying to get more involved in the first team and hope to be able to play a couple more times before the end of the season as well.’

‘I had a fantastic month on loan at Newcastle, played seven games, and in front of more than 50,000 people, so it was a great experience for me. In the reserves you are only in front of a few hundred, but then I went to Coventry and played in front of 30,000, then Newcastle 52,000, it’s a massive difference, unbelievable. I really enjoyed my time there and now I hope I can push on some more,’ he told the official club site.

Van Aanholt remains in the squad for tomorrow afternoon’s visit of Aston Villa, with injuries ruling out Ricardo Carvalho, Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole and Jose Bosingwa from the Blues’ backline. Jeffrey Bruma, another of the club’s promising youngsters, could also feature on the bench.

In other non-first team level news, it is pleasing to report that defender Sam Hutchinson came through the reserves’ 2-1 defeat to Fulham unscathed. He played the first forty-five minutes without problem. He will now hope to rejoin Ancelotti’s first team squad for the remainder of the season, particularly in light of our recent injury crisis.