Date:16th August 2012 at 4:00pm
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Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson has completed his loan move to Nottingham Forest on a six-month deal, becoming Sean O’Driscoll’s eighth summer signing.

Hutchinson is highly thought of at Chelsea but his career seemed over before it had even begun when he was forced to retire in August 2010 aged 21. He worked with the academy and studied sports science, until his knee showed significant improvement and earned himself a new playing contract at the end of last year.

The 23-year-old was part of the squad that travelled to the US for our pre-season tour but didn’t put in the best of performances when he was given minutes on the pitch (wasn’t the only one) and I’m not sure if he’ll ever fully get over the injuries that plagued him for so long, so it’s vital that he gets more playing time and his spell at Forest will be the first time he’s played away from Chelsea since joining the academy.

Reds chairman Omar Al Hasawi was delighted to announce the deal on the club’s official website:

“Sam is held in the highest regard by Chelsea and we’re grateful to them for allowing him to join us on loan.

“He is an exciting young player who has already shown a lot of grit and determination in his career, characteristics that we are sure will endear him to our supporters.”

O’Driscoll also said that Hutchinson possesses all the attributed that he’s looking for in a defender:

“We are looking for characters – that’s a box we’ve tried to tick with all the players we’ve brought in. He has a big tick in that box.

“He’s been likened to John Terry at Chelsea and they see him as an integral part of their squad but he hasn’t played many games.

“This is an opportunity for him and for us to strengthen the defensive side, which is what we’ve had to really concentrate on, so he’s a good signing for us.

“Ideally we’d have had him in a bit earlier but beggars can’t be choosers.

“You’re not going to keep four defenders fit all season and, especially in the first month when we’re playing a lot of games, we’re going to need everybody. It’s a good opportunity for him.

“The Championship is a good level for a young player to test himself in so it will stand him in good stead for his Chelsea career.”

I’m sure Hutchinson is looking forward to the chance of playing regular first-team football and hopefully he can use this move to gain the experience he missed out on when he spent time away from the game and build on it.