Czech defender Tomas Kalas has left Chelsea after making just four appearances in nine years for the club, joining Bristol City on a permanent basis.
Kalas spent last season on loan at Bristol City and has now signed a four-year contract at Ashton Gate after a club-record fee was agreed with Chelsea.
Kalas’ nine years at Chelsea: five key things to know…
- Kalas signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea in the summer of 2010, officially joining in January 2011.
- The 26-year-old has played for six different clubs on loan since then, including Middlesbrough, Fulham and Bristol City.
- In 2013/14 he made four appearances for Chelsea, playing 90 minutes in the 2-0 win at Anfield that saw Liverpool lose ground in the title race.
- Kalas played 38 times in the Championship for Bristol City last season.
- Reports suggest the Robins have paid a club-record £8m for the Czech Republic international.
Despite failing to break into the Chelsea team, Kalas has made 19 appearances for his country since 2012, scoring two goals.
In a statement, Chelsea said: “We thank Tomas for his service to Chelsea and wish him well for the rest of his career.”
Meanwhile, Bristol City head coach Lee Johnson has been singing the praises of his new acquisition.
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“We saw last season the qualities he brings and Tomas is exactly the type of player we want to build our team around,” Johnson told the club’s official website.
“Not only is he a fantastic footballer but someone with a winning mentality.”
Bristol City finished eighth in the Championship last season, just four points off Derby County in the final playoff spot, with Kalas blocking the highest number of shots (41) and making the second-highest number of interceptions (81) of any player at the club along the way.
He is not the only Chelsea loanee to sign for the Robins this summer: left-back Jay Dasilva following in Kalas’ footsteps following a successful loan spell last campaign.