Gillingham capture former Chelsea midfielder
Gillingham capture former Chelsea midfielder

Gillingham have added to their midfield options with the capture of former Chelsea youngster, and England youth international Jacob Mellis.

The 29-year-old joins Ryan Jackson and Vadaine Oliver through the door at MEMS Priestfield Stadium as the Gills management step up their preparations ahead of the 2020/21 season, set to get underway on September 12.

Mellis, who came through the youth ranks at Chelsea, made his professional debut for Southampton while on loan in August 2009 and made 12 appearances for the Saints that season (2009/10), starting in the 4-1 win over Gillingham at St. Mary’s.

The following season he featured in the Champions League for his parent club, coming on as a late substitute at Stamford Bridge in November 2010, replacing midfielder Josh McEachran.

A second loan spell away from Chelsea followed, this time at Barnsley, before making the move permanent in the summer of 2012. After making 89 appearances in total for the club, scoring eight goals, he enjoyed brief spells at Blackpool and Oldham, before signing for Bury in the summer of 2015.

Two seasons at Gigg Lane resulted in Jacob scoring three times in 69 games and, following the expiration of his two-year contract, he joined Mansfield in the summer of 2017 and played under Steve Evans for over six months, making 102 appearances altogether and scoring five times for the Stags.

He signed for Bolton Wanderers in January until the end of the season, which was curtailed in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore Jacob is an England youth international, representing his country at U16, U17 and U19 levels. Altogether he accumulated 21 caps.

The Gills boss was delighted to get his man, who will join the rest of the squad for training this week.

He said: “Jacob is a player I have really liked for a long time and he did incredibly well during my time at Mansfield, in some games he was exceptional.

“In fact, not long after I left Mansfield, he had some family problems which would have rocked anybody, but he’s with us now and it’s a big year for him.

“He had a terrific education at Chelsea, and anyone selected for a Champions League match has to be considered a very good player!

“He knows this level well, he has played in over 300 professional games and, in addition to incredible natural ability, he has a great engine, is tenacious, hardworking, and chips in with a few goals.

“I am sure he will get the fans off their seats several times next season and I am delighted to have lured him away from two or three other clubs who were on the verge of clinching his signature.”

The player himself added: “I’m really happy; it all happened pretty quickly but I’m pleased to have everything signed.

“I played for the Gaffer and Rayns at Mansfield and they got the best out of me so when the chance came up to join them again, I wanted to do it.

“Everyone has missed Football so I think you’ll see hungry players everywhere; I can’t wait to get back training again.”

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.


 
Seo