Former Blues academy star responds to Chelsea regret allowing him to leave Stamford Bridge

November 29th, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Jeremie Boga explains why he rejected Napoli to stay at Sassuolo, considering Chelsea might regret him and targeting Europe with Roberto De Zerbi.

Boga came up through the Chelsea youth academy and had been on the verge of a transfer to Napoli this summer, although he denies the move was postponed because he contracted COVID-19 on August 20 and didn’t get the all-clear until October 5.

“I was very sad during that time, as I couldn’t do anything, even if I only really felt tired and had back pain for three days. The swabs kept coming back positive,” Boga told the Gazzetta dello Sport as cited by Football Italia.

“The transfer was not blocked by the virus, though. I had already spoken to Sassuolo and we decided together it was best for my development if I stayed here for another year. Sassuolo is a club where you can improve so much, look at Manuel Locatelli and Domenico Berardi playing for Italy now.”

Boga was asked if Chelsea perhaps regretted letting him go so early into his career.

“Who knows… I moved to London with my whole family to play for Chelsea when I was 12 years old. It wasn’t easy at the start, as I left all my friends behind in Marseille, but then I adapted.

“I chose Sassuolo because De Zerbi wanted me. Every day he’d tell me: ‘Do you realise how good you are?’ I wasn’t really convinced.”

De Zerbi also said that the only player he can think of better at dribbling than Boga is Lionel Messi.

“That’s quite a compliment, eh? Having said that, Neymar, Eden Hazard and Hatem Ben Arfa are also excellent at dribbling,” replied Boga.

“It’s about instinct and since I was a kid, I’d just run at opposition defenders. Coaches told me to enjoy myself and I used to practice at home on my brother.”

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