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‘Leaving Chelsea was the perfect decision for my career’ – Sassuolo’s Boga

Goal logo Goal 05/03/2021 Taiye Taiwo

Sassuolo midfielder Jeremie Boga has described the call to leave Chelsea in 2018 as the best decision he has made in his football career.

Boga left London after developing through the Blues’ youth ranks from the tender age of 12, but he did not get the chance to settle in the first-team.

During his stint in London, the Ivory Coast international was loaned out thrice (to Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City) before he eventually sealed a permanent move to Sassuolo in 2018.

Boga admits frustrations with the loan moves but he was not surprised that Chelsea did not give him a chance to show himself in the Premier League.

"Being at Chelsea and being loaned out was definitely a bit frustrating for me, but that didn't come as a surprise either," Boga told BBC Sport Africa.

"At that time, young players weren't given many opportunities at Chelsea, so the best option for me was to leave and mature on loan.

"I am not judging Chelsea for not giving me that much time on the pitch. Everyone has his own path and I simply followed mine.

"Maybe I could have had longer loan spells in the past, maybe two years instead of one year only, but when I decided to finally leave Chelsea to move here, I took the perfect decision for my career.

"In terms of my development, Sassuolo is exactly what I was thinking of at that time."

The Marseille-born midfielder switched his international allegiance to the Ivory Coast in 2017 and he went on to make his debut against Guinea in June that year.

He has just one appearance under his belt and he is ready to grab opportunities in Patrice Baumelle’s team with Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games against Niger and Ethiopia coming later this month.

"I have always wanted to play for the Ivory Coast, so it had nothing to do with me," he continued.

"It was a decision made by the manager who was in charge at the time.

"It's true that I was disappointed but now I have spoken with the new manager Patrice Baumelle and he's following us closely - we are in contact.

"I regularly keep contact to the other Ivorians playing in Italy, especially to those of my age like (Lazio's Jean-Daniel) Akpa Akpro or (AC Milan's Franck) Kessie. We also meet up sometimes in our free time, but with Covid it has become impossible now, so we have to chat on our mobiles.”

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