For seven years of his life, Victorien Angban was a Chelsea player.
Arriving from Stade d’Abidjan in 2012, the midfielder worked his way through the different age ranks at Stamford Bridge but never managed to break through into the first team despite winning himself 12 Ivory Coast caps along the way.
Loans at Sint-Truiden, Granada, Waaslan Beveren and ultimately Metz helped him progress as a footballer and get some minutes under his belt, eventually earning himself a permanent move to the latter for £5.4m last summer.
He’s since made 22 appearances this season, helping the club try and avoid relegation back to Ligue 2, and with Ligue 1 currently suspended, they sit 15th in the league.
The player sat down with Sportmania in Ivory Coast, who wanted to find out more about how he’s doing, and why things didn’t work out for him at Chelsea.
Asked what memories he had from his time there, he said: “From my first training sessions with the first-team, it was magical. It was at the time of the Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Frank Lampard, Nicolas Anelka, Malouda, John Terry. I’ll never forget training with monsters like that”.
As for why he never quite made it, he explained: “It was hard. When I got there, I was only 16. I couldn’t make myself food. English was hard. I didn’t know anyone. Often, Salomon Kalou brought me home so that I could eat some Ivorian food, because it was complicated. I then tried to adapt, but I swear, I struggled”.