NK Lokomotiva Zagreb defender Justin de Haas has revealed how he could have ended up playing for Chelsea two years ago but didn’t think it was the right choice for his career.
De Haas is currently plying his trade in Croatia after joining Lokomotiva on a free transfer from PSV U21s in July this year.
Before that, he had spent the majority of his career in the Netherlands, starting out with KFC Youth before moving to AZ Alkmaar’s youth system in 2015.
He slowly made his way up the ranks from there, playing 12 times for the Under 17s, 55 times for the Under 19s and then six times for the Under 21s.
By 2019 he was making waves with the Under 19 set up, and that was when Chelsea came calling, with their scouts picking him up as part of their continual effort to hoover up the best talent around Europe.
It seems, though, Alkmaar weren’t keen on letting De Haas go, and when Chelsea came back the following summer, there were other things standing in his way.
“Chelsea showed interest at the time (2019) in the winter,” he told MSN.
“I actually had my sights set on that. AZ did not want to let me go at that time and kept me to my contract. That was their right, but that’s why it didn’t happen.
“(Then) they only got a transfer ban. I could sign, but then I was not allowed to play any matches for six months.
“Although Chelsea is great financially, it was not a good choice for my sporting development, and that’s why I chose PSV.”