Chelsea signed Jérémie Boga from ASPTT Marseille for their academy in 2009.
After climbing up through the ranks of the west London club’s youth system, the winger couldn’t find a place in the Blues’ first team. Therefore, he was asked to go out on loan.
The French-born Ivory Coast international left the Europa League winners on a permanent transfer when Sassuolo acquired his services in 2018.
Gazzetta dello Sport magazine SportWeek interviewed the 22-year-old, and he opened up about his early days with the Premier League club.
“[I came to] Chelsea at 12. They have scouts all over the world. They took me from a small team in Marseille, ASPTT Marseille,” Boga was quoted as saying by Calciomercato.
“I went from the seaside of Marseille to the fog of London. And then the food: for breakfast, I went from taking milk with cereals to a plate with eggs and bacon. It never digested. In the first two years it was really hard.”
Antonio Conte handed Boga his Chelsea debut as he started for them in the first match of the 2017/18 season against Burnley. However, a red card to Gary Cahill saw the former Blues boss remove Boga after 18 minutes.
Boga had to fight with the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian for the place on the wide positions. He is of the belief the trio were not better than him.
“Had I waited for a while? I think about it sometimes, but I needed to play and in front of me I had Hazard, Pedro, Willian. It wasn’t that they were better than me, they were just in front of me in the hierarchies,” he said,
“No regrets [of leaving Chelsea]. Conte didn’t talk to me much. When he put me against the Burnley, he just told me ‘it’s your turn’.”
Boga has four goals and an assist in 13 league appearances this season, and managed three goals and an assist for Sassuolo last term.