Swedish midfielder Imam Jagne has revealed he decided to leave Everton this summer after losing his joy for football at the club.
The 19-year-old was released by Everton in the summer after a two-year spell with the Toffees, who he joined in a €1.5m deal in October 2020.
He initially joined the Under 18s but was eventually promoted to the Under 21s and like most youngsters likely had his eye on a first-team spot in future too.
That didn’t seem likely in the near future, though, with him making just six appearances for the Under 21s and never being in serious contention of breaking into the first-team setup.
He thus decided to depart this summer and start again somewhere else and has now revealed the decision was made because he had lost his joy for football.
“I felt I stopped developing,” he told Fotboll Skanalen.
“I just needed to come home and enjoy football again, because I think football is the most fun thing we have in this life.
“But when it gets to the level that it’s no longer fun, then there’s no point in continuing. It was just football in general.
Fortunately for Jagne, when the issue of leaving the club was brought up, he found Everton more than willing to accommodate him.
The midfielder had signed a deal until 2023, meaning the Blues would have been well within their rights to either look to sell him or keep him at the club, particularly as they still saw him as a promising talent for the future.
They elected not to stand in his way, though, instead negotiating so the youngster could leave on a free transfer this summer.
That’s something Jagne is grateful for, thanking Everton for being as open to negotiate as they were.
“It was a mutual decision. We talked, but they didn’t know why (I wanted to leave),” he added.
“We negotiated a bit, and, in the end, we agreed, it felt good for all parties. They were really kind and saw it from my perspective, which was that I wanted to develop and play senior football.
“So, they agreed to it. They were very supportive.”