Once seen as a near guarantee to break into the first team at Arsenal, Jeff Reine-Adelaide never quite managed to achieve that goal, and, after a loan with Angers during the second half of last season, he transferred to the Ligue 1 side permanently in the summer for just £1.5m.
Fully established as a regular starter with his new side, the 20-year-old is happy with how things are going in France, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of the Sofiane Boufals and Nicolas Pepes, who all grew during their time at the club before moving onto bigger things.
Speaking to Foot Mercato in France, Reine-Adelaide also discussed his spell at the Emirates, explaining his transfer there in 2015 was a ‘great feeling’.
He said: “It was a reward for all the work I’d put in. I got to discover the professional world, which I didn’t do at Lens. I met world class stars. I only have positive things to say about my time at Arsenal. I trained with great players, known around the world. I played a few games, and I met a golden coach in Arsène Wenger.”
Feeling it was his lack of first-team experience prior to the move to Arsenal that hindered him with the Gunners, the young forward wants to make it clear he has ‘no regrets’ over his decision to go to England.
As for his kind words about Wenger, who left his role at the Premier League side in the summer to be replaced by Unai Emery, he elaborated a bit more.
He continued: “He taught me many things. I think I learnt how to be mentally strong there. It wasn’t always easy. He always helped me, always talked to me, before or after training, to tell me I was young and it would happen one day or another.
“He helped me progress as a player but also as a young man. It’s important for the manager to help people become men. I don’t know if he’ll take over another team, but I hope for him that it happens.”
During his three years at Arsenal, Jeff Reine-Adelaide made eight appearances, all of which came in either the EFL Cup or the FA Cup, never coming on in the Premier League despite featuring on the bench 13 times.