As transfers go, the one taking Rachid Ghezzal from AS Monaco to Leicester City never quite worked out.
Brought in by Claude Puel, the right winger never managed to have the desired impact at King Power Stadium, and the Premier League club allowed him to try his luck abroad on loan at Fiorentina for the season.
However, that hasn’t gone to plan either, as he’d only managed 12 appearances in all competitions prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and a return to Leicester was already being anticipated.
But the big frustration for Ghezzal in all this is the path taking him to England wasn’t in his original plans.
Speaking on Instagram Live during quarantine, the 28-year-old expressed a ‘great regret’ at leaving Lyon on a free back in 2017, which was the catalyst behind what happened over the past three years.
He said, relayed by Africa Top Sports: “My wish was to continue the adventure with OL. I told the board and said so in interviews. I felt good, had my close group, I wanted to do more. I’d started something good with the team and wanted to leave through the front door.
“Unfortunately in football, things don’t always happen the way you want them to. The president, Aulas, was in his role to put pressure on me to sign. What hurt me is that a year before, I saw all my mates extending well and very quickly. I thought it would be the same for me. After that, it became pernicious with the family, those close to you, the president and everything went public”.
As has been said elsewhere, that part of his life clearly affected him, and it might be one of the reasons why he’s never managed to get back to his best.
The player is under contract at Leicester City until 2022, but with Brendan Rodgers appearing to have little use for him in his plans going forward, this summer could be another one of change for the Algeria international.