Former Arsenal youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide has today opened on his decision to depart the Emirates, after securing a big-money move to Lyon over the summer.
Reine-Adelaide, a gifted 21-year-old midfielder, joined the Gunners as a raw teen in 2015, from French outlet Lens.
Despite having been highly-regarded, and having had his game likened to former Arsenal star Abou Diaby by many, however, Reine-Adelaide subsequently found game-time hard to come by in the English capital.
As such, with the likes of Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and more ahead of him the midfield pecking order at the Emirates, the French youth international, who has represented Les Bleus at every age group up to U21, made the decision to move on last summer.
Reine-Adelaide joined Ligue 1 outfit Angers, quickly bursting onto the scene with a string of impressive displays.
The starlet’s time at the Stade Raymond Kopa, though, lasted just 12 months, as fellow French outfit Lyon opted to splash out €25 million on his signature last month.
‘Wanted to get playing time’
As such, speaking in an interview with L’Equipe earlier today, Reine-Adelaide was questioned on his sudden rise to prominence, as well as his decision to leave Arsenal last summer.
And the midfielder unsurprisingly went on to express his happiness at having made ‘a good choice’, at such a crucial point in his fledgling career:
‘I was young [17 years old] when I arrived at Arsenal and it was a little complicated. There was a lot of competition and I had to learn.’
‘I wanted to go somewhere else to get playing time. And it turns out that it was a good choice, considering where I am.’
‘I’ve moved forward since returning to France. I started from almost nothing again because I had a hard time. In England, I played almost no professional matches. If you look at my career, I’m basically just starting it – it really started a year and a half ago.’
‘Now, I blossom when I’m on the pitch.’
‘This summer, I was especially happy to see that many clubs were asking for me, including Monaco, who played in the Champions League not so long ago. But I thought it was better to sign with Lyon. I feel ready to succeed at this club, which challenges for titles in all competitions.’