Bertrand Traore has mentioned that he determined to depart Chelsea for Lyon as a result of he knew he would by no means be given an opportunity to shine at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea confirmed on Monday that they’d agreed a deal reportedly value round £eight.eight million with Lyon to promote Traore, who scored 13 targets in 39 appearances in all competitions on mortgage at Ajax final season and impressed because the Dutch giants made a shock run to the Europa League closing.
Talking at his unveiling, Traore mentioned that he couldn’t face a repeat of final summer season, when new head coach Antonio Conte sanctioned a mortgage transfer on the finish of preseason after concluding that the 21-year-old striker was not able to contribute to Chelsea’s first group.
“It was time,” Traore mentioned. “Contemplating my age and for my growth, it was time for me to depart the membership. I might have stayed at Chelsea and performed a couple of minutes in each recreation, combating every single day for a spot, understanding that I am going to by no means get a spot. I educated on the membership, I did every part.
“Two seasons in the past, I challenged the starters however everyone knows what occurred final yr. I used to be there throughout preseason after which I used to be despatched out on mortgage.
“So this yr, I didn’t need to re-live the identical situation. It was time for me to discover a secure membership the place I might play first-team soccer, the place I may very well be one of many key gamers within the group.”
Traore joined Chelsea in January 2014 and spent the primary 18 months of his Blues profession on mortgage at Vitesse, the place he contributed 17 targets and 5 assists in 48 Eredivisie appearances.
Retained as a part of Jose Mourinho’s first-team squad at first of the 2015-16 season, he was given an opportunity on the pitch by interim successor Guus Hiddink and confirmed flashes of promise, scoring 4 targets in his first 5 appearances beneath the Dutchman.
Conte’s arrival final July, nevertheless, halted Traore’s upward momentum at Stamford Bridge and the £33m signing of Michy Batshuayi from Marseille prompted him to hunt out common first-team soccer at Ajax.
Chelsea’s settlement with Lyon reportedly consists of an choice to purchase Traore again for an unspecified quantity, however he mentioned that he’s targeted solely on establishing himself at his new membership.
“To be one of many key gamers within the group, you want to struggle, and right here, I am going to do every part to be amongst them,” he added. “I am going to give every part for the membership.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Comply with him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.