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Boga hints at €15m Chelsea return as Blues mull over triggering buyback clause

15:04 GMT 20/03/2020
Jeremie Boga Sassuolo
The Ivory Coast international winger departed Stamford Bridge in the summer window of 2018, but could be brought back from Sassuolo two years on

Jeremie Boga has hinted that he could return to Chelsea, as the Blues hold a €15 million (£14m/$16m) buyback option in his contract at Sassuolo, with a second stint at Stamford Bridge always part of his long-term plan.

The 23-year-old winger was first acquired by the Blues in 2009 as he was added to a famed academy system in west London.

Progress was made into the first-team fold, but just one competitive appearance was taken in.

Fierce competition for places forced Boga to go in search of game time elsewhere, with loan spells enjoyed at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham.

Eventually, in the summer of 2018, a permanent move was made as the Ivory Coast international traded life in England for that in Italy.

He has thrived in Serie A, with eight goals recorded through 24 outings in the current campaign, and he is registering on recruitment radars across Europe once more.

It has been suggested that Chelsea will take up their first refusal on Boga, with it possible that exits as free agents for the likes of Willian and Pedro will free up space for another wide man.

Boga told The Athletic: “When I was there, it was Willian, [Eden] Hazard, Pedro. When Jose Mourinho was there, it was [Mohamed] Salah.

“There were a lot of good wingers. For me, it has always been if I can't play, then I will try to go on loan or try to go somewhere to improve, then maybe come back one day.”

Boga believes he has taken the right career path, with Sassuolo proving to be a productive breeding ground.

The likes of Merih Demiral, Simeone Zaza, Stefano Sensi and Kevin Prince-Boateng have all passed through the club, with Boga among the latest to be planning another step up the ladder.

He added: “It’s a top club for young players who want to have game time or have a team where they can come and impress and then go to a bigger team.

“Sassuolo is the perfect club for them.”

They are also a side that has granted Boga the freedom to express himself and learn his trade.

He believes he has improved considerably during his two seasons in Italy, with greater consistency added to his game when it comes to decision-making in the final third of the field.

Boga added on being a forward that likes to get at defenders: “That’s my style but over the years, I think I’ve improved.

“Before, I used to force it. If there were three players, I’d still try and do something. Now, if there are three players, I’ll look for a one-two or a pass. But every time there’s a one-against-one for me, an opportunity to go past a player, then I take it.”