Gerrard sends message to Chelsea's new recruit Chukwuemeka after £20m transfer
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has opened up on Chelsea's new recruit Carney Chukwuemeka, who recently completed his £20million switch to Stamford Bridge, insisting a precedent had to be set on players who are not prepared to commit themselves to the club.
The young midfielder, who drew interest from the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan, decided to move to Stamford Bridge after both Todd Boehly and Thomas Tuchel played a big part in convincing the youngster of the new project in SW6. At only 18 years old, the common perception was that like Omari Hutchinson, Chukwuemeka would be going on loan for the upcoming 2022/23 season. However, this isn't to be the case with the exciting talent expected to be in the squad that travels to Merseyside for the opening Premier League fixture against Everton.
Speaking on his move, the Villa contract rebel said: "To hear myself say I play for Chelsea Football Club means the world to me. I've been a fan of Chelsea since I was young. Playing football as a young kid was more about just loving and enjoying kicking a ball around, every young footballer dreams of playing for a big club and representing the club that they've supported so to put the badge on for the first time today is honestly an amazing feeling. I feel like I just want to bring myself, try and be unique and be a player for Chelsea that has never been seen before at this football club.
"I've already imagined walking out at Stamford Bridge, I can't till for the day it happens, people should expect me to be 100% in all I do, give my all for the club because that's what I'm going to do.
"It’s been quite hectic but I couldn’t get Chelsea out of my head the last few days so I’m just happy and relieved that it’s all done. I’m so excited and just can’t wait to get on the pitch, meet all the players and try to win games and trophies with Chelsea."
When asked about the transfer exit of the player that came from the Bodymoor Heath conveyor belt in the West Midlands, manager Steven Gerrard had good things to say about the midfielder but underlined the importance of setting a precedent for the club.
"I really enjoyed working with Carney, he’s obviously a big talent, someone who’s got big potential," Gerrard said in his pre-Bournemouth press conference via Birmingham Live.
"I think the Academy boys and when we came in, we worked ever so hard to work on his development and shape him, try and polish him up, so Chelsea are getting a big talent. We wish him well and we move forward. We’ve got a lot of talented players and we’re committed to trying to get as many through, committed to give pathways them to get first-team football.
"The door was open for a pathway for Carney, for sure, there was a lot of hard work and attention to try and get him signed up here, but I’m really happy I got the support from the owners, Christian and Johan, and we also needed to set a precedent that no-one is as big as the club or the Academy.
"And if someone isn’t committed or prepared to commit to the club, the supporters and the journey then we have to give them the opportunity to go somewhere else."
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