‘It was very tough to take’ – Arsenal forward recalls pain of Chelsea rejection

Photo: Getty images

Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah may be impressing for the Gunners this season, the 23 year old was actually released from Chelsea as a teenager.

Nketiah spent seven years in the Chelsea academy, scoring lots of goals but was released by the Blues in 2015, something he admits was very tough to take, despite being picked up by Arsenal shortly after.

According to Nketiah, he was released by Chelsea due to his size, as Chelsea considered him too small and physically underdeveloped for his age.

“I’d played a season of proper football for the local Sunday team, the Hillyfielders, and I was loving it and that kind of continued into Chelsea — had good trials, played well, scoring throughout the age groups,” Nketiah told The Athletic.

On his release from Chelsea, he added: “I was physically underdeveloped, small for my age, and it felt like a big moment because growing up in a sporting area, everyone knows you’re the young player who plays for Chelsea, and it almost becomes part of your identity. So it’s very tough to take it and let go.”