‘This is not academy football’ — Highly rated Broja admits

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Chelsea’s Academy graduate Armando Broja is a top talent and many believe he has a bright future ahead of him.

The 19-year-old has been touted as an alternative if the club are unable to sign a top striker this summer.

After graduating from academy football, Broja went on loan to Vitesse Arnhem last season and netted 10 goals for Vitesse and was joint-topscorer for the Dutch side.

Broja has now admitted that playing men’s football is way different from what he was used to in the academy.

He told the official Chelsea website: “I thought it was a good season personally and as a team we had a very good season as well. Not many people expected us to do so well.

“I really enjoyed it. It was my first time out on loan, it was a great experience for me to develop as a player, understand senior football and go out there and play with actual men in a good, competitive league.

“It was very good for me to develop player-wise and develop as a man, living on my own away from family and everything. It was a really good stepping stone for me to start my senior career.

“When you’re in the Academy like me, you don’t actually know what it feels like until you’re out there. I could definitely tell the difference in the speed of the way they train, the way they play, the way they move the ball, the way the other team press.

“You can definitely tell straight away you’re not playing academy football anymore, you’re playing senior football against men who have families they’re making a living for. I came from the Academy and went straight to learn in a different country, so I had to adapt quickly, but I think it was successful.”

It’s yet to be seen if Broja will leave on loan this summer, as he has impressed Thomas Tuchel so far in pre-season. With Olivier Giroud gone and Tammy Abraham likely to leave, there may be a role for Broja in the Chelsea team next season.

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.