Former Arsenal youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide has opened up on how Unai Emery told him his services were not required by the Gunners.
The 21-year-old left north London last summer upon the arrival of Emery in the Emirates dugout and has since flourished in Ligue 1.
Why did Reine-Adelaide leave? Five key things to know…
- Having progressed through the Lens academy, Reine-Adelaide joined Arsenal in 2015.
- Across his three seasons in England, the Frenchman made just eight senior appearances in all competitions.
- He was loaned out to Angers in 2017/18 and made his move permanent last summer.
- In 2018/19 Reine-Adelaide featured in 35 Ligue 1 matches, scoring three times, registering three assists, and completing the fifth-most dribbles of any player (94).
- He has now shed light on Emery’s decision to let him go.
Having enjoyed a productive loan spell with Angers for the second half of the 2017/18 season, Reine-Adelaide made his move at the Stade Raymond Kopa permanent last summer.
Across 2018/19 the incisive winger played a prominent role as Les Scoistes finished a commendable 13th-place in the French top flight, culminating in a call-up for the France Under-21 squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Reine-Adelaide’s rapid rise has now put the spotlight on Emery for letting the youngster leave so willingly, and he believes he simply was not afforded enough opportunities to showcase his worth.
“It is true that I would like to speak a little less of Arsenal. I was young. It was complicated,” he told Goal.
“There was so much competition that it was difficult to get into the coach’s line-up.
“He [Emery] told me that the club did not rely too much on me. I took a blow, but Angers were on the lookout. It was a new chance, a new beginning. The train does not pass often and I was happy to get back in the right car.”
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‘Pogba and Diaby my role models’
Reine-Adelaide went on to discuss which players have influenced his game the most, revealing how former Arsenal star Abou Diaby and current Manchester United midfield Paul Pogba were his main inspirations growing up.
Nominally a winger, the Champigny-sur-Marne-born forward has been deployed in a playmaker role at various points across the season by manager Stephane Moulin, which may explain comparisons to his midfield compatriots.
“I watch a lot what Pogba does, with Manchester or in France,” he added. “Before, there was also Abdou Diaby. He is a player who has always impressed me. He was one of the best at his job.
“There are plenty of others, but Pogba and Diaby are the two that I have watched the most because we have the same slender profile.”