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Charly Musonda Jr reflects on taking his chances at Chelsea, loan stint at Betis, Eden Hazard’s tutelage

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Crystal Palace v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Following Charly Musonda Jr’s social media tantrum during the last international break, it seemed as if Chelsea were ready to end the youngster’s displeasure over the lack of playing time by sending him on a loan stint in January. However, the latest reports claim Musonda will be staying at Chelsea on the orders of manager Antonio Conte, who wants to keep the youngster at the club.

Although Musonda may find it difficult to break into the starting line-up over the trio of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian, he will certainly try to do so in the chances he does get. The youngster has already impressed in showings against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, and is now eager to do so again in tonight’s meeting with Everton.

“I was pleased with the Nottingham Forest game because it was my full debut for the club and to start at the Bridge was an unbelievable experience, and I was pleased with the result as well.”

“I enjoyed it because I think it was a good performance from me and the team as well, I was very happy to hit the ground running in my first start. My goal was a typical one for me. My goals are either close-range shooting or dribbling and shooting, and it was a good goal.”

“To be honest I was not expecting such a great atmosphere in a League Cup game but the stadium was full and I was very moved by that to be honest.”

“The Crystal Palace game was a hard day for the team, but it was still a great experience for me to come on for half an hour and have a taste of playing away in the Premier League.”

“Everton is a very big team and it is going to be a big challenge and we are looking forward to it. It is a good test for me and it will be a good test for the team to go through the competition. This is Chelsea and every competition we play in we want to win so we will do our best and hopefully we can go through to the quarter-finals.”

Musonda’s first professional experience came on loan at Spanish club Real Betis in the second half of the 2015-16 season, where he went on an impressive run of form to help save the club from relegation.

The loan was extended to a one-and-a-half-year stay the following summer, but it was cut short due to the team’s poor form, a knee injury, and Charly’s lack of playing time, in general. Upon his return to Chelsea, Musonda was set to join another club on loan, but like now, Conte decided to keep the youngster around. Even though Charly did not get many chances to play, largely due to a few injury issues, he still enjoyed the experience at Cobham.

“I went there in January 2016 and I stayed one year and the first season was great. I played a lot of football and I enjoyed it. I hit the ground running which was unexpected as it was my first experience in men’s football so I was very happy to be doing so well at the start, scoring in my second game.”

“The second season was a bit less because I was in and out but it was a great experience playing against some of the best players in the world and in one of the best leagues in the world. It has given me a push to be in the team right now here at Chelsea. It gives you more confidence to come back in the team with a lot of world-class players.”

“In January I was set to go on another loan but the manager said he wanted me to stay here, he wanted to see what I can do. He was happy with my work and I was going to get a chance when we were champions but unfortunately I got injured, but it was a great experience to be around the team.”

“Chelsea are in a lot of contact with you when you are on loan. From the start it was quite clear that the club has a lot of belief in me so I was always going to come back here and see what I could do in the first team, so they always stayed in touch with me and after big games, they give you feedback and it is great to have that regularly.”

In his time at Chelsea, Musonda has grown increasingly closer to a fellow Belgian player and attacker in Eden Hazard. And the relationship goes beyond just taking pictures for Instagram.

“Eden has taught me a lot coming through and he still teaches me a lot in training and after games. We are good friends and you saw in the game against Nottingham Forest that there is a good understanding on the pitch. I am very lucky to have a guy like him here.”

“Overall I am working more physically now. I am working on my physical condition in the gym because that is the most important, that is my next phase coming into this league. The rest is training and doing as much as I can there and taking it step-by-step.”

While we’ve only ever known the 21-year-old as Charly Musonda Jr, with the ‘junior’ added to differentiate him from his father, Charly Musonda, a former Zambia international with 48 caps to his name, it turns out that’s not where the naming story ends!

“My name is Musonda Musonda Charly Junior, and when I was young people used to think I could not be called Musonda Musonda so they started calling me Charly, which is one of my names. So people now call me Charly Musonda so I have become used to it. I wanted to put Junior at the back because I want to have my own story now but it is good people know that my dad used to play before. Hopefully I can carry on from his story and do well as well.”

-Charly Musonda; source: Chelsea FC

Now it’s time to make his name on the pitch as well.

Chances for Musonda may not have come as often as he may have liked, he can help his cause in that regard by helping the team beat Everton to advance in the League Cup today.