Bucking the trend being set by his fellow Academy graduates, young striker Armando Broja did not choose to leave Chelsea this summer. On quite the contrary, he put pen to paper on a new contract extension, tying him to the club for the next five years, until 2026.
For the 19-year-old, the decision was a no-brainer as he gets to keep playing for his favorite club while not having to worry about his future. He’s literally one of us, just living that Chelsea dream.
“I’ve been at Chelsea since I was a very young boy, it’s my dream club, I support Chelsea. I’ve been through the whole system with the Academy and so I understand the club really well.
“I’ve always had a very close bond with Chelsea, since I was a little kid. I supported Chelsea and used to go to all the games, so it’s nice to sign a long-term contract with the club I love and I’m looking forward to the years ahead with Chelsea.
“It’s nice to get that side of football out of the way so I can just concentrate on myself and my team-mates and what’s in front of us. So I’m happy that I managed to do it early and now I can just focus on my football without any stress.”
There is of course no requirement or expectation for a player’s personal interests to align with their business or career interests, but when they do, it tends to make for a better story — just as with the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, or Tammy Abraham. Though Abraham’s future is far from certain at the club, which incidentally could clear a path for Broja to make an impact.
But it doesn’t have be one or the other. The Slough-born Albania international, who has been with the club since the under-9 level, is in fact picking up some good tips from the man four years and 175 appearances his senior.
“Before we had Olivier Giroud, who’s obviously left now. He’s a top, top striker but there’s a difference because Tammy went through the Academy so he understands what I’m going through as well, because he’s already done everything that I’m doing.
“He gives me advice all the time and tells me what’s good, what’s bad, how I can learn, how I can do better. Tammy’s a really good guy, a nice role model. He tries to help me out as much as possible and I try to learn from him and the other players, because there are Champions League winners in the squad, everyone here is a top player. It’s just nice to be around people you can learn from.”
-Armando Broja; source: Chelsea FC
Broja certainly sounds like he’s keeping reasonable expectations and a level head, even if that means another year out on loan, to keep honing his skills. No one really knows what the future may hold, but he looks to be on the right track for a good career, and hopefully in Chelsea Blue.