Amidst all the high profile departures and changes at Chelsea this summer, we have one that’s almost a footnote, which is certainly not how anyone might have expected Charly Musonda’s time at the club to end when he arrived ten years ago with plenty oh hype and hope and perhaps a few delusions of grandeur, even. Then again, you’ve got to dream big to make it in this crazy world of professional football. And young Charly certainly dreamed big.
Alas, it was not meant to be. The one time wunderkind leaves with perhaps more Instagram account resets and full wipes than appearances (7), though he did manage a goal, on his full debut nonetheless. Few have celebrated goals to put us 3-0 ahead against lower league opposition in an early round domestic cup match than Charly did against Nottingham Forest back in 2017. As he says in his lengthy farewell post on Instagram, it was the “fulfillment of a dream” and he left no doubt about how much that meant to him.
Unfortunately, those dreams turned into nightmares, with failed loans, lack of opportunities, and, more importantly, injuries. The 25-year-old has spent most of the part four years dealing with knee problems, surgeries, rehab, and bad prognoses. Many others might have given up. He has not.
So while his fight will continue not in a Blue shirt, we wish him all the very best of luck. Perhaps we’ll meet again someday.
Good luck, Charly!
Full text, as transcribed by Metro:
“It seems like yesterday I was arriving at Cobham, and that Chelsea football club welcomed me and my family to my new home. It has now been 10 years since that day and today, as the season ends, that journey has come to an end.
“I had the privilege of being part of, and being able to learn in, such an incredible organisation in world football, and in the process had the opportunity of winning all that was possible at youth level within the club and country playing a part of an important chapter at Cobham – and more importantly doing so while growing as a person.
“From the ages of 15 until 21, I worked extremely hard to make my professional debut at Chelsea, at a time in which it was extremely difficult to do so, and I will always be thankful for the opportunity to have been able to play at the Bridge wearing the blue shirt, which is never a given or should never be taken for granted, particularly from where I come from.
“In all honestly, I would be lying if I said that I thought I would be leaving this way and even more so if I thought that I would go four years without playing football after my knee injury.
“The people who know me, know how much football has meant to me since I started playing from the age of five and for me not to be able to play for four years has been heartbreaking. There is no other way to put it, it’s been soul wrenching.
“Particularly because football is the only thing that I perhaps love more or as much as my family, or because I worked so hard the first six years at the club for one goal which was always to play for Chelsea. Never wanting or demanding to leave, partly because I really believed I could and would [play for Chelsea again] until the last day.
“I fell in love with the club and the fans; people always say Chelsea fans don’t make noise in the stadium but I can assure you, the fans are amongst the best in the world and they have been unbelievable with me always – which is rare for a player who hasn’t even started more than once.
“I want to thank Adi Viveash, the late Dermot Drummy and Joe Edwards for developing me. I want to thank Antonio Conte for giving me an opportunity to fulfil a dream. I want to thank all my teammates I had along the way at youth level and in the first team, all of those who reached out when I was injured too. Sport is all about camaraderie and pushing ourselves to better one another, we can’t achieve anything without our teammates and opponents.
“I am extremely proud of all the boys I grew up with that are playing and representing the academy for Chelsea: Andreas, Rueb, Reece, Mase, Trevor. And across England and Europe at several levels: Tammy, Jeremie, Ake, Ola, Fikayo, Dion Conroy, Houghton, Swifty, Baker, Marc Guehi, T Lamptey, Billy, Jay Da Silva, Mukhtar, Wright and many more.’
“What the future in football holds or where is still unknown, but what I do know is that while being injured I discovered my mental strength is my fortitude, not talent. Another thing that’s for certain is I will be back playing next season.”