Last summer, Jean Michaël Seri almost signed for Barcelona from OGC Nice, validating his own rising star as one of the best midfielders in Ligue 1. For one reason or another, that move fell through and twelve months later, Barca were no longer interested. But other big teams were, including Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City — a veritable who’s who of Premier League Big Sixers and surely a dream destination for any footballer looking to play in England and make a truckload of cash.
And then Seri signed with newly promoted Fulham instead.
Perhaps in a nod to the recently departed Aretha Franklin, Seri says the decision all came down to just a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Let’s find out what it means to him.
“Fulham [really] wanted me. They said, ‘We want you, come to Fulham’. Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, they saw me but they didn’t say, ‘We want you’. Because Fulham gave me this respect, although other clubs wanted me, I wanted to sign for Fulham.”
“Fulham said to my president, ‘We want Mica Seri, talk to him if he’s interested because we know Chelsea, Manchester want him and he almost signed for Barcelona but we are back in the Premier League’. My president calls me, he says, ‘Fulham want you, do you want to go?’ I say, ‘If they want me, they respect me’. The big clubs want me but Fulham show they want me.”
-Jean Michäel Seri; Source: Metro
And so, the 27-year-old is now the big fish at the little Cottage instead of just another midfielder at any of the big teams. There is a reason Fulham wanted him so badly, after all. Fair play to Seri of course; most footballers will take the paycheck and the chance for ultimate glory, but he chose playing time and respect.
And we can certainly respect that.
Meanwhile, as much as we would’ve loved to see Seri sign for Chelsea, things probably worked out a-ok with Jorginho and Kovačić and Loftus-Cheek getting added to last year’s squad.