Chelsea FC fans are facing a dilemma. The Blues have a player that appears to be contributing very little to the team. If it’s not an injury, it’s a benching and Armando Broja is quickly running out of good vibes to survive on. With a new manager recently installed for the new Premier League season and European football clubs sniffing around the striker, maybe it’s time for Broja to put away his blue shirt?
It seems that’s what the fans want, but like a politician doing donuts in a car park, the new manager, Mauricio Pochettino has u-turned on his stance on the matter. What led to this decision? And where would Broja go if we were to see him leave Chelsea? We explore.
Who is Broja?
22-year-old Chelsea striker, Armando Broja, was once the prodigy of The Blues, winning the u18 Premier League, U18 Premier League Cup and FA Youth Cup in the same 2017-2018 season. He signed his first professional contract with Chelsea in 2020 and quickly made a name for himself with a professional debut game that resulted in a 4-0 defeat of Everton.
However, Albanians would know him as their national football treasure, having served on the Albanian national team in 2020 and scored the only goal for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Hungary.
Under new management…
In May of this year, it was confirmed that Chelsea would be getting a new head coach for the 2023-2024 Premier League, that being Mauricio Pochettino. The former Paris Saint-Germain manager will be taking over for Frank Lampard who left at the end of the latest season.
With his installation, new talk of changes in the team emerged and people were on sports betting sites like 32Red sport betting on the outcome of Broja’s contract. The manager’s opinion of Broja wasn’t clear to begin with, with less solid mutterings about his performance uttered but actions speak louder than words.
In December of 2022 it was announced that Broja would miss a majority of the Premier League 2022-2023 season due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, or to those of us without an MD, a knee injury. During a friendly against Aston Villa in Abu Dhabi on the 19th of December, he was confirmed to have a rupture that would take him out of the remainder of the campaign.
Since then, Lampard has consistently benched Broja. The injury seems in the back of everyone’s mind, and the ordeal has left Broja twiddling his thumbs while watching Chelsea climb to only 11th on the table.
It’s not like Broja had nowhere to go. A lot of European clubs had expressed interest in him – and some of them got their chance to try him out on loan. Portuguese football club, Sporting CP, has expressed interest in him in the past, and he completed a stint with the Dutch club SBV Vitesse Arnhem in the 2020-2021 season, as well as a loan to Southampton during the 2021-2022 season. Additionally, there have been rumours that Broja was under the eye of Inter Milan, which would no doubt interest the Chelsea forward. However, none of the previous options have the calibre of Chelsea and would be a step down for the 22-year-old striker.
However, the fans are increasingly calling for Broja’s removal from the team. Maybe a step down is exactly what’s in store if his performance doesn’t improve.
Inter Milan’s director, Piero Ausilio, said on Wednesday that he is “very happy” with the strikers he has and has removed any hint of taking on Broja in Inter Milan. Meanwhile, Pochettino has confirmed in August that Broja is “very much a part of his plans” for the future of the club.
Maybe Broja is safe for now.