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Armando Broja: Why we in Albania are so excited about this young Chelsea striker

For club and country, Armando Broja is establishing himself as among Europe's brightest young players.

The Albanian striker is enjoying a first serious shot at first team football with Chelsea, having come through the academy at a junior age. The stepping stones from successful loans with Vitesse Arnhem and Southampton, see him well prepared for this season's chance with his formative club. With Vitesse, Armando played 30 matches and scored 10 goals, while at Southampton - his first experience in the Premier League - he scored six goals in 32 matches.

Over the summer, such was Broja's growing reputation, many teams expressed interest in buying the youngster. The likes of Everton and West Ham mentioned as suitors over the close season market. But after some reflection, with both the club and former manager Thomas Tuchel, it was decided Broja would stay and be given a chance to establish himself as one of the senior strikers of Chelsea.

To reinforce this decision, the club extended the player's contract until 2028. The words of the new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly reaffirming Broja's reputation: “We are delighted Armando has committed to Chelsea. He is a young and exciting striker and a big part of our plans moving forward."

Despite his youth, thanks to his performances on the pitch, his dedication, hardwork and passion for the club, Broja is becoming a favourite of the Chelsea fans. Indeed, with every game, there has been growing demand from supporters that Broja be more involved.

During the reign of Tuchel, the Albanian was gradually introduced, but now with the new coach of Chelsea, Graham Potter, he is playing more and more. Broja was given his first Chelsea start against Brentford and also scored his first Chelsea goal against Wolves.

With Chelsea this season, he's played nine matches in the Premier League and three matches in Champions League. With his performances on the pitch the praise and compliments for Broja are increasing from both the UK and abroad. Indeed, it emerged earlier this month that Broja's lawyer had been seen at AC Milan's HQ, Casa Milan, to meet with Rossonero directors. Local media insisting Milan's technical chief Paolo Maldini holds a keen interest in Broja.

But it's not only at club level where Broja is creating a stir. Here in Albania, we know we have a player of great potential. Broja is becoming every day more and more important for the Albanian national team. He is becoming more and more central in the idea and project of an Albanian team wishing to qualify for the Euro 2024 in Germany.

And for Broja, over these past few weeks, we at have managed to collect important words of encouragement from important figures inside the Albanian football world.

The former Albania Euro 2016 coach Gianni De Biasi told us: “Broja, I don't know him, but he has technical and physical qualities that are extraordinary, he needs to continue to work hard and give every minute he plays 100% for the team.

"But for him I would say that I would love to have players like him in my team."

The opinion of the former captain of Albania, Rudi Vata, on Armando is: “We are very lucky to have him and meantime he has to perform and work very hard to keep a place in the team and that's not easy.

"But he is there (at Chelsea) and working hard and I am sure Broja can have an important role and become an important member of his team and so I wish Armando very best of luck."

Another legend inside Albanian football is Nevil Dede, who also says of Broja: “When I first saw Broja, I thought he was from another nation and race not like us because I have seen some qualities in him that I hadn't ever seen before.

"He has a great speed in comparison to other Albanian players, I haven't ever seen someone with this qualities. Then we should see how fast he will develop or mature, the only thing that I wish for him is that he has his health and as many minutes as possible.

"He is at a great club where he can be developed and become a very important player, he's also at this age is our most important player for Albania."

Whether it be for club or country, we here in Albania know we're watching something very special develop in the form of Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

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Xhulio Zeneli

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