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Exclusive: Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga admits missing Chelsea amid buy-back talk

Jeremie Boga admits he misses Chelsea, but adds that he now feels settled after a full season at Sassuolo.

Boga arrived at the Blues academy in 2008 as an 11-year-old when his family moved from Marseille to London.

A pacy attacker, who can also operate in midfield, Boga impressed mightily during his time at the academy and was rewarded with an unused substitute appearance against Sunderland on the last day of the 2014/15 season.

Like so many Chelsea youths, Boga entered a period of serial loans, the first being at Rennes for the 2015/16 season, in which he made 31 first-team appearances.

Spells at Granada and Birmingham City followed before Boga finally made the decision to leave Chelsea permanently when he joined Serie A side Sassuolo in the summer of 2018.

He has since established himself as a first-team regular in Italy, and in an exclusive interview with Tribalfootball, Boga said he has learned to deal with the sadness of leaving his long-time home in West London.

"Yes, it's true that during the first year after I left the club I was missing it a little, having spent 10 years there," Boga said.

"Especially given all the kicks, all my family, all the friends I had there.

"It's true that the first year was a little bit hard, but it's better now. I've managed to cope with it."

It would be easy to feel bitter about the emergence of a number of Chelsea academy players this season.

The likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Kurt Zouma and Fiyako Tomori have all grasped their opportunities this season after Frank Lampard was unable to sign players in the summer due to a transfer ban.

But Boga insists he feels nothing but joy for his former teammates and revealed he has contacted them to express his congratulations.

"I keep in touch with many young Chelsea players. Many, in fact. Kurt Zouma, Michy Batshuayi, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, the majority of young players.

"And when I see them on the pitch, I feel very happy for them and truly proud because most of them, actually, all of them deserve to be where they are today."

Unlike many who have spent time in the Chelsea loan army, Boga managed to make his one and only appearance for the first-team in the 2017/18 season.

Recent reports in England have suggested Chelsea could trigger a buy-back clause in Boga's contract after his impressive performances for Sassuolo. Barcelona have also shown an interest in the 22-year-old, according to Sport.

But the Ivory Coast international insists he is not determined to return to England.

He continued: "It's true that many players dream of the Premier League. But it is not necessarily my case.

"I think it's a very big championship and yet even though it remains a big championship for me, it's not the one that I particularly dream about."

Boga's immediate future lies with Sassuolo, who are currently enjoying their fifth straight season in the Italian top-flight.

The Modena-based club have wowed spectators under the manage of Roberto De Zerbi, who Boga speaks of with great esteem.

"His manner of playing is perfect for me. This is because he is one of those rare people who always like having the ball and who are fond of playing a possession game.

"As for me, being a striker is perfect as I have a lot of freedom and I can fully enjoy the pitch."

Asked to explain Sassuolo as a club, Boga concluded: "I would personally say that Sassuolo is a club which is really very friendly.

"A club where everyone understands each other perfectly. And the atmosphere is also very good. In terms of football itself, it is a club which truly likes playing football. And the coach's personality matters a lot. I think this is what best sums up what Sassuolo is."

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