CHELSEA striker Armando Broja is a man in demand.
The 20-year-old Albanian striker enjoyed a successful loan at Southampton last season – which has prompted interest from London rivals West Ham, who are fighting to sign him in a £30million deal.
However, recent reports suggest Thomas Tuchel wants to keep his man at the club, after impressing.
Last year, Broja signed a five-year deal with the club. He grew up idolising club legend Didier Drogba. And if that’s not enough the powerful striker was plucked from bitter rivals Spurs when he was a youngster.
TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
After playing for his local club Burnham Juniors, Broja went on trial to Reading.
He trained there, but wanted bigger and better things.
Broja also played with the Fulham academy, and impressed coaches so much he was placed in a team with players on scholarship deals.
But it was Premier League giants Tottenham who were the first to secure a deal with Broja.
“I went to a tournament with Burnham Juniors and there was a Spurs scout there watching,” he told Chelseafc.com.
“He actually came to watch another player in my team but I ended up winning Player of the Tournament and he took me on instead, so I went to Tottenham and signed for them.”
MOVE TO THE BLUES
In youth games, Broja starred against Chelsea.
Immediately, the west London giants wanted the youngster to join their academy after being impressed by his ability.
“I was at Spurs for two years from Under-8s until the end of Under-9s and in those two years, we played Chelsea a lot and they really liked me as a player and that’s when I joined the Academy,” he said.
Like many aspiring Chelsea star, Broja’s footballing idol is Ivory Coast hero Drogba.
“My Chelsea idol is Didier Drogba,” he said.
“He was a machine, very strong, a great finisher and he had an amazing career.
“At Chelsea, he achieved so much and he was always the one to produce in the big games.”
Broja also grew up watching clips of Brazilian legend Ronaldo.
“My dad first introduced me to him and I watched so many of his clips,” he said.
“He was strong, fast, two-footed, he had everything. That’s who I aspire to be like.”
Broja finally made his Chelsea debut under old boss Frank Lampard in 2020.
He then spent the 20/21 campaign on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored 11 times.
And last season managed nine goals in 38 games in all competitions for the Saints.
With time still to go until the end of the transfer window, time will tell where his future lies. And it might be away from Stamford Bridge where he will have to flourish.