Jeff Reine-Adelaide has spoken out on his ‘difficult’ time with Arsenal, after completing his summer move to Angers on a permanent transfer.
Reine-Adelaide didn’t initially appear to be on the way out of Arsenal when pre-season began. He took part in the club’s early friendly against Boreham Wood, then the behind-closed-doors match against Crawley Town, and scored on both occasions.
Then he was surprisingly excluded from the pre-season tour of Singapore, and left for Angers not long later. He explained why in an interview with France Football.
“The difference was sort of made last year,” he said. “It was not easy to leave Arsenal, but the loan to Angers from February to May was key. Here, I have landmarks. I was shown a confidence that tipped the balance.
“Regrets with Arsenal? No. It was difficult for me to stay there for three years, knowing that I almost never played and only participated in training. I am no longer a hope [for the future]. This is the seventeen-year-old kid who arrives at the Gunners with his share of promises. This is the moment to explode for me, to show all my talent.”
The comments make sense as an explanation for Jeff’s departure. Even under Arsene Wenger, who brought the Frenchman to the club, he didn’t play particularly regularly at all. Now Unai Emery is in charge, and there are no more guarantees of game time for him than before.
If he feels more important to the team at Angers you can understand his decision to leave.
The right decision by Arsenal?
At the same time, it’s also fairly clear why Arsenal didn’t make more of an effort to keep Reine-Adelaide. Although he always has the ability to do something individually that catches the eye, and he shows a lot of strength on the ball, he often seemed to dwell on it a bit too long for an Arsenal player.
Add in the injury struggles he’s consistently had to deal with in recent years and it was a gamble whether he’d progress in the way he’d need to, if he wanted to play for the Arsenal first-team. We’ll see how he does at Angers.