Jeff Reine-Adelaide recently moved to Lyon for €25m just one season after Arsenal sold him for £1.44m to Angers and his brother did not mince his words when asked about the Frenchman’s time in London.
Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s talent has always been clear to those who’ve watched him throughout his career. Manchester City even tried to sign him when he was just 12-years-old but Arsenal managed to land the youngster in 2015 when he was still only 17.
They didn’t keep him, though, and when Unai Emery arrived last summer, The Jeff was one of a number of players and staff shown the door.
“I only have positive things to say about my time at Arsenal,” JRA said a few months after signing for Angers. “I trained with great players, known around the world. I played a few games, and I met a golden coach in Arsène Wenger.
“He taught me many things. I think I learnt how to be mentally strong there. It wasn’t always easy. He always helped me, always talked to me, before or after training, to tell me I was young and it would happen one day or another.
“He helped me progress as a player but also as a young man. It’s important for the manager to help people become men. I don’t know if he’ll take over another team, but I hope for him that it happens.”
However, he previously admitted he’d had a difficult time at Arsenal. “The difference was sort of made last year,” he said last summer in remarks that are perhaps more raw and honest. “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.”
He certainly did that when he sealed a permanent move to Angers and now his brother has weighed in his time at Arsenal.
“Not everything was easy for him there,” Jonathan Reine-Adelaide told Le Parisien. “He has been through very difficult times. He was not in competition with the others. He did not have his chance. He was considered young. He lived very badly.
“At one time, I was afraid that he does not have the ability to bounce back. He took so many blows to the head [with Arsenal].”
Although Arsenal had a matching clause in their contract with Angers, they opted to pocket an additional €5m through their sell-on clause rather than bring the midfielder back to the club.
You can’t help but wonder how much the Jeff’s next move will be for and how cheap €25m will seem when that happens…