Chelsea forward Armando Broja is hoping to make a first-team impact after signing a new long-term deal at Stamford Bridge.
The 20-year-old has been with Chelsea since the age of eight. He came up through the youth ranks before inking his first professional deal in February 2020. The Albania international made his debut just a month later, playing the final four minutes of a 4-0 victory over Everton.
However, with competition at Stamford Bridge fierce, it seemed inevitable that he would be loaned out to gain experience. The talented forward spent the 2020-2021 campaign with Dutch club Vitesse, bagging ten goals from 30 Eredivisie appearances.
And he was loaned to Premier League side Southampton last term, enjoying 21 starts and 32 top-flight outings. The Slough-born ace found the net on six occasions in the league for Saints, with nine goals overall.
He signed a five-year deal with Chelsea in July 2021. However, strong rumours suggested the Blues were willing to let him go to Everton this summer in an attempt to sign Toffees star Anthony Gordon.
That move failed to happen on deadline day and Broja has now signed a new contract until 2028.
Having potentially been close to an exit, the man with four international caps admitted his joy at the new deal.
“I’m lost for words really just thinking about it,” he told the Chelsea website. “It’s the club I’ve dreamed of playing for my whole life. The club that I support and the club that I love.
“I’ve been here since I was a boy so it’s a surreal feeling for me and my family. To be able to put on the blue shirt with the first team is a dream come true.”
Broja ready to repay Tuchel faith
Despite his tender years and the talent Chelsea have in their ranks, Broja has seen action this season. He has racked up three substitute appearances in the league.
And, having caught the eye of manager Thomas Tuchel, the youngster is eager to play a part in the club’s success.
“It’s amazing every minute that you get to play on the pitch because this is one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he added. “There’s always competition and everyone wants to play. So I’m just happy that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.
“Hopefully I get to play a lot of matches and be a part of the team’s success.”
Chelsea are in action against West Ham United on Saturday as they look to bounce back from Tuesday’s loss at Southampton. Broja is unlikely to be handed a starting berth but the manager clearly feels he can have an impact off the bench late in games.