Burnley have confirmed the signing of former Chelsea defender Richard Nartey.
Nartey spent 13 years at Chelsea without ever making his senior debut. After a loan spell at Burton Albion last season, the Blues released him over the summer.
The 22-year-old has been looking for a new club ever since, and he has found an opportunity with Burnley.
The Clarets have been allowing Nartey to train and play with their Under-23 team recently. He has done enough to earn a contract at Turf Moor – although Burnley have not specified how long for.
An FA Youth Cup winner in 2017, Nartey has impressed Burnley thanks to his ability to play anywhere across the back line.
The defender admits he is relieved to have finally found a new club after not being able to complete last season with Burton before being released by Chelsea.
“It’s a relief,” Nartey told Burnley’s website. “After the whole Covid situation I was just happy getting back into the swing of it.
“Burnley let me come originally, just to get fit, which I was always grateful for, regardless. Now I’ve signed here is a great feeling for me.
“Everyone here made me feel like I had been here for years. I felt comfortable settling down and they have been a huge help in making me feel comfortable up here.
“You reach an age at Chelsea where you want to break through. The loan last year helped me a lot but coming here with that family feeling I feel like I have a direction of where I’m going and progression. I think it’s a new chapter in my life.”
Nartey hoping for first team opportunities
While he has been a member of the Under-23 squad during his trial period, Nartey thinks he has a chance of turning out for the senior team if injuries arise.
However, he thinks the experience and fitness he has been building up at academy level have been invaluable to him recently.
“It’s been really helpful, especially getting me back into the swing of things, given I was out for about six months with no training or anything, just trying to keep fit,” he added.
“The lads here have driven me on a bit more, as well, which has been great.
“What I’ve learned here is that if you do everything they say you should do and you back yourself technically then you never know what can happen.
“There is a small (first team) squad and there can be injuries and if you just keep your head down and keep going, you never know.”