Tosin Adarabioyo breaks silence on his move to Chelsea and Enzo Maresca message

Tosin Adarabioyo breaks silence on his move to Chelsea and Enzo Maresca message

Tosin Adarabioyo has opened up on his move to Chelsea after becoming the first transfer to be completed under Enzo Maresca. The Blues announced the deal to bring the Fulham defender to Stamford Bridge on Friday.

He signs a four-year deal and will officially move clubs at the end of his contract later this month. It means that there is no transfer fee to play for the 26-year-old.

“Chelsea is a huge club and this is a full-circle moment for me,” he said upon the announcement. “I was born three miles away from Stamford Bridge and made my professional debut there.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to helping push the club in the direction we want to go.” Adarabioyo is also the oldest player Chelsea have signed since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined on loan on deadline day in the summer of 2022. He immediately becomes the fourth oldest player in the squad behind Raheem Sterling, Marcus Betinelli, and Ben Chilwell.

He is now hoping to have success with his new teammates. “Growing up, Chelsea has always been a club that have performed well and one that have had great players and teams to watch,” he told the club website. “Chelsea have won big trophies and long may it continue.

“I’m here to win. I want to win. It’s as simple as that really. I just want to keep working and pushing the team and the club in the direction we want to go in. I’m excited to get going.”

Like a growing number of the staff at Chelsea, Adarabioyo has experience at Manchester City having come through the academy. There he was at the same team as Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia, Joe Shields, and Laurence Stewart. Maresca himself was even coach of the development team for a brief period whilst Adarabioyo was principally on the books.

Such are the newfound ties between Chelsea and City, Aradabioyo’s debut even came at the Bridge in 2016. He started an FA Cup quarter-final for Manuel Pellegrini at SW6 in a heavily rotated side that was beaten 5-1.

“If you can’t beat them, join them,” he laughed. ‘‘Chelsea have always had a best-in-class reputation, so I know what this club is all about.

“I came up against a full-strength Chelsea squad that day – it was amazing! A tough game but to make my debut against the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian was a great experience.

‘‘I played quite well and was named Man City’s player of the match which was nice.” He will now be reunited with a familiar bunch of faces at Chelsea, including Raheem Sterling and new assistant manager Willy Caballero. “‘I spent two or three years with Raz and Willy, and I spent most of my youth journey with Cole,” he explained.

“Before confirming the move, I gave Raz and Cole a call and they had nothing but positive things to say about the club and the project, and how excited they were that I was coming to the club.

“Cole is younger than me but I remember him from younger days alongside a few of the other boys that I’ve met along the way like Ben Chilwell – Chilly and I were both captains in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals. I also know Trevoh Chalobah and Armando Broja because he spent time at Fulham.”

Following loans at West Brom and Blackburn as well as his time a stone’s throw across west London, Adarabioyo sees himself as ready for the step-up. “I’ve developed leaps and bounds,’ he said. “I’ve become a man and established myself as a top Premier League centre-half. That’s why I’ve joined Chelsea.

“Being a leader comes to me naturally. It’s something that is required of a centre-half. It’s an important responsibility. I want to come here and push the boys on as much as we can.”

He finished: “I’m looking forward to starting work with Enzo and I’m sure the boys are too. It’s going to be exciting. We’re going to play good football and win a lot of games. There are top players in this squad and I’m eager to play with them all.”

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