Chelsea defender admits visa issues denied him joining up with Arsenal

Chelsea loanee Baba Rahman has claimed that he tried to travel to train with Arsenal after being offered a trial previously, only to be denied a visa whilst he was a teenager.

The left-back will be hoping to enjoy some playing time during the the World Cup this week, with his country set to take on Portugal in their opening game on Thursday, with the tournament having begun yesterday when hosts Qatar lost to Ecuador 2-0.

Ghana have a strong squad of options, with a number of top players playing across Europe, and while Rahman may not be one of their key players at this moment, he could well have been if not for a number of injury setbacks.

The 28 year-old joined Chelsea back in 2015 at the age of 21 and was picking up minutes regularly under Jose Mourinho, but the Portuguese was eventually moved on in December 2015, with Gus Hiddink brought in to see out the season. Antonio Conte had other ideas on his squad when coming in the following summer however, and opted to send the pacey Ghanaian out on loan to Schalke, where he was able to enjoy his football once again, but that was shortlived as he recalls the devastating injury which redirected his career.

“I was flying at the time, (on loan) at Schalke,” Rahman told Nizaar Kinsella. “It was a horrible feeling. I was 22 and now, boom, I’m 28! I still have these flashbacks, you know?

My first (operation), the surgeon literally said to my agent that I should be happy if I get back to playing because of the complications in the knee.

“When I arrived in Germany, I was just going up, up, up. Then, all of a sudden; down, down, down. It was difficult to get back, you have an injury that was meant to be, like, eight months and you end up doing years (out of the game).”

The attacking full-back added that he had previously been setback by visa issues also, having been offered a trial with Arsenal when he was a teenager, but denied the chance to travel.

“I missed out on the trial because I didn’t have a visa to the UK,” Rahman adds, explaining why a potential dream move to Arsenal slipped through his fingers while still a teenager. “I got denied a visa. But, one way or another, I found myself in London.”

This tournament could well be his chance to prove to the world that he is still a player who deserves to be playing at a higher level, but for now, he continues to be one of many Chelsea loanees, with him currently residing with Reading in the English Championship until the end of the season.


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