Samuel Iling-Junior has revealed that he shares no hard feelings towards his former club Chelsea after enjoying his introduction to life in Italy with Juventus over the last three years. 

The 19-year-old moved away from West London in 2020 to join Juventus’ youth division at the age of 16, having spent almost nine years on the books of Chelsea’s academy. 

In an interview with the Times, the teenager explained that he has immersed himself in Italian culture and the initial language barrier quickly ceased being a problem for the polyglot winger. 

“My Italian is very good, molto bene,” he said. “In my first few weeks I feel I picked up the football phrases quite well, like ‘man on’ and then, as you go on, you pick up a lot from your team-mates.

“I wasn’t too scared because my homeland is France, my parents are from Congo and they speak Lingala French and I learnt that when I was growing up. So, it was more of a life choice, in the sense that I could learn a new language at the same time,” 

“It’s not hard to adapt [to Italian culture]. The key word for it is class. They are very good in the way they dress and the way you approach them, if you have manners, they’ll have manners. And everyone likes to mind their business and it’s a happy city, so it’s good.”

“I do feel Italian already, but it will take a while to be fully Italian.”

On the pitch, Iling-Junior has already broken into the first team picture with Juventus and has a handful of experience in Serie A and two assists on his Champions League debut to show for it. 

The England U20 international told the Times that it had been the realisation of a childhood dream when Massimiliano Allegri gave him the nod to come on against Benfica back in October. 

“The dream of playing in the Champions League is what you talk about with your friends when you are younger. It’s what you dream of, every time you step out on to the pitch I want to be at that level,” he adds.

“I was quite relaxed because I didn’t expect to come on so when I was told to get ready, we were losing at the time, so I didn’t feel that much pressure. When I got on the ball I just did what I would normally do, dribble, or make a pass, and to be able to impact the game helped a lot.”

When asked whether it would have been easier to join another English side instead of moving to Turin, Iling-Junior replied: “Yes, definitely, but that’s the thing, in football you have to be fearless. 

“I have no bad blood with Chelsea. They will always have a special place in my heart, I grew up there, I was there from eight years old so of course they tried to keep me, but I just had my head tilted at Juventus. 

“Mostly it was because of their history. You look at the amount of trophies they’ve won and the people who have played for the club. It’s not a small club. It’s easy to be attracted to a club like Juventus, they breed winners. So it was what I needed to do to become a winner.”

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