Arsenal midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide has revealed that he is thankful to the Gunners for signing him from Lens else he would have been plying his trade in France's second division this season. The Ligue 1 club were going through some financial problems and spent the major part of the campaign in the bottom three, eventually being relegated to Ligue 2.
Jeff made a brilliant start to his Arsenal career, notching up an assist for Theo Walcott against Wolfsburg at the Emirates Cup. However, first team chances have been hard to come by since, especially with the player spending a considerable amount of time on the sidelines while nursing an injury.
"Lens had followed me for a while," Adelaide told Arsenal's official website. "They came to supervise me in a district tournament where I was voted best player on the pitch.
"They came to my house to discuss things with my parents. Everything went really quick [after that]. Lens were in Ligue 1 and had a bit of a financial problem. They didn't have enough players to be competitive.
"We were in the bottom three for most of the season and didn't manage to save the club from relegation. I was lucky Arsenal came [in for me]. I could have been a Ligue 2 player in France. I'm so grateful to be here."
The Frenchman has been on the Arsenal bench in the last few games to fill in for the plethora of injuries in the Arsenal side at the moment. The 17-year-old is an unlikely addition to the first team squad and is likely to be sent back to training with the youth team once the Gunners have their players back from the treatment table. Arsene Wenger may be enticed to give him a chance against Sunderland in the third round of the FA Cup at the Emirates, with the player still waiting for his first senior appearance.
The Arsenal manager is likely to rest a lot of key players in the game, especially with a bevy of important fixtures coming up, not least against Liverpool, Stoke City and Chelsea in their next three games.
"I think I need to improve every single day when I train, show that I'm focused and concentrating and show that I want to succeed. I need to show I will never give up, then, if one day I get my chance, it is my duty to show the coach to put his trust in me. Then I will fight to regularly be in the first team."