Chelsea starlet Bretnard Traore admits he nearly left Chelsea on loan back in January but is glad he remained at Stamford Bridge.
Traore has broken into Guus Hiddink’s first-team plans since the turn of the year, scoring four goals.
He could now be set for an extended run in the starting XI after Diego Costa was forced off with injury in the midweek defeat to Paris St-Germain.
And Burkina Faso international is now glad he stuck it out at Chelsea rather than pushed for a move away.
“I have felt comfortable since the beginning of the season,” Traore said.
“I was not playing but I was still happy, I was laughing with everyone, training and enjoying it.
“I was just waiting for my time. I am young and I knew I had to be patient. I was always positive.
“There was a chance of me going out on loan in January, we had discussions about it but we decided I would stay. I am glad I did!”
Dutch manager admitted at the end of last month that Traore was now ahead of Loic Remy, Radamel Falcao and January signing Alexandre Pato in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
“If I see Traore now compared to when I came in, he was always ambitious,” Hiddink said.
“He’s a very fresh guy and I like his attitude. He’s not afraid to make errors and he’s not influenced by external circumstances. He’s fresh whether there are no spectators [in training at Cobham] or if there are 40,000 in the stadium.
“In terms of the way of playing, we talked and trained with him on where he has to improve, because every young player must know how the game is played. He was overdoing it a bit because he’s a very busy, mobile guy, and he was punished several times by strong defenders.
“Now he’s coping with that a lot better in recent weeks, which means he’s open to learn. You can teach him things and he’s very clever to do it.”