REAL BETIS face Rangers in the Europa League on Thursday.
But a former wonderkid who joined Brendan Rodgers at Celtic after playing for the Spanish side is currently without a club at the age of just 26.
Belgian Charly Musonda arrived at Celtic Park in January 2018, when Rodgers was at the club for the first time.
He was signed by Chelsea as a 15-year-old and spent a year on loan at Real Betis in 2016.
But at the time, Manchester City, Barcelona, Ajax, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool were all interested in signing him.
However, Chelsea brought him in when they also agreed to sign his two older brothers, Lamisha and Tika.
He moved to Celtic on a much-hyped 18-month loan deal, but made just eight appearances – and just TWO league starts, although he did play home and away against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League.
But after his last Celtic appearance – in a goalless draw against St Johnstone in February 2018 – he would not play another game for almost FIVE YEARS, until he played for Spanish second division side Levante against Getafe in January 2023.
While on loan at Chelsea’s Dutch youth club Vitesse, he suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury, which kept him out for two years. During this time he was told that he had a “20 percent chance of playing football again.”
In an interview earlier this year, he recalled: “They said if I had surgery it would probably be the end of my career.
“The problem with your PCL is that the likelihood of it coming back after surgery, especially with a third-degree tear, is slim.
“They said my knee was a very rare injury and I could forget about being an explosive player and doing the things I was used to doing again.”
After a decade at Chelsea, he left Chelsea in 2022 – announcing on Instagram: “Not being able to play for four years was heartbreaking and soul-wrenching.”
And after making just six appearances in his year at Getafe, the club announced his release earlier this month.
His current fitness and whereabouts are unknown – but earlier this year he promised: “I’ve always said if I can walk, I’ll play.”
“You can find me somewhere in the first division, the second division or a third division.
“I’ll always be playing football somewhere.”
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