During his third season at Chelsea, Glen Johnson knew he had to leave if he was going to develop as a player.
Johnson joined the club from West Ham in the summer of 2003 when Roman Abramovich took over as owner. He played in that first season under Claudio Ranieri and in the 2004/5 season when Jose Mourinho took over as manager and won the title.
In the 2005/6 campaign, his appearances took a dip. Johnson approached Mourinho about leaving but the Portuguese was slow to agree. He eventually decided that Johnson could go out on loan. However, with the move all but sealed, Mourinho literally tore up the contract.
"It was the year we won the league for the second time but I played like four times," Johnson told Talksport.
"I was 20-years-old or so and I knew that time was drifting away.
"I believed I was good enough to perform at that level, I just wasn’t getting the chance.
"There were many times I was banging on the door – you know what players are like when they're not playing. I was just saying to him, 'Look, I totally respect your decision, but let me go then!'
"At first he was saying ‘No’, and I was thinking this isn’t good for anyone, me just sitting here and not playing.
"For six months he wouldn’t let me go, then I managed to get him to agree to let me go on loan. Then it was like games. He wanted me to go to a Champions League side to get experience. I was like, 'Great'.
"The next day I walk in and I said, ‘I’m going to Lyon’. Lyon wanted me, the contract was there, I was going to go to Lyon and he was surprised as a young player that I wanted to go abroad to play football. I was like, 'You wanted me to play Champions League football and this is it. I'm willing to do it'.
"So I signed, but then he ripped the contract up in front of me and said: ‘No, I’ve changed my mind’.
"He said he wanted me to stay in the Premier League, so I went to Portsmouth and obviously I started performing and showed what I can do."
❌ “I asked Mourinho to let me go & for 6 months he said no.”
🇫🇷 “Eventually he agreed to let me go on loan & I told him Lyon wanted me.”
😫 “I signed for Lyon but he ripped the contract up in front of me.”
Glen Johnson reveals how Mourinho dealt with him wanting to leave #CFC pic.twitter.com/UCb6rMPDxq
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) July 15, 2020
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