Kasper Schmeichel’s move to Nice came as a surprise to many. And having spent some time with Kasper this week on the French Riviera, it’s clear he’s excited by the challenge that lies ahead.
He admits the last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster. He leaves Leicester with a heavy heart and feeling very grateful. He describes the people at Leicester as “family”, and knows that he’ll be back as a fan in the future.
But at 35, this is a new chapter in his career, and he’s relishing the prospect of being part of an exciting new project at Nice.
“I think any time you leave somewhere you’ve called home for 11 years it’s going to be a transition,” Schmeichel told Sky Sports News.
“New surroundings, new league, new country, so there’s no question it’s been a strange few days.
“My relationship with Leicester is well-documented. Everything has an end and I think it was a natural time. I wanted to keep progressing and keep growing as a person, as a player and to get out of my comfort zone, try something completely different, something completely new.
“I’m very excited to be joining Nice. I think it’s a really interesting project and it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
‘Ambitious Nice can be successful’
Nice is a club with big ambition and great infrastructure. An impressive stadium and a training ground that would be the envy of many Premier League clubs.
Make no mistake, the fans here in Nice are excited that a player of his profile is joining them. They turned out in numbers to see him unveiled at a fan park in the heart of the city on Wednesday night. He looked happy signing autographs for a fan base that hopes he can help propel the club to the next level.
And with Aaron Ramsey also joining him in the south of France, Nice have certainly added a core of experience to their side.
“I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think we would have an opportunity to compete in the Champions League,” Schmeichel said.
“I think with the ambition of the club and the backing of the club, there’s a great chance to go and do some really interesting things.
“There’s quality throughout the squad. It’s a young squad. I’m here to provide some experience and some guidance. I think we’ve got a very, very good season ahead of us.”
Ramsey’s move makes perfect sense too. A chance to play regular first-team football in a different league for a club on an upward curve.
Both players trained with their new teammates on Thursday. And with the new season getting underway this weekend, they could make their debut away to Toulouse on Sunday lunchtime.
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