Friday 19 January 2018

Houllier backs old pupil Remy to make most of rare chance

Loic Remy: Big chance at Chelsea. Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images
Loic Remy: Big chance at Chelsea. Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

Matt Law

The piece of advice Loic Remy rates as the best he has ever received remains as relevant now as it was seven years ago.

"I had just signed for Nice and it was a big deal because Nice had spent a lot of money on me," said Remy.

"Everybody was expecting a lot. When I came, the captain, Olivier Echouafni, told me: 'You know your quality, take your chance - the career is short so don't wait for anything'."

Remy has been made to wait for an extended run in the Chelsea team, but he has certainly maintained his belief and taken his chances when they have come.

The striker has scored the winning goals in each of Chelsea's last two Premier League games and will be relied upon by manager Jose Mourinho while Diego Costa recovers from his latest hamstring problem.

Tomorrow, Remy will face his former club Queens Park Rangers, whose ex-manager Harry Redknapp was surprised to see the 28-year-old accept a role as understudy to Costa ahead of joining Arsenal.

"I was surprised he went to Chelsea. I could see Arsenal, but I couldn't really see Chelsea because I thought 'he's not going to play there'. I don't know what persuaded him to be No 2 at Chelsea."

Remy is used to tough competition. He started at Lyon, when the French club also had Karim Benzema and Brazil international Fred.

Gerard Houllier gave Remy his first professional contract, but Lyon let him go following the departure of the former Liverpool manager.

"Some people from the club didn't believe in him initially," said Houllier. "But every time I played with a shadow team or with some young players, the boy always showed something. He always showed some qualities, which I thought were international qualities - he has speed, skill and movement."

Redknapp first tried to bring Remy to England with Tottenham Hotspur in 2012 and credits QPR chairman Tony Fernandes for convincing the France international to swap Marseille for Loftus Road a year later.

Remy has scored five goals in 456 minutes of Premier League football for Chelsea and he has a better shot conversion rate than Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.

Remy now has his chance to shine for Chelsea - and history, as well as Houllier and Redknapp, suggests he will grab it. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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