Aaron Eyoma has told dcfc.co.uk that he only needed to take one look around Derby County to realise that it was the perfect environment for him to take his next step in his career.
The 20-year-old wideman has joined the club on a one-year deal from Arsenal after impressing on trial at the back end of the 2017/18 season.
Eyoma, an exciting attacking player, will predominantly be part of Darren Wassall’s Under-23s squad for the forthcoming campaign.
It comes after he impressed in two of the club’s Premier League 2 Division 1 fixtures, in which heplayed a key role in the latter, the pivotal 1-0 win over West Ham United.
“There was a lot of pressure on those games, but I felt I dealt with it well,” Eyoma said.
“We lost the first game, which was against Tottenham, but then we beat West Ham. That was a very good game and that win proved to be the difference in keep Derby up in the end. I was really pleased to be part of that.”
Whilst it was tough for Eyoma to leave Arsenal, he admits it was a time for a ‘fresh start’ and has explained why a permanent switch to Derby appealed to him.
“I came here knowing that Derby was a big Championship club that was renowned for played attractive football, similar to what I had been used to at Arsenal. That was a big appeal for me,” he said.
“I was there for eight years and made a lot friends during that time with the players and coaches. It was a time for a fresh start, though, and I am delighted to be here.
“There were a few different Championship and League 1 clubs that had expressed an interest in taking me, but when I came here and took a look around the facilities, I thought they were great. I knew this was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss.”
Asking the midfielder about his goals for the season, he told us his immediate aim is just to work hard during pre-season.
Over recent campaigns, several of Derby’s young players have had the opportunity to impress in the first team environment – something that Eyoma is only to aware of.
Whilst his focus will be on the Under-23s and their third successive year in Premier League 2 Division 1, the former Gunner is hoping he will get the opportunity to, ironically, leave a lasting impression on a Chelsea legend in Frank Lampard.
“Darren (Wassall) has spoken to me a lot since I have been here and told me there will be opportunities to be around the first team and train with them if I knuckle down and work hard,” Eyoma added.
“That’s my only aim right now. I have come here to learn, to improve, and hopefully I can show everyone what I am about.
“I spoke to the boss as well and he has given me a few words of wisdom and pretty much echoed what Darren said – if I do well, there will be an opportunity for me to get involved.
“I’m going to take everything in my stride and every day as it comes.”