THIS ex-Chelsea starlet was on the brink of becoming a Premier League superstar.
But a devastating injury saw him fade into obscurity.
And he admits he was left in a “very lonely place” before bouncing back with a new club.
Charly Musonda, 26, was heralded as the next big thing in English football when he made his Chelsea debut in 2017.
The exciting Belgian playmaker was seen by many Blues fans as a natural replacement for Eden Hazard, having impressed on loan at Real Betis.
But Musonda’s career took a heartbreaking turn when he joined Vitesse Arnhem on loan in 2018.
The ace was limited to just one appearance in his first season after suffering a painful knee injury.
And after it reoccurred early in the next term during a second Vitesse spell, Musonda was forced to undergo a potential career-ending operation.
The now-Levante star says he came close to quitting football after allegedly being left isolated by his club and pals.
But after a lengthy recovery process, Musonda is now back and firing in Spain… 48 months after his initial knee problem.
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Musonda told SportsBible: “It’s something I still think about now. I have lost so much time. You get injuries, they happen. But you never think it’s going to take that much time. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play again.
“Doctors said I was never going to be the same after that day. Basically they said if I have the surgery, then that would probably be the end of my career. That’s what I was told.
“All of a sudden, I wasn’t getting any calls. Nobody is texting you. Nobody is asking where you are. It was a very lonely place.
“It was a very lonely place. I’ve been alone for the last three or four years. I remember when the crutches came off after that first year and I said to myself, ‘Okay, listen, you’re alone, and you have to embrace it.’
“There weren’t a lot of people to talk to. In the four years I was injured, only a few people called me and said, ‘Hey, how’s the injury going?’ In fact, I can count those people on two hands.
“The first year, people were in contact but, as the years went on, fewer and fewer people got in touch. That’s just the way it is. It’s not the fault of anybody. But that can affect people mentally.
“You go from being at Chelsea, where everybody wants something from you, to being forgotten two or three years later.”