Crystal Palace wanted to sign Michael Hector last summer.
Hector said: “I was with my dad, visiting my relatives in Bromley, and in my head I was going to Palace. I knew the deal was pretty much done and thought I’d be going there to sort everything out. Then dad went off and took a call, returned and said: ‘You’ll never guess who that was?’ It was one of the Chelsea directors, trying to get a move sorted out. As soon as Chelsea came in there was only one team I was going to go to. I’m a fan and it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Hector agreed a move to Chelsea on transfer deadline day, immediately heading back to Reading on loan.
He has impressed this season, continuing as one of the best centre-backs in the division, as well as growing into a talented holding midfielder in recent weeks.
There are doubts about whether the 23-year-old will ever actually make it at Chelsea, or if he is just part of their loan army, and many people criticised him for choosing to sign for the Blues despite Palace wanting to bring him to the Premier League.
The Eagles were closing in on a deal for Hector, which would have seen him become part of Alan Pardew’s first-team, and it appeared as if a move to Selhurst Park would be agreed.
It would certainly have been a sensible move for all parties involved, but as soon as the Blues got involved, Hector decided to move to Stamford Bridge without question.
Hector has played 29 games for Reading this season, since returning on loan, and he is set to line up against Palace this evening, as the two teams face off in the FA Cup quarter-finals.