John Obi Mikel has expressed his delight at finally becoming a Chelsea player.
The 19-year-old midfielder signed for The Blues earlier this summer following a lengthy transfer saga, when he initially agreed to join Manchester United but then controversially changed his mind.
He was then unable to join up with the Premiership champions as problems involving a work permit held him up further.
Mikel has at last flown out to Los Angeles to train with the Chelsea squad, and is relieved to put his troubles behind him.
"I am very, very happy to be here because I have been away from football for the last couple of months," he explained.
"I am happy that I can now play. It's good to be here with my friends. I really like it.
"It is such a relief that I can now get on the pitch and play. I am very happy to be here where I want to be."
Mikel is looking forward to the challenge of trying to break into the Chelsea first team, with the likes of Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard providing formidable competition for places.
The Nigerian knows that he will have to make an impression in training, and has vowed to work hard to be given his chance.
"Hopefully I will get my opportunity but that depends on the manager," he said.
"I am a player and I will just have to work hard and show them that I should be playing in the team.
"I will work hard in practice and it is then up to the manager.
"I have been here two days practising with the team. It has been tough but good and the fitness level is getting better."