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Binks ready for next chapter
Binks ready for next chapter

Following a successful first season in Italy, Kent’s own Luis Binks is preparing for arguably the most exciting season of his young career in quite possibly one of the most idyllic locations in European football.

Following his move from Montreal in Major League Soccer, Luis spent last season as part of the Bologna squad in Italy’s Serie A and after signing a new contract, he’s been loaned to Serie B side Como, where he will play with a Premier League legend and there’s another at the very top of the Club.

In the first piece of our third season of exclusive coverage of his amazing adventure, we began by congratulation Luis on his new deal… “Thank you. Yeah, I’m buzzing with signing a new deal,” Luis told us.

“Bologna is a club that I have grown to like a lot in a small amount of time. It’s also a club where I think I can massively improve even more than I already did there last year and I think I can really help them in the future, so for them to reward me with a new deal was really pleasing for me.”

“My teammates all said well-done to be fair they all seemed happy for me. I’ve signed until 2026 so I’ve got 4 more years to perfect the language, ha-ha,” he admitted.

Moving “closer” to home – Canada to Italy – clearly helped Luis and he admitted. “Yeah, it’s massive. Obviously, I went to Montreal, halfway across the world and then Covid hit so I went months on end without seeing anyone, whereas now I see my family and friends a lot, lot more. It’s also a lovely place to come to so I think they use me for a getaway half the time, ha-ha!”

“The transition though was hard at the start of last season coming to a country where I can’t speak to language, a country where I knew no one, so in terms of that it was difficult.”

“But as for on the pitch it was ok, football is a language in itself, so it’s pretty easy to understand and I’d say 90% of the changing room spoke English so they all made it easy for me.”

“I didn’t ever regret it at any point as Serie A is one of the biggest leagues in the world, so for me to have the opportunity to play in that league was something I’ve always dreamed off.”

“Last season there was a lot of highlights like making my debut in Serie A, then making my first start, going to all the famous stadiums like the San Siro, Olympic stadium in Rome, Maradona stadium in Naples, but what stands out for me is playing against AC Milan.”

“AC Milan have always been a team I look at and think they’re so classy and I went to watch them when Beckham was playing for them. So, for me to play against them and mark Ibrahimovic and Giroud was a good moment for me.”

“Of course, one day I’d like to play in the Premier League, but to be honest I’m in no rush to get back home yet. I love the Italian style of football and think it really suits me and the way of life here, the culture is something I am really enjoying.”

“My lowest point was probably at times where I felt as though I should’ve been playing more but for whatever reason I wasn’t but that’s out of my control so all I could’ve done and can still do is work hard to make sure that I play as much as possible.”

Since signing his new deal, Luis has been loaned to Serie B said Como, whose home ground backs onto the banks of the incredibly beautiful Lake Como. Luis then went on to explain how the move happened.

“Dennis Wise is an owner here (along with Luis’ former boss in Canada Thierry Henry) and I spoke to Dennis a week before I came, and he explained how the club have been bought not that long ago and the ambitions that the club has.”

“It is an exciting club in a great location so I really believe that this club will go on and get in Serie A, and fingers crossed I can help them achieve that this year.”

Shortly after signing, the club announced that they had agreed terms with World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas and naturally, Luis can’t wait to play with the Spaniard.

“Playing here with him is also great for my learning. He’s played with the best, against the best and arguably in the best ever teams so I’m looking forward to picking his brains and just soaking up as much info as possible.”

The loaning of younger players from top flight clubs now seems commonplace and we asked Luis about being part of the growing “system” and Luis was very keen with his reply.

“Loans are great” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I left Spurs a few years ago because I wanted to go and play “real football” and grow up. It’s all well and good saying you play for Spurs and Chelsea and City but if you’re just training with the first team and playing twenty-threes, you’re not really playing for Spurs or the big teams.”

“This loan will be great for me as it’s still in Italy so I can continue to learn the language and style here in Italy.”

“I don’t see this loan as a knock back or set back, Bologna have explained clearly to me what the plan is, and the new contract shows me there intent so now it’s down to me to show I’m good enough to play at the highest level.”

“Serie B is very strong this year with some massive clubs in the league so it will be difficult. Parma, Cagliari, Venezia, Genoa, Brescia, Bari all massive clubs and obviously Buffon is at Parma so it’s not an easy league.”

“We have our first game away this weekend in the cup vs. Serie A side Spezia then the week after we play Cagliari at home so we’re hoping to start well as Cagliari only came down last year, so they’ll be strong. The hopes for me is to get Como in Serie A and personally play as many games as possible and be as good as I can.”