Stoke’s Tyrese Campbell on leaving Man City, fulfilling his father’s legacy and the Championship’s return

It’s a brilliant club with the power to buy the best players in the world, but unlessyou’re a readymade superstar, it’s hard to get that fair chance.” Four years later, it’s a decision that has been vindicated. “If you look at [Jadon] Sancho now, he’s smashing it, and if he’d stayed at City I don’t think he’d have got that chance to express himself. At first, he admits, the quality and intensity was “mind- blowing”, beyond anything he’d ever imagined, and laughs at the memory of making his Premier League debut against Leicester City shortly after his 18th birthday. “The first time the ballcame into me, I went to pass it and I looked down and [Wilfred] Ndidi had already taken it off my toes,” he laughs. The pressure inherited by birthright as the son of a successful footballer – former Arsenal and Everton striker, Kevin – and a reputation and legacy against which he’s constantly measured. “It was a regular thing when I was younger, people testing you to check if you’ve got it in you [becauseof who your dad is],” he says. Will you have a career like him?’ That’s always driven me to provemyself.” While he’s quietly aware of the weight of expectation, he stresses that any pressure is fuel of his own design. With less than six months remaining on his contract, Bournemouth, Celtic and Rangers were among the clubs hoping to convince him of a move that, at least on the surface, might have seemed more attractive. But, ultimately, after a long periodof deliberation, the clarity and loyalty offered by Stoke convinced him to sign a new four-and-a-half-year contract. Any player wants to play at the top levelas quickly as possible, but you’ve got to believe in your ability [to get there at the right time]. Campbell is certain that Stoke, finally, has the fire and talent to rise again and hopes to be a focal point in that revival. It’s a heavy burden on young shoulders, but one he’s relishing being able to embrace with a clear head.