The youngster is yet to reach his full potential, but he chose to join Chelsea
Super Eagles-eligible midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu has revealed that he decided to join Chelsea because of the allure of playing for a big club, Soccernet reports.
The 19-year-old defensive midfielder just burst onto the scene at Ligue 1 club Rennes two years ago, just after Eduardo Camavinga moved to Real Madrid. Even at that, he was not a regular starter at the club, as he made 53 appearances in all competitions for the club since 2021.
Since Todd Boehly took over as Chelsea’s new owner, the club has gone about signing a variety of players. The common feature about these signings has been their young age.
Ugochukwu was one of the recruits this summer, with Chelsea paying Rennes just over €27million to secure his services.
For an unestablished and inexperienced 19-year-old, remaining at Rennes to get game time, grow, and improve could have been the safe option.
However, Ugochukwu decided to join Chelsea, where game time may be reduced and there would be a lot of pressure. The youngster has shed light on his decision, and he admits that the allure of playing for a big club was what made him accept the Chelsea deal.
“It’s Chelsea! You just need to look at all the trophies that they’ve won and the legends that have played there,” Ugochukwu told l’equipe per GFFN.
“When a club of that stature comes in for you, it is very difficult to refuse.”
“It’s the start of a new cycle, with new players and new ambitions. I was attracted by what they want to do and by what they saw in me.
“Regarding my ambitions, I think it was perfect to leave at that time. They say that I can become a great midfielder if I work hard and everything goes well. It’s up to me to prove that I can have a place in the long term.”
Ugochukwu has serious competition at Chelsea, with Caicedo and Romeo Lavia all ahead of him in the pecking order. He has played only seven minutes in the Premier League this season.
The 19-year-old midfielder was born to Nigerian parents in France, and he currently plays for the French youth teams. However, he can still switch to the Super Eagles.