Lesley Ugochukwu: “When a club of Chelsea’s stature comes in for you, it’s very difficult to refuse.”

In an interview with Le ParisienLesley Ugochukwu (19) spoke about his move from Stade Rennais to Chelsea earlier this summer. 

Chelsea signed the France youth international from Rennes for a reported €27m. It had been expected that he’d return to Ligue 1, with a loan to partner club RC Strasbourg Alsace touted in the media, however, ultimately, Ugochukwu will remain with the Blues. Since his move to Stamford Bridge, the former Rennes midfielder has played three times, including two brief appearances in the Premier League. 

Speaking to Le Parisien, Ugochukwu revealed that he didn’t expect to leave Rennes this summer, however, he did reveal that Chelsea had a long-standing interest in him. “Chelsea had been following me for a while. There were phone calls between the club and me this summer. Those calls went well and we decided to move forward,” he said.

He then elaborated on the reasons for joining Mauricio Pocchettino’s side. “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 see 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. I wanted to progress,” said Ugochukwu. 

He added, “It’s Chelsea! You just need to look at all the trophies that they’ve won and the legends that have played there. When a club of that stature comes in for you, it is very difficult to refuse.”

The Frenchman, who is currently on U21 duty with Thierry Henry’s side, was then asked who he thinks of when he thinks of a Chelsea shirt. “Didier Drogba. I don’t know why, but I immediately think of him. He did so many great things. In my position, there is John-Obi Mikel, and he’s Nigerian as well. These are players that won the Champions League and who had great journeys with Chelsea,” he responded. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle



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