Monday, January 30, 2023

QPR Keen On Acquiring This Chelsea Youth Product: Should Lampard Cash In On Ike Ugbo?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by the Irish Sun, Championship outfit Queen’s Park Rangers are said to be interested in acquiring the sought-after services of Chelsea academy product Ike Ugbo. It has been suggested that apart from the London club, lower league side Coventry City are also quite keen on the forward’s services, whose current contract with the Blues is set to expire at the end of the next Premier League season. With Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo on QPR’s wish-list, the Premier League outfit have the option to sell the 21-year-old this summer for a price reported to be in the region of £2.5m.

How Did Ike Ugbo Make A Name For Himself?

The Englishman began his Chelsea career as a ten-year-old more than a whole decade ago, and although some of the Blues’ biggest first-team stars started in a similar boat, their stories have taken extremely different twists. The likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have been fortunate enough to come into the first-team this season, while Ugbo, on the other hand, was shipped out on loan before the start of Frank Lampard’s youth revolution at Stamford Bridge.

The youngster has had loan spells away from Cobham to the likes of Scunthorpe United, Barnsley and MK Dons, with the latest of these coming at Roda FC in the Netherlands. The forward was viewed as one of the brightest talents in the Pensioners’ academy growing up.

Unfortunately for him, neither his timing nor rate of development, have gone in his favour. Although the Englishman scored 11 goals in the Blues’ Premier League 2 campaign back in 2017, the youngster’s loan spells away from Cobham haven’t been nearly as successful as he would’ve liked.

Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo on QPR’s wish-list - Ugbo strikes the ball
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND – APRIL 21: Ike Ugbo of Chelsea scores his team’s second goal of the game during the Premier League 2 match between Chelsea and Everton on April 21, 2017 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

The three aforementioned loan spells at lower league clubs resulted in an abysmal return of four goals from 46 appearances across three different seasons. This time around though, while leading the line at Roda, the Chelsea man has looked like an invigorated striker that’s keen on make a place for himself in the English scene. The forward’s 28 fixtures across all competitions for the Dutch club have yielded a strong return of 13 goals and three assists, highlighting why it’s not at all surprising to see the likes of QPR and Coventry interested.

What Does The Englishman Add To A Team?

The 21-year-old, having been a member of the Chelsea youth system for the longest time now, is sure to have picked up a few tricks of the trade over the years. A pacy forward who isn’t afraid to put his body on the line for the sake of the team, Ugbo has the potential to be a strong finisher in and around the box. Tall enough to threaten from set-piece situations as well, the Chelsea man could, in fact, be exceptionally well suited to the pace of lower league English game.

Chelsea’s Ike Ugbo On QPR’s Wish-List: Should Lampard Look To Cash In?

The rise of Tammy Abraham has been good news for Chelsea fans all over the world, and the fact that Frank Lampard is still on the lookout for another striker should be enough to keep the morale high within the fan base. Considering some of the names that have been linked over the last many months, it’s safe to say that Chelsea aren’t necessarily looking for ‘budget’ options by any stretch of the imagination. Ugbo, as good as he’s been this season, is still a few levels below the regular Chelsea starters, and keeping him at the club beyond the summer would be nothing but a waste of time.

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