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Chelsea sign Nigeria-born Ugochukwu



Europa League - Group B - Dynamo Kyiv v Stade Rennes - Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Stadium, Krakow, Poland - October 13, 2022 Stade Rennes' Lesley Ugochukwu in action with Dynamo Kyiv's Denys Garmash REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

Chelsea have signed teenage midfielder Lesley Chimuanya  Ugochukwu from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes on a seven-year contract with an option of another year, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

Ugochukwu is a  nephew of former Super Eagles’ acentre-back Onyekachi. According to a Reuters’ report, financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported that Chelsea had paid Rennes about 27.5 million euros ($30.15 million) for the 19-year-old.

Ugochukwu, a France under-19 international, was a regular at Rennes last season, helping the club finish fourth in the French top flight and making the Europa League knockout stage.

“We’re delighted Lesley is joining Chelsea. He is an impressive young player who has already made his mark in Ligue 1,” Chelsea co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley told the club website.

“He has a huge amount of potential and we know he is going to continue to develop and improve. We are pleased that he has joined us (on tour) in the U.S. and that he will be able to integrate with the squad quickly.”


Ugochukwu joined the Rennes youth system aged eight and made his senior debut just after his 17th birthday, becoming the club’s fourth-youngest debutant at the time







Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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