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Ike Ugbo


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The Ike Ugbo Thread 

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Date of birth: 21 September 1998
Place of birth: London, England
Position: Striker
International levels played at: England U17s
Trophies won at Chelsea: UEFA Youth League 2015/16; FA Youth Cup 2015/16

Ike signed as an Under-10 and, although now a striker, he spent the majority of his younger schoolboy years playing in a number of different positions. It was only at the start of the 2014/15 season as a schoolboy that he nailed down his position up front and he featured often for our youth team, scoring 11 goals in 18 appearances, while also making debuts for the Under-19s and Under-21s.Ugbo established a goal-a-game record for the youth team in 2015/16 and also netted in Youth Cup ties against Huddersfield and Manchester United en route to the final.An England Under-17 international, Ugbo was part of the squad that went to the European Championship finals at that age group in the summer of 2015, prior to his first season as a full-time scholar. He signed a first professional contract in September 2015.

2013/2014:1 goal in 4 games(U18)

2014/2015:11 goals in 13 games(U18)

2015/2016:26 goals in 26 games(U18)

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I have joined the forum for one reason, to get Iké Ugbo his deserved chance in the 1st team.

I was watching the England vs Bulgaria match and thinking why didn't Tammy Abraham (my favourite player) get on the pitch yet. He is better than Kane thatch for sure.

It made me think, who else deserves their shot. I have watched Ugbo for a long time, reserves, training etc, and he has the sill and latent to be even better than Abraham.

I want a campaign for Lampard to stop bringing on Bathsuyi as the second striker, and use Ugbo. 

Lanpard wants the young ones to have their chance, well give Iké a shot.

Reply with a yes no please if you think, Ugbo shot get his premier league shot.

Thank you from a Chelsea branded blue blood.

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On 14/10/2019 at 9:29 PM, Lindon.G.Alcock said:

I have joined the forum for one reason, to get Iké Ugbo his deserved chance in the 1st team.

I was watching the England vs Bulgaria match and thinking why didn't Tammy Abraham (my favourite player) get on the pitch yet. He is better than Kane thatch for sure.

It made me think, who else deserves their shot. I have watched Ugbo for a long time, reserves, training etc, and he has the sill and latent to be even better than Abraham.

I want a campaign for Lampard to stop bringing on Bathsuyi as the second striker, and use Ugbo. 

Lanpard wants the young ones to have their chance, well give Iké a shot.

Reply with a yes no please if you think, Ugbo shot get his premier league shot.

Thank you from a Chelsea branded blue blood.

Ike is on loan in Holland.

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Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo — ‘My loans were lonely and I was hiding on the pitch’

https://theathletic.com/2216076/2020/11/23/ugbo-ike-chelsea/

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Like most footballers, Chelsea academy graduate Ike Ugbo enjoys nothing more than talking about his latest goal with one of his best mates.

Ugbo is loving life right now. The striker has made a great start to a loan at Cercle Brugge, who play in Belgium’s top division. A brace in their 2-0 victory over Waasland-Bevere on November 21 took his tally to an impressive seven goals in just 10 league games.

One of the bonds he has come to treasure most, which has helped put him in a great frame of mind to cause opposition defences so many problems, isn’t from the usual source like an old school classmate or member of the dressing room.

As Ugbo explains to The Athletic: “I have been speaking to a sports psychologist called Jamie Edwards for a few years. He has been a great help to me and he has become one of my closest friends.”

After just a few months of the season, the 22-year-old is already being monitored by clubs across Europe, including the Premier League. He is also subject of positive scrutiny and conversations among Chelsea’s coaching staff.

It is some turnaround for a young man who admits to hitting rock bottom during his first experiences of senior football, when loans at Barnsley, MK Dons and Scunthorpe were a real struggle. In 54 appearances for the three clubs between 2017 and 2018, he found the net on just four occasions.

Such a return wasn’t expected by him or anybody associated with Chelsea. Having joined their under-10s side, he quickly developed into a promising forward, following in the footsteps of Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke, who are a year older.

A sign of his rapid progress came with Ugbo beginning to play for the under-18s as a 15-year-old. In 2015-16, he scored 24 times for them, finishing only behind Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah in the goalscoring charts. The following year he got to 25 goals, 13 of which were for the Under-21s. There were plenty of winners’ medals during this period as well: two FA Youth Cups, two Uefa Youth Leagues and one for Chelsea coming top of the Under-18 Premier League.

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A decision was made to send him on loan to Championship club Barnsley for the start of the 2017-18 season, but it was a move that backfired quickly. He was given just 911 minutes of action between August and December and all parties agreed to end the season-long agreement early.

“Looking back it was quite a lonely experience,” Ugbo admits. “I lived on my own in a flat in Sheffield. It was a big difference from what I was used to, especially when I wasn’t playing. I would go home and was by myself. I’d be disappointed about the result or not scoring. I wasn’t quick enough to bounce back, to redeem myself. That was a mistake.

“I thought I could play the same way as I did for Chelsea’s youth teams, when I was scoring lots of goals. I thought I would just take it straight into the Championship. But it is a totally different game, especially mentally.

“When I went there I was high on confidence and just doing the same things in training, having the same approach. I knew it was a good level, a lot harder, but I think I missed out on doing the extra work I needed to do, especially being just 18. I just didn’t prepare the way I should have.

“As things began going wrong at Barnsley, it was a very big shock. I’d be getting maybe 10 minutes in the space of five weeks. The only action I’d get would be running on the pitch after games. My confidence went completely. Even when I did come on, I wasn’t prepared mentally. It took a lot out of me. My training then wasn’t on top because my head wasn’t in the right place and I think that’s why I didn’t get the amount of games/goals I would have liked.

“I didn’t recover enough from what happened at Barnsley. I think I was in the same mental state at MK Dons (January-May 2018) and Scunthorpe (August-December 2018). I didn’t give myself the time to adapt.

“There is a big difference from playing for Chelsea’s youth teams, where you’re surrounded by many of the best young players in the country. You’re used to a structure of play so when you go to something different, it’s almost alien to you. I was being asked to change my style. I am a technical striker, I didn’t really like the aerial duels. I didn’t have to press as much at Chelsea either because we dominated possession most of the time.

“When I went on loan I was playing against centre-backs who were much bigger than me physically. The intensity is much greater, you’re playing with men, not boys.”

In the space of 18 months, Ugbo had gone from dreaming that anything was possible to being back at Chelsea’s training ground with not even much football at youth level to enjoy (four appearances January-May 2019).

It was at this juncture that his relationship with Edwards, who played basketball for England at the Commonwealth Games in the 1990s, really developed. Ugbo first got in touch on the recommendation of a Chelsea team mate immediately after the Barnsley disappointment. In recent years, Edwards’ long list of clients includes England keeper Joe Hart, Wales international Gareth Bale and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw.

But it wasn’t until after Ugbo’s had returned from Scunthorpe and was having doubts over where his career was going that the youngster really utilised Edwards’ expertise.

“I had to change a lot around me,” he explains. “It was something I pursued outside of Chelsea. I had to fix things before I went anywhere else. It was the best time to start rebuilding myself. I felt like I had to. It was my only option to get myself back on track.

“Initially I saw him for a couple of hours every week. But we then spoke on the phone constantly. One summer, we went away with some of the other players he has on his books. We stayed in a country house and did meetings there. A really concentrated few days.”

So what exactly did Edwards do to restore Ugbo’s self-belief?

He continues: “When I first started to speak to him we’d go through my last few years at Chelsea, how I was feeling, what was going on in my head, what I could see on the pitch and then discuss the contrast at Barnsley for example.

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“There were things I didn’t notice but I was subconsciously thinking about. When I looked back at chances or the way I used to go into games there, I could see that I didn’t look like I was going to score. I wasn’t the player I used to be. I was hiding on the pitch at times. I’m supposed to be a goalscoring striker but I wouldn’t be in the right position to have a chance of finding the net.

“He took me back to when I was feeling my best at Chelsea, to encourage my mind to go back to that positive place. We spoke about it, wrote it down. Those images are clear in my mind, they were big moments.

“I’d forgotten my old self. I had been thinking too much about the negatives. I would dwell on missed chances. In the Championship you don’t get too many, you may get just one in a game every week. When I didn’t take it, I would really beat myself up over it for maybe one or two weeks. It was a big thing for me. I am in a much better frame of mind now.”

As time has progressed their relationship has become more of a personal than a professional one. They enjoy each other’s company regardless and Edwards’ advice is no longer a must as Ugbo has matured on and off the pitch.

On occasion, Ugbo will lean on Edwards’ knowledge though because he is so determined to get better and better. “I’m trying to push myself to a higher stage than I’ve ever been,” he insists. “I’m always looking to learn new things.”

Working with his agents Bradley Hudson-Odoi and Louis Bell at First Access Sports proved beneficial too. Instead of seeking a loan to an EFL club for a fourth time, a move abroad to Dutch second division side Roda JC was arranged for the 2019-20 campaign. It brought much better results with 13 goals in 29 games.

Things are going even better at Cercle Brugge (below) and Ugbo has another mentor to lean on in former Chelsea assistant manager Paul Clement, who is the head coach there.

Clement has had the benefit of seeing some of the sport’s greatest centre forwards in Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski and Didier Drogba up close having also been employed at Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich.

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“Not many people can say they have worked with the players he has or been involved in so many trophy wins,” he says. “He was a big factor in me coming to Cercle. The manager is telling us how these guys operated every day.

“Out of all of them, he likes to speak about Ronaldo the most. He discusses his application and work rate in training, that Ronaldo’s example should be more than enough motivation to push ourselves to that level every day, every session.”

However, it is Clement’s tales about the young prodigies he encountered that haven’t made the most of their abilities, which resonates with Ugbo more. One of the players highlighted by Clement for all the wrong reasons was Gael Kakuta. The attacking midfielder was tipped for stardom on making his Chelsea debut at 18, but has spent the majority of the last 11 years on loan. The Congo international left Stamford Bridge in 2015 and is currently on loan at Lens from Amiens.

“The manager tells us about players he worked with who had a lot of potential but their application was lacking so they didn’t really make it,” Ugbo adds. “He’s talked about a few from his time at Chelsea — Kakuta was one of them. I was young when he was coming through at Chelsea but I remember he was a top player. That was one of the names which stood out for me.

“It does hit home. He was a player Chelsea fans were really excited about. It shows you need more than just talent. The manager is always on our case about that, saying don’t waste any days because he’s seen it at loads of different clubs, with different players.”

So what hopes does he hold for the future? The style of Edwards’ teaching means he tries not to look too far ahead. Cercle Brugge have an option to buy him at the end of the season, but given the amount of interest he’s generating, a move elsewhere is possible.

A desire to make it at Chelsea hasn’t been ruled out either, although there is the understandable hesitation about just being used as a serial loanee like other academy players have been and still are.

He explains: “The ambition is to play for the first team, but if that doesn’t work, the best option, the next step, is to join a club where I can settle in. Sometimes it gets to that point where you can use your qualities somewhere else. I’m 22 and you don’t want to leave it too long, where you don’t want to be sent to a new club every year. You want to establish yourself at one place because that’s when you will feel comfortable, your football can go well.

“My goal is to play for a side in the Champions League. One day I will get there. I think I rushed it before, to try to get to that stage as soon as possible. Now I am more mature, learning different ways to score goals, to be a more complete striker.”

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Scored 16 goals this season for Brugge and been rumoured with Fulham, Monaco, Genk, Bologna, Sampdoria..

 

Anyone has been following him? Would he be worth to try at first team?

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3 hours ago, nyikolajevics said:

Scored 16 goals this season for Brugge and been rumoured with Fulham, Monaco, Genk, Bologna, Sampdoria..

 

Anyone has been following him? Would he be worth to try at first team?

Our fans from Belgium would know. Such a shame we lost them after summer 2019. 

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1 hour ago, King Kante said:

How much will we get? £5-£10m? 

Only one year left on his contract so I'd guess anything close to 5 mil would do the trick. 

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