Rarely seen Chelsea hitman eyes Prem assault after big impact abroad

Date published: Sunday 4th April 2021 10:40 - Steve Pearson

Ike.Ugbo_.Cercle.Brugge.Chelsea.TEAMtalk

A Chelsea striker making a telling contribution on loan in Europe has revealed his future with the Blues is set to “become clear” at the season’s end.

Chelsea have taken a giant leap forward since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel. Their most recent match ended in disaster, but a run of 14 games unbeaten prior to the weekend installed the Blues as favourites to secure fourth spot. Additionally, the club are on the hunt for silverware in the FA Cup and Champions League.


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The hallmark of Tuchel’s overhaul has been their increased defensive resilience.

Even after shipping a quintet of goals to lowly West Brom, Chelsea have conceded less than a goal every other game since the German’s arrival.

A consequence of their increased focus on cleat sheets has seen the goals dry up at the other end.

None of the club’s recognised centre-forwards are firing on all cylinders. Additionally, dangerous wingers Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic only have three league goals between them.

In stark contrast, one player on Chelsea’s books has found the net with regularity this season – Ike Ugbo.

The 22-year-old Cobham graduate is currently on his fifth loan spell from the club. A report last summer indicated West Ham were one of a dozen clubs interested in taking the highly-rated attacker on loan.

Currently plying his trade with Belgian top tier side Cercle Brugge, Ugbo has operated at almost a goal every other game this term.

His goals have had a major impact on the team’s season. The club sit just one point above the Jupiler Pro League’s drop zone. Without Ugbo, Cercle Brugge would surely already be down.

 

Ugbo’s contract with Chelsea expires in the summer of 2022, though Cercle Brugge have a €5.5m option to make his temporary stay permanent this summer.

Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad, Ugbo admitted he doesn’t yet have a clear “career plan” in mind. However, he does retain hope of making his mark in the Premier League next season.

“At the end of the season it will become clear what will happen with that,” said Ugbo (via Sport Witness)

“I don’t really have a career plan in mind.

“But if I’m really honest, I do dream of making the step to the Premier League next season.”

 

Moyes admission offers Man Utd, Chelsea transfer hope

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Meanwhile, Man Utd and Chelsea have been handed transfer hope after David Moyes admitted West Ham would “consider” bids for a bank-breaking pair.

Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek have combined to form a fearsome pairing in the Hammers’ engine room.

Chelsea have been persistently linked with a blockbuster move for the holding midfielder who could potentially be seen as a long-term N’Golo Kante replacement.

Man Utd have also been credited with interest after two key club figures agreed with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer regarding the player.

Soucek, meanwhile, is one of the league’s most deadly aerial threats and marshals the midfield with ease. The Czech Republic international has attracted the attentions of Man Utd, though their hopes were seemingly dashed in March.

Tomas Soucek West Ham

Now, Moyes has opened the door to the pair’s potential exits, though his comments suggest a departure will not come cheap.

“Yes, any club can make offers for players but we’ve not had any big offers,” Moyes said (via the Mirror).

“I hope we don’t get any but if we do, like any other club, we would consider them.

“I don’t know where the Bank of England is for Tomas Soucek but I’ve said with Declan, it would take the Bank of England and the Royal Bank of Scotland to get him.

“It will have to be the Bank of Czech as well for Tomas!”

READ MORE: Chelsea seeking to scupper major Man Utd swap to leave flop in the lurch

 

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