Lesley Ugochukwu Wants To Be The New Mikel Obi At Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder, Lesley Ugochukwu, had said he intends to repeat the feats of Nigerian midfielder maestro Mikel Obi at Stamford Bridge.

Recall that Mikel Obi made his name in club football while at Chelsea. He spent 11 years at Stamford Bridge where he played 372 times, scored six goals, and provided 13 assists.

The retired Nigeria international helped Chelsea to win nine major titles including one UEFA Champions League and one Europa League trophy.

Mikel also won the Premier League twice, FA Cup four times, and League Cup twice before he left Chelsea in 2017.

In an interview with Chelsea’s official website, Lesley Ugochukwu said Mikel Obi is his big inspiration due to their shared position and heritage.

The 19-year-old is a defensive midfielder from Nigeria, just like Mikel who made his way to Europe from Plateau United to Lyn Oslo, Norway in 2004, and then moved to Chelsea in 2006.

As for Ugochukwu, the youngster was born in Rennes, in the northwest of France to Nigerian parents which means he is eligible to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria just like his uncle, Onyekachi Apam.

According to the youngster who has represented France’s U-21 squad, his roots have made it easier for him to adapt to life in England.

He said, “Just look at all the trophies he (Mikel) has won and the legends that have passed through the club.

“They say I can become a great midfielder like him if I put in the work and everything goes well. I want to be like him but it’s up to me to prove that I can have my place in the long term. I wanted to take this step. When a club of this stature comes in for you, it’s very difficult to refuse.

“I have great confidence in myself, in my qualities, in what I can do. I know that if I do things correctly, everything will go as planned. I have the trust of the club, and of the staff, that’s what pushed me to say to myself: Go for it! If they came for you, it’s because you have the qualities.”

He added, “The adaptation is going well. I’m still living in a hotel, it’s a bit unusual but soon I will have my home. In the team, there are quite a few French people, and I open up to everyone. I have parents of Nigerian origin so it’s easier to speak English, too. My parents live in Rennes. Of course, sometimes I would like to see them more often, but that’s how life is. Mentally I was prepared.

“Signing for a club like Chelsea means something for them, too. In Nigeria, it is one of the big clubs that everyone supports. They were super happy. At home, we are always happy, and to see that there has been this good news in our family is great. My parents did a lot for me and my brothers and sisters. It’s important to give back to them what they gave me.”

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