Mauricio Pochettino might have made a mistake in failing to loan Lesley Ugochukwu out from Chelsea before the transfer deadline.
The 19-year-old was signed in a £23.2m deal from Rennes back in August.
So, what is the situation involving Lesley Ugochukwu? Let’s take a look…
What’s the story?
Well, the teenager desperately needs regular football at this stage of his development if he is going to fulfil his vast potential.
However, Pochettino has only given Ugochukwu seven minutes of action across four Premier League outings so far in the 2023/24 campaign.
Of course, the Frenchman started against AFC Wimbledon in the 2-1 Carabao Cup win, but it goes without saying that these opportunities do not come around as often as Premier League games.
Furthermore, Ugochukwu is about to find it even harder to get a sniff in the Premier League, as Romeo Lavia is closing in on a return to full fitness after the international break.
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Pochettino may have simply kept the France Under-19 international around in case of injuries, although that is not fair on the Rennes-born prodigy.
After all, the likes of Conor Gallagher and Carney Chukwuemeka are also available to Pochettino in case of injuries to Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez or Lavia, so it surely would have been safe to send Ugochukwu out on loan until at least January.
Chelsea are stifling others in addition to Lesley Ugochukwu
We also find it strange that Chelsea failed to loan Deivid Washington out.
The 18-year-old joined Chelsea from Santos in a £17.1m deal, and while the Blues sent other talents such as Angelo Gabriel out on loan, they chose to keep the teenager in west London.
However – barring an injury crisis in attack – we highly doubt Washington will play much football at Chelsea this season given his lack of experience.
A loan move to Strasbourg with his fellow Brazilian Angelo would have made far more sense.
Hopefully, Ugochukwu and Washington can still develop themselves in training at Cobham, despite being likely to spend most matchdays on the bench.