Patrick Vieira-like midfielder makes debut for Rennes aged 17; Dad wants him to represent Nigeria :: All Nigeria Soccer

Patrick Vieira-like midfielder makes debut for Rennes aged 17; Dad wants him to represent Nigeria :: All Nigeria Soccer

Patrick Vieira-like midfielder makes debut for Rennes aged 17; Dad wants him to represent Nigeria

One of the most promising teenagers of Nigerian descent on the books of a big five European League club, Lesley Ugochukwu has made his professional debut for Rennes, aged 17 years and 30 days.

Under the orders of manager Bruno Génésio, the French-born youngster entered the game as a substitute in the 89th minute as a replacement for Steven Nzonzi as Rennes thrashed Dijon FCO 5-1 in a French Ligue 1 match held at the
Roazhon Park on Sunday, April 25.

Ugochukwu finally made his competitive debut for the Brittany club at the sixth time of asking after he was an unused substitute in previous matches against Reims and Nantes in the league, Sevilla (home and away) and Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.

The Franco-Nigerian is the third youngest player to feature in the French top-flight in 2020-2021, behind
SCO Angers’ Mohamed-Ali Cho (16 years, 7 months and 11 days)  and Lyon’s Rayan Cherki (17 years and 11 days).

Blessed with excellent physical attributes, powerful and tall for
his age, Ugochukwu has been likened to former Arsenal captain Patrick
Vieira.

On the advice of his Nigerian father, the central midfielder wanted to represent the Golden Eaglets at the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup but did not get a call-up two months before the start of the tournament in Brazil.

He signed his first professional contract with Rennes in July 2020, a deal keeping him at The Red and Blacks until 2023.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

Photo Credit : staderennais.com

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