Chelsea has completed the signing of teenage midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu.
The 19-year-old joins on a seven-year contract, with a club option of a further year. He has moved from his hometown club Rennes, for whom he was a regular last season as they finished fourth in France’s Ligue 1 and made the knockout stage of the Europa League.
Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: ‘We’re delighted Lesley is joining Chelsea. He is an impressive young player who has already made his mark in Ligue 1. He has a huge amount of potential and we know he is going to continue to develop and improve. We are pleased that he has joined us in the U.S and that he will be able to integrate with the squad quickly.’
Ugochukwu has quickly built a reputation as a ball-winning midfielder and a good user of possession. He joined the Rennes youth system at eight years old and made his senior debut just after his 17th birthday. He became the club’s fourth-youngest debutant at the time.
His first Ligue 1 start came a fortnight later against Paris Saint-Germain; Ugochukwu impressed playing against Neymar that night. Earlier that season he had been on the bench when the Brittany club travelled to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
Ugochukwu, a France Under-19 international, has established himself as a regular with Rennes over the past two seasons and leaves having made 67 appearances.
Welcome to Chelsea, Lesley!