Genk Sign Ike Ugbo from Chelsea
Ugbo Returns to Belgium
Genk have finally signed Ike Ugbo from Chelsea, ending weeks of speculation regarding the striker’s future. The transfer fee remains undisclosed, but according to Fabrizio Romano, Genk have paid Chelsea £5 million to secure the services of the 22-year-old.
The transfer marks the first time that Ugbo will be joining a club other than Chelsea on a permanent basis since graduating from Chelsea’s youth academy. The striker has been part of the club since 2007, signing with the youth squad as a nine-year-old. Ugbo progressed through the youth academy and signed his first professional contract at the age of 16.
Despite signing his first contract at a very young age, the striker failed to break into the star-studded Chelsea lineup. Ugo spent all four seasons of his Chelsea career after signing the contract on loan spells away from the club. Despite being part of the club for almost 15 years, Ugo never made an appearance for the senior team.
Ugbo spent the last season on loan in Belgium with Cercle Brugge. The 22-year-old was one of the leading goalscorers in the Jupiler Pro League last season. He finished his first season in Belgium with 17 goals in 34 matches across all competitions. Ugbo’s brilliant goalscoring season helped Cercle Brugge barely escape relegation last season.
Marseille Fails to Hijack the Deal
Marseille came close to hijacking Genk’s attempt to sign Ugbo from Chelsea, but the French giants failed to sign the England youth international and prioritised the signing of Pol Lirola over the striker. Ugbo had already agreed personal terms with Genk before Marseille tried to hijack the deal for the 22-year-old striker.