EPL: Mauricio Pochettino praises Ugochukwu’s Premier League debut

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised young midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu, following his debut for the club on Sunday.

Pochettino claims Ugochukwu had a decent game against Bournemouth, even though his team couldn’t find the net in the duel that ended goalless (0-0)

EPL: Mauricio Pochettino praises Ugochukwu's Premier League debut
Lesley Ugochukwu

Ugochukwu, a 19-year-old talent, arrived at Chelsea during the summer transfer window from Ligue 1 side Rennes.

He earned his place in the first-team squad as soon as he joined the London side, and had previously made appearances from the substitutes’ bench, including a feature against Liverpool on the Premier League’s opening weekend and in a victory over Luton Town.

However, it was the EFL Cup match against AFC Wimbledon that saw Ugochukwu earn his first full debut.

In the game against Bournemouth, he was deployed in midfield alongside Conor Gallagher and Enzo Fernandez, completing the full 90 minutes, which Pochettino found encouraging.

In his remark about the player’s performance, Pochettino said, “That is one of the positive things, a first start for him. He is really young, and to compete at this level (the Premier League) is always difficult. But I think his performance was good.”

Chelsea faced challenges during the Bournemouth match, with 12 players unavailable due to varying degrees of injury. The manager also recalled the limited time the players had to prepare for the match, coming from international duty.

Looking ahead to the next game against Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino emphasized the importance of having more straightforward preparations.

He said, “There were only three players (who featured against Bournemouth) that were working with us; the rest were away on international duty.

“That makes it difficult, but now we have three or four weeks to work together. That is going to be important for us – and also to recover the injured players,” he added.