Andy Devlin of The Sun reported late last night that Michael Beale was interested in bringing former Chelsea youth striker Ike Ugbo to Ibrox. The 24-year-old Canadian international currently plays for Troyes in Ligue 1. Ugbo is the second player Beale worked with at Chelsea to be linked this summer after Dujon Sterling.
Both played in the same youth sides and Sterling even assisted him for a goal or two! He’s not enjoyed the best of seasons at Troyes, only making 23 appearances with 7 being from the start. Averaging 32 minutes per game he picked up 2 goals this season with a goal conversion rate of 14%.
He had a much more productive season last year in Ligue 1. In 14 appearances (11 starts) he picked up five goals with a 31% conversion rate. This included excellent finishes against both PSG and AS Monaco. He’s a talented striker but unfortunately fell down the pecking order this term.
Is he another player Michael Beale is looking to give a fresh start to? Regarding his play style, he’s strong and powerful whilst having a good turn of pace. Within the box he’s a good finisher who prefers to hammer the ball into the corner of the net.
He has a natural strikers instinct of being in the right place at the right time, something Rangers have missed in recent years.
Despite being predominantly right footed he’s very comfortable finishing with either foot. In his best goal scoring season with Cercle Brugge he scored 16 goals, eight were with his right foot, six on his left and two headers. When he’s on his game he’s capable of scoring from anywhere and even has an acrobatic finish in his locker, very Jelavic-esque.
According to the report, Troyes value the striker at £3.5m but with them being relegated there’s a chance that price may come down. Rangers may also face stiff competition for the 24-year-old as Devlin suggested that Burnley are also showing interest.
A very interesting link and a theme of Chelsea youth players Beale has worked with may be arising. The manager did suggest that a theme of his signings would be visible, maybe he wasn’t joking?
How would you feel about this signing? Is Ike Ugbo a name that excites you?