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Pochettino confirms Ugochukwu won't play against Tottenham for Chelsea

Posted : 02 May 2024

Chelsea's lineup for their upcoming Premier League showdown against Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge has been confirmed, with Lesley Ugochukwu, the France U21 international of Nigerian heritage, notably absent. The announcement was made via the club's official website, which stated that Ugochukwu, along with several other players including Christopher Nkunku, Levi Colwill, Reece James, Robert Sanchez, and Raheem Sterling, are back in partial training following injuries. However, Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea's manager, has ruled out their participation in the upcoming match against Spurs.

The decision comes as Ugochukwu continues his recovery from injury, with Pochettino opting to err on the side of caution regarding his fitness. Looking ahead, the Argentine coach will closely monitor Ugochukwu's progress leading up to subsequent Premier League fixtures against West Ham United, Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove, and Bournemouth.

Ugochukwu, who is the nephew of former Nigerian international Onyekechi Apam, has been sidelined since sustaining an injury in a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day. His absence has extended to twenty-four consecutive matches across various competitions, including fifteen in the Premier League, six in the FA Cup, and three in the Carabao Cup, following a relapse of a hamstring injury.

With hopes of returning to group training before the season concludes, Ugochukwu remains a key focus for Chelsea's medical and coaching staff. However, his fitness concerns extend beyond club football, with France U23 manager Thierry Henry also monitoring his progress. Ugochukwu is part of Henry's plans for the 2024 Olympic Games, and his absence during the March internationals against Ivory Coast and the United States was attributed to his ongoing recovery.

As Ugochukwu navigates his rehabilitation process, both Chelsea and the French national team management will prioritize his long-term health and fitness, ensuring he makes a full recovery before returning to competitive action.




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