Young Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo has left the club, and this time for good. After four years of various loans of varying success, the 22-year-old has decided to continue his career at KRC Genk in the Belgian top flight. He has signed a 4-year contract through 2025 and will wear the No. 21 shirt.
Genk, whom we might remember as the team from where we signed Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois a decade ago, are reportedly paying about £3m up front, with another £2-3m or so in add-ons tied to Champions League group stage qualification. We might have also inserted a 20 per cent sell-on clause in the deal.
Ugbo had been with Chelsea since before age 10, growing up at the Academy and finding great success especially at the U18 and U19 levels. That led to a few different loans in England, in the second and third divisions, but those proved perhaps a bit too much too soon. Ugbo would recover his form at Roda JC in the Dutch second division two seasons ago, and build on that with a successful loan last season at Cercle Brugge in the Belgian first division — to where he now returns, with a much better team, and much bigger ambitions.
Good luck, Ike! Perhaps we’ll meet some day in the Champions League!