Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are reportedly set to go head to head in the race to sign Rennes whizkid Lesley Ugochukwu.
According to L’Equipe, Rennes are set to face a battle to keep hold of Lesley Ugochukwu. The young midfielder has become one of the most sought-after youngsters, with various clubs interested in securing his services before the new season starts. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are no exception, and the north London rivals could potentially enter a transfer duel to sign Ugochukwu.
Arsenal are favoured in the pursuit of Ugochuku, but Tottenham are not far behind, with the report adding that the Lilywhites may have some good “arguments” in their quest to sign the midfielder. Other than these two, German giants, Borussia Dortmund, are keeping close tabs on the youngster’s situation as well.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Ugochukwu rose to prominence earlier in the campaign when he made a series of appearances from the bench. He is a product of the Rennes youth academy that has produced some talented players in recent years, including Ousmane Dembele and Eduardo Camavinga.
Many expect Ugochukwu to follow in the footsteps of Camavinga due to his ability to offer protection to the backline, coupled with his hard-working mentality. Standing at 1.88m, the 17-year-old even has a superior physical shape which could make him an ideal fit for the physically astute nature of the Premier League.
Arsenal are likely considering Ugochukwu as a potential alternative for their first-choice midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. It is no secret that Mikel Arteta’s side are gunning for depth in the middle of the park, having already reignited their interest in Arthur Melo of Juventus.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are hoping to secure the services of Ugochukwu as part of the club’s major revamp, with more emphasis on the development of young players. At the age of 17, the young Frenchman has the ability to become a vital cog in Antonio Conte’s tactical setup and a potential alternative to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
However, it remains to be seen whether the Lilywhites can fend off competition from Arsenal, who have a far greater reputation for nurturing young talents. It won’t be surprising to see the 17-year-old end up at the Emirates in the new season, although a prolonged stay at Rennes cannot be ruled out either, given the youngster has just started his professional career.