Canadian striker Iké Ugbo left out of Troyes squad; which EFL Championship club might want him?
Updated January 30, 2023
Canadian striker Iké Ugbo got his move to a top European league last year when he moved to Troyes on a loan before the French club made it a permanent deal in the summer. But this season is not going as he would have hoped.
After being an unused substitute in Troyes’ 1-5 loss to Lille, Ugbo was left out of the matchday squad for the game against Lens on Saturday, January 28. There were rumours about an exit earlier in the week, and this omission might be another indication of a potential move.
So far this season, the 24-year-old has played just 404 minutes for the French side, starting five out of the 14 games he has been part of. He may have found the net just once in Ligue 1 this season, but he hasn’t had a chance to gain form due to a lack of consistent playing time.
Last season, in comparison, he started 11 of the 14 games he played after arriving in the winter window, and scored five goals, helping the team to stay afloat.
With Troyes placing their faith in Mama Baldé this season, they could let Ugbo leave, and multiple Championship teams are interested in the English-born Canadian international, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
While there are no solid reports on which English second-tier clubs could be potential landing spots, Bristol City, who just sold their striker Antoine Semenyo to Premier League club Bournemouth, may be likely to be one of the teams. Currently sitting at the 17th spot, just seven points above the relegation zone, Ugbo could have a similar impact for them as he had for Troyes last season and prevent them from sinking.
Fellow strugglers Stoke City could use a number nine as well after Liam Delap was recalled by Manchester City and sent on loan to Preston North End. With Dwight Gayle having one goal in 21 league games this season, Ugbo could provide the magic the Potters desperately need to stay up in the Championship.
Meanwhile, Blackburn, who are fifth right now, have the least goals scored in the top 10 with 31. Striker Jack Vale is yet to score a goal in 13 league appearances and although Ben Brereton Díaz has been their leading scorer, but is playing out of position often. Adding Ugbo could help Brereton Díaz return to his best position while having a proven goalscorer alongside in their quest for promotion. However, it seems a move to Rovers is not on the cards.
Watford are another team in a playoff spot that could potentially use Ugbo to solve their striking woes. Keinan Davis has just four goals in 19 games so far, and the former Chelsea man could provide the firepower they need upfront to continue their push towards a Premier League return.
In 13th currently, QPR are just four points away from a playoff spot, but could slide down if Lyndon Dykes is sold soon. The Scottish striker had one bid from Rangers rejected, but the club is open to selling him, and if they do, Ugbo could fill in and provide the required goalscoring touch.
Wherever he may end up this window, it’s clear that Ugbo needs a move as it’s not looking likely that he’ll start playing a big role for Troyes any time soon.