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France youth star, Lesley Ugochukwu, open to playing for Nigeria

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26 Lesley UGOCHUKWU (srfc) during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Marseille and Rennes at Orange Velodrome on September 19, 2021 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Christophe Saidi/FEP/Icon Sport via Getty Images)Fast rising France youth international, Lesley Ugochukwu, says he is “not closing any doors” on playing for Nigeria in the future, but admits he is focusing on his career with Les Bleuets Ugochukwu, 18, who plays for French top club, Rennes, has Nigerian parents – making him eligible to play for the three-time African champions.

Under FIFA rules, he is free to switch because he has not yet played for France’s senior national team. And, despite three goals from 15 France caps at U-18 to U-19 level, Ugochukwu says he will not close the door on Nigeria.“I’m only focused on France and my club right now, but my parents are from Nigeria, so I’m not closing any doors,” he told The Guardian. “As a young player, I cannot look too far ahead by speaking on the future.

I am growing at my club, learning and improving with the France team. “Right now, there’s no pressure on me to make any decision, but we will see what happens in the future.”Ugochukwu, who is the nephew of former Rennes and Nigeria defender, Onyekachi Apam, was born in Rennes in 2004.He joined the Brittany club’s academy in 2012 and progressed through the ranks before making his senior debut in April 2021.

A defensive midfielder, his frame and style of play has drawn comparisons to Arsenal legend, Patrick Vieira, while his impressive form for Rennes since March 2022 has attracted interest from English and German clubs. “I can’t pay too much attention to stuff written in the media because it can easily create unnecessary distractions,” he added. “It’s good to

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