Roda JC Kerkrade of Holland defender, Ike Ugbo has disclosed that he opted to take up the offer of playing in the Dutch Eredivisie because he believes he will grow better playing top-flight soccer in The Netherlands than serving another term in the lower cadre English Championship.
Ugbo, who was loaned severally by Chelsea to clubs in England’s lower divisions, disclosed that he took the bold decision to step outside Queensland because he believes the tactical and technology levels are higher in Holland than they are in the EFL.
The Nigerian-born youngster, whose parents and two sisters were in the stands when he scored on his home debut in a 2-1 loss to NEC Nijmegen on August 23, revealed that some English clubs battled with Roda for his signature before he opted for Holland in the summer transfer window.
Touted as one of the top talents at the Chelsea Academy, Ugbo struggled to live up to his billing during his loan spells at Barnsley, Milton Keynes Dons and Scunthorpe United, and would have remained in England this season if not for a phone call from Roda manager Jean-Paul de Jong.
However, after making a total of 46 appearances in the Football League, with only four goals to show for his efforts, the former England U17 international player believes it is better to see his fortunes elsewhere, hence his move to Roda.
Ugbo disclosed: ”When Roda JC presented himself, we decided to ignore the interest of English clubs and move towards a transfer to the Netherlands.
”Although I had several options, I informed my agent that I only wanted to go to Roda JC. Dutch football is more tactical and more technology-oriented than the lower divisions in England.
“On the internet I searched for information about Roda JC and I saw a beautiful, large and filled stadium. I was immediately impressed, but the decisive answer was the telephone call from Jean-Paul de Jong.
”I was still in London when the coach called me. He mentioned my strengths and stated the position he had in mind for me. There was a lot of confidence in that.
”I immediately had a good feeling and greatly appreciated how he approached me. Never before had I had such a personal conversation with a coach.”