Ikechukwu Uche urges Chukwueze to continue developing in Villarreal
Super Eagles’ former striker, Ikechukwu Uche has told Villarreal forward and fellow Nigerian, Samuel Chukwueze to treat growing transfer speculation as a compliment and continue to develop at his former club.
19-year-old Chukwueze is enjoying a breakthrough season, scoring in the Spanish La Liga, Europa League and Spanish Cup.
Chukwueze’s form has caught the attention of clubs across Europe, but Uche – who is highly revered at Villarreal – believes the teenager’s interest will be best served by staying.
“Chukwueze is doing well at Villarreal so it’s only normal to have growing speculation about his future in the media, but he is in a good place,” Uche told BBC Sport.
“He should treat all this attention as a compliment and continue to grow because his impressive rise from the reserves to the first team is still fresh.
“Villarreal is a good club, he is being taken care of and he’s surrounded by quality players that will help him grow.
“The people there are dedicated to protecting and improving him, so there is no pressure on him.”
Nigeria’s fourth highest scorer with 19 goals, Uche joined Villarreal from Real Zaragoza in August 2011, but was immediately loaned out to then Spanish La Liga newboys Granada, for the 2011/12 season. He returned to relegated Villarreal for 2012-13 and emerged as top scorer with 14 goals to lead the team back to the top flight.
In 2013-14, Uche scored another 14 goals as the club finished in sixth place to secure a Europa League spot.
He believes his compatriot Chukwueze, who is capable of playing on either flank, is capable of making bigger impact at Estadio de la Cerámica.
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