“The problem is the same for you”, “You can hardly make bench” – Thierry Henry sends lack of playing time message to Chelsea star

Thierry Henry has admitted his concern about a lack of game time for one of the players in his French under-21 side.

The midfielder joined Chelsea in the summer as part of the latest batch of signings made under the ownership of Todd Boehly but has not yet established himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

He has made a handful of late cameos in recent games, but Henry is worried about players in his national team squad that are not getting regular minutes.

The player in question has featured in all four games for the French under-21 side as as Henry has made a 100 per cent start to his latest managerial role.

He was also rated as one of the top talents in Ligue 1 last season, prompting Chelsea to part with £23.5million to secure his services in August.

The Chelsea man Henry is referring to is Lesley Ugochukwu, the 19-year-old who has been on the fringes at Stamford Bridge so far this season.

Ugochukwu has made just one Premier League start so far this term, with Pochettino preferring to select fellow new arrival Moises Caicedo alongside Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher.

Henry also expressed his concern at the similar situation that fellow French prospect Johann Lepenant faces at Lyon.

L’Equipe have reported that he said: ‘Johann’s situation is increasingly worrying. For us, he continues to be more than good and we’ll continue to help him on a physical level whilst he’s on international duty, but it’s up to him and his entourage to solve the problem with Lyon.

‘The problem is the same with Lesley. Even if the situation is different at Chelsea because in front of him there are players like Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.

‘But he’s not playing, and nowadays, these players don’t even play with the reserve side to keep their rhythm. At the start of the season, you can benefit from the physical conditioning of the pre-season but the benefits fade. I hope he can continue to keep on course physically.’

Ugochukwu has been regularly used as a substitute by Pochettino and has played the full 90 minutes in all three of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup fixtures this term.

And the former Tottenham boss has been pleased with what he’ seen from the Rennes academy graduate so far.

‘He is really young and to compete at this level [the Premier League] is always difficult. But I think his performance was good,’ Pochettino said after Ugochukwu’s only Premier League start against Bournemouth.

However, it appears that Arsenal legend Henry is keen to see Ugochukwu feature more regularly in the near future.

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