As Chelsea are preparing to face Brighton and Hove Albion in their Premier League opener, Tariq Uwakwe has been busy shining in League One.
SaveChelsea understands that the midfielder is currently on loan at Accrington Stanley, earning valuable first-team experience as he bids to show Blues head coach Frank Lampard that he’s ready to play a key role at Stamford Bridge at some point in the future.
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If Lampard needed a reminder of how talented the teenager is, he got another one on Saturday afternoon.
SaveChelsea recalls that Uwakwe marked his competitive league debut with a goal in Stanley’s 2-0 win over Peterborough United.
According to the club description, Wonderkid found the top corner of the net from the edge of the area on 85 minutes.
That capped off a perfect week for the 20-year-old as he scored a hat-trick in an EFL Trophy tie against Leeds United U21’s – less 24 hours after sealing his loan move from the Blues.
“It was really just how I wanted to start,” Uwakwe told his new club’s in-house media. “To score a hat-trick on my debut is the best feeling.
“It’s always great to get a big win. We’ve got a big game on Saturday so we’ll keep working towards that. I played one friendly before getting here so to come here, get 90 minutes and score a hat-trick is special.”
Amid links to the likes of Declan Rice, the west London outfit could save millions by giving the academy product more of a prominent role next season.
Uwakwe could prove to be a versatile option as he’s played central midfield at youth level for the Blues, but is being used as an attack-minded left wing-back at Accrington.
“I’m just trying to adapt as quickly as possible and my team-mates are helping me get used to it,” he added.
“I’ve played in so many positions I’ve lost count myself but I don’t mind – as long as I’m on the pitch I’ll do a job for the team.
“There’s a lot of adjusting to do – certain things off the field that I haven’t done yet but once you get on the pitch everything calms down again.