Uche Ikpeazu: Middlesbrough belong in the Premier League

Nigeria born Heart of Midlothian forward Uche Ikpeazu is in celebration mood for following his invitation by Cranes of Uganda ahead of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers.

Ugandan international Uche Ikpeazu has revealed his main ambition at new club Middlesbrough is to help them gain promotion to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old sealed a transfer move to the Riverside outfit ahead of the start of pre-season seven days ago after agreeing to terms to leave Wycombe Wanderers and sign a three-year contract.

Ikpeazu has thanked Boro manager Neil Warnock for having faith in him and promised to bang in goals that can help them earn promotion to the top-flight.

“I had known about the interest for a while. I played against Middlesbrough a couple of times during the 2020-21 season and I did very well and ever since then, the manager [Neil Warnock] was interested in me,” Ikpeazu said as quoted by

“And fortunately for me, he brought me over to Middlesbrough which is such a massive club, so I am just excited.

“My expectations for me, the magnitude of the club, they should be playing in the Premier League. So, obviously, that is my ambition to try and score goals, make assists, just put up lovely performances to help Boro at least get into the play-offs for promotion and then, we will take it from there.

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“I am just taking every game as it comes but I am very ambitious and of course, I know that I will be playing under a very experienced manager who can help us achieve some great things as well.”

On working under Warnock, Ikpeazu said, “I am very excited, like I said before, to work with a manager who has been in the game for such a long time and obviously, it’s an honour for me as well that he wanted to bring me to the club.

“It just shows the kind of belief he has in me as a player, so I am excited and hopefully, we can achieve some great things together. What did he do to convince me to join Boro?

“There wasn’t much convincing to join when I knew that they were interested in signing me, I just wanted to jump at the opportunity, and like I said before, ever since I got released from Watford, I set myself a target.

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“That very target was that by the age of 25, I would be playing in the Championship, I had always wanted to get back to that club of that stature, so there was no convincing when I knew that he was interested in me.”

On the memories he has for his former club Wycombe, Ikpeazu, who is yet to play for the Uganda national team, The Cranes explained, “The fond memories that I have of Wycombe, they are so many, I think that particularly the way it started, obviously, I missed more or less the first half of the season and I couldn’t start a game until the end of December 2020.

“I think the fond memories are just bouncing back from all those injuries, illness and all these things and scoring my first goal in the Championship against Middlesbrough funnily enough, I think that was an emotional day for me.”

Last season, Boro finished the Championship in position 10 after managing 64 points from 46 matches.

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