Sheffield Wednesday will cynically hope surprise Ike Ugbo situation doesn't change

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Sheffield Wednesday supporters hoping the club can make good on their ambition to sign Ike Ugbo this summer will cynically hope Thursday evening’s Canada match is a sign of things to come this summer.

The Star has reported Wednesday’s interest in the forward, who arrived on loan in January and made a marked impact, belting seven goals in his 19 appearances including a red hot run of six goals in five games as February turned to March.

While it’s expected he’ll move on from Troyes this summer - likely via a permanent transfer as things stand - it’s understood any deal for Ugbo won’t be an easy one to complete, with a host of clubs in England, in Europe and in the MLS keen on stealing his signature. It’s also believed the 25-year-old won’t come cheap.

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Ugbo is set to take part in the Copa America in the colours of Canada in the coming weeks, with The Star revealing last month that any moves on his club future will have to wait until their participation is over. It sparked suggestions that the tournament could act as a ‘shop window’ for Ugbo as clubs keep a close eye on the tournament for potential targets.

A Thursday night friendly defeat to Holland, though, saw Ugbo surprisingly left kicking his heels on the bench in what was the first game in charge for former Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch. Canada were hammered 4-0 in a one-sided affair in Amsterdam. Marsch used six substitutes - bringing on four attacking players - while Ugbo watched on from the sidelines.

The decision came as a surprise after Mauro Biello - now Marsch’s assistant - started Ugbo during a short stint as interim coach in March and was rewarded with an assist by the former Chelsea youngster in a 2-0 Nations League clash win over Trinidad and Tobago. Biello had spoken about a bright international future for the Owls target.

Though any mitigating reasons for Ugbo’s lack of involvement are not yet known, as far as ‘shop window’ theories go, Wednesday will be happy with Ugbo fulfilling a similar role this summer. Canada take on France in Bordeaux on Sunday before making the trip to the US where they will play in the curtain-raiser of the Copa America against holders Argentina.