Bukayo Saka remains the only senior right winger in Arsenal’s fold and the Gunners are eyeing a backup in person of Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze and with new Aston Villa manager, Unai Emery also targeting the Nigerian, Chukwueze’s dream of plying his trade in the English top flight may come true in the winter transfer
Arsenal have entered the race to sign Nigerian international, Samuel Chukwueze.
Chukwueze is an exciting young winger who came through the Villarreal youth team and has already made 24 appearances for his country at the age of 23 .
The Nigerian international has spent the majority of his career playing off the right wing, but he has struggled to score goals consistently at the top level.
This hasn’t stopped multiple clubs showing interest in signing Chukwueze – according to Fichajes, Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Everton are in the race to secure his signature.
Arsenal do not have a recognised backup for Bukayo Saka on the right-hand side except for the inexperienced Marquinhos. Bringing in a player of Chukwueze’s calibre, a player who has plenty of experience at the top level at a young age, could be a smart move, possibly allowing Marquinhos to be sent out on loan.
However, his lack of goals could be a concern to Mikel Arteta, who relies on players all over the pitch to contribute, with Gabriel Jesus, not a natural, goalscoring striker.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa Manager, Unai Emery is thought to be eyeing a move for the Villarreal forward.
Chukwueze is primarily a right-winger who can also play on the left or in an attacking midfield role.
The 23-year-old has been hailed as a ‘ridiculous’ player who ‘tortures’ defenders and he knows Emery well.
He lined out on 94 occasions under the 51-year-old, contributing to 29 goals, and it looks as if a move for the Nigeria international could be on the cards for Villa.
Sport Witness relayed an update from a Spanish source regarding Chukwueze and Villa on Monday. They claimed that ‘Emery calls Chukwueze to be Aston Villa’s top winter signing’, with Arsenal, Everton and West Ham also name-checked with an interest.
Chukwueze has only been recalled to the Villarreal XI on a consistent basis since Emery made his decision to take on a second job in the Premier League.
While the playmaker has made five starts in the Europa Conference League, eight of his 12 outings in La Liga have been as a substitute.
Although Villarreal would ideally like to retain Chukwueze’s services in the long term, just over 18 months remain on his contract at Estadio de la Ceramica.
In total, Chukwueze has contributed 27 goals and 24 assists from his 176 appearances in all competitions, 20 of those outings coming in the Europa League triumph in 2020-21 and run to the Champions League semi final during the following season.
This season, despite limited match action, he leads the way for shot-creating actions per 90, sits third for average goal-creating actions and outranks his colleagues for dribbles per 90. The Super Eagle is creating 2.0 chances per 90, outdoing Villarreal teammate, although slipping to fourth for the expected p20 suggests those opportunities have not always been on high quality.
The Nigerian talent can strike the ball with power and accuracy from long range and can even set up some inviting chances for others around him on the attacking third of the field.
At 23, Chukwueze is a player on the rise and has what it takes to help the Villans push for a top-half finish in the Premier League. He will undoubtedly bring more pace and goals to Unai Emery’s attack having previously played under the new Aston Villa manager at Villarreal. Furthermore, he would give Emery more options in the final third.
However, it remains to be seen whether Chukwueze can maintain his good form in the Premier League if the West Midlands club successfully manage to lure him to Villa Park this January or next summer. Still, there is no denying that he will be an exciting acquisition for Aston Villa to pull off in 2023.
Report adds that any prospective suitor would need to pay around €50m (£43.5m) for the forward, which would make him Villa’s most expensive signing of all time if they land him for that amount.
The Nigerian is absolutely rapid and is a very good dribbler as well. He can score goals, create chances, and the fact that he’s still only 23 means he will only get better in the coming years.
Chukwueze was snapped up by the Spanish top-flight team from Diamond Football Academy thanks to his impressive outing where he helped the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria win the 2017 Fifa U-17 World Cup in Chile.
There, he was named third-best player behind Johannes Eggestein and compatriot Victor Osimhen.
Having impressed for the club’s reserves in the third tier, he was promoted to the senior team – making his debut in a Europa League game against Rangers – as manager Javi Calleja brought him in as a 79th-minute replacement for Nicola Sansone.
Since then, he has been a regular in the Yellow Submarine setup, while accentuating his importance to the team with eye-catching performances.
Days after winning the Bronze Ball – on the strength of three goals and three assists – and helping Nigeria win a fifth U-17 world title, football agency Stellar Group signed Chukwueze and three other players from the Nigerian squad.
The deal saw the highly sought-after star, who models his game on Arjen Robben, sign for a top European club, as those before him had done.
The only snag that hindered a potential move abroad very early was his age, as the attacker, 16, and would have to wait for two years before he could sign professional terms.
The teenager returned home while awaiting news from his agents about a potential career move, and kept busy by shuttling between training and playing for Diamond Academy and the Nigeria U-20s, who were involved in the qualification for the ill-fated 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.
After celebrating his 17th birthday, he seemed poised to join Arsenal, alongside Nwakali, who signed a five-year contract with the Gunners.
However, Diamond Academy pulled the plug on the deal at the last minute, and Chukwueze began to slip out of the limelight, a situation made more challenging by his Golden Eaglets teammates of lesser profiles securing moves to Europe.
Undeterred by those series of disappointments, Chukwueze eventually packed his bags and journeyed to Spain, first joining Villarreal’s U-18 team, before being promoted to the B team.
Founded on January 22, 1995, THISDAY is published by THISDAY NEWSPAPERS LTD., 35 Creek Road Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria with offices in 36 states of Nigeria , the Federal Capital Territory and around the world. It is Nigeria’s most authoritative news media available on all platforms for the political, business, professional and diplomatic elite and broader middle classes while serving as the meeting point of new ideas, culture and technology for the aspirationals and millennials. The newspaper is a public trust dedicated to the pursuit of truth and reason covering a range of issues from breaking news to politics, business, the markets, the arts, sports and community to the crossroads of people and society.
You can email us at: email@example.com or visit our contact us page.