Wednesday Dec 07, 2016. 13:51
Top scouting agency Instat has named three Nigeria stars, Samuel Adegbenro, Leke James and Fred Friday, among the top stars for the past season in Norway.
Both James and Friday have already made good the huge promise they have shown in Norway by moving on to China and Netherlands before the season ended.
Adegbenro, who has a four-year contract at Viking, is an explosive attacking midfielder who averaged six successful dribbles last season and he has also caught the interest of clubs outside Norway.
Here are excerpts of the Instat Scouting report on the three players –
“Samuel is a young attacking midfielder able to play on both wings. At the beginning of last year the Nigerian moved to Norway and in one season he has become irreplaceable player for Viking first-team.
“After he achieved significant progress, the African talent has attracted attention of scouts from all over Europe.
“Adegbenro is well-built from the physical point of view; due to this the midfielder is effective in challenges, winning aerial balls. The Nigerian possesses powerful acceleration and high speed that allows him to make box-to-box runs with the ball.
“Samuel is different from other pacey Africans due to high-quality ball control. In attacking zones he is moving zigzag making defenders’ task significantly more difficult.
“Last season he made 6 successful dribbles per game on average. When he gets to the goal-line, Samuel prefers to make low crosses, but the player more often cuts inside, threatening the opposition from there.
“The midfielder takes powerful shots with both feet and is able to finish with his first touch. Due to his stamina Adegbenro contributes much to the defensive side of the game. He helps full-back, not only closing down opposition wide players, but also blocking possible passing directions.
“Samuel is young; he is progressing rapidly and has successfully adapted to Europe. Due to being one-footed, he is often predictable and sometimes spends too much time trying to trap the ball to his right foot.
“Explosive acceleration and work-rate of the Nigerian will be helpful for counterattacking teams which put emphasis on fast transition from defense to attack.
“The player is popular not only in his home country, but in Norway as well. Local media reports predict him bright future in European top leagues. Samuel possesses quite humble self-image. He thanks God for his success in social networks, and shows quite serious attitude to religion.”
“Powerful and agile forward — Actions in finishing phase View — Heading View — Use of dribbling View Leke James arrived in Norway straight from Nigerian team Julius Berger.
“He adapted to the new league quite fast and last season he played in all fixtures without being substituted.
“Leke stands out for consistent record scoring in every second game.
“James is an athletic footballer with excellent anthropometrical parameters. He possesses good acceleration and pace for a player of his size. He is constantly involved into challenges including aerial duels.
“One of Leke’s main strengths is his ability to battle for aerial balls. Due to strong body and proper positioning James wins most of them. He is able to jump over defender from behind. The player can make precise nods. He is helpful during set-piece situations both in own and opposition penalty area. “Forward moves across the whole width of the pitch actively offering himself for a pass. He can keep control under pressure using tricks, movements to the opposite side or knocking the ball forward.
“Exchanges passes quickly and sends his partners into free areas. When he has areas in front of himself, Leke uses wide steps moving onto the wing and delivering crosses into the penalty area. James likes and has the ability to open at high speed behind defenders’ backs.
“He has good reflexes, it allows him to follow actions in attacking zones quickly. Often picks up neutral balls bouncing in the opposition area.
“Leke gets first to crosses or pushes through the opponent fighting for the ball. He is right-footed player, but he can shoot with his left one when it’s necessary. These a forward aimed at goal. Most of his shots are placed into corners.
“His set of skills allows coaches to use James in any tactical model. He is especially useful in situations when the team needs to move into the opposition half. James always tries to grab the ball and keep possession.
“But he has tendency to hold the ball too long under pressure while playing with his back to the goal. Moreover, he is a player of changing mood; it affects his activity in particular fixtures.
“At the same time, Leke is quite an ambitious person. Once, after having scored 2 goals in 5 matches, he continued to be unhappy with his results.”
“Fred is a product of Bujoc Football Club from Lagos, similar to his teammate Bonke Innocent.
“In summer 2013 at the age of 18 he signed his first professional contract with Lillestrøm and became a player of its youth team.
“After completion of all steps and adaptation in Norway, Friday became main squad player.
“This is a versatile player of attacking group. He is capable of playing in different positions as a central or second forward.
“This footballer has excellent natural anthropometry. He is very muscular and stays firmly on his feet. Friday properly uses his torso and push opponents aside. Despite his tight physique, it is an explosive forward who always fits the tempo of attacking.
“He is good at playing on partners and has high football intelligence. Sees free zones and sends the ball there. Good at using his both feet.
“Has a firm shot what is confirmed by many goals scored outside the box area. One of his brightest qualities is dribbling. Fred is able to overplay several opponents in the limited space due to fast foot work. He uses non-standard tricks which are complicated even for experienced and good defenders.
“Friday uses his strong qualities which are shooting and strength in the finishing phase of attacks. The player is able to take a powerful shot or calmly send the ball into corner of net.
“If we analyze footballer’s presence in social networks we can say that this is a cheerful guy who feels comfortable in Europe. Most of his photos are devoted to training and teammates.
“This is a player who will reach certain heights in football if continues progressing at the same tempo. His tactical variety and natural characteristics are a great treasure, which could turn into a real diamond in a couple of years.”