Nigerian forward Samuel Chukwueze has been touted as one of the most talented young players in European football with recent media reports linking him with a move to a number of Premier League giants.
This comes after a string of dazzling performances for Villarreal through the last season and a half.
Chukwueze’s journey to stardom has included glory with Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets at the 2015 U-17 World Cup and quick progress through Villarreal’s academy: he joined the club in 2017 and made his debut for the first team early in the 2018/19 season.
“It’s not like we found Sam under a stone,” admitted Villarreal Director of International Business, Juan Anton De Salas. “He was already a world champion with Nigeria at the U-17 World Cup in 2015.”
And yet Villarreal are very much responsible for player’s growth from a promising youngster into a full professional. In less than two seasons he has racked up over 60 appearances and 12 goals for the Spanish club, as well as making a mark in international football by being a part of Nigeria’s squad at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Chukwueze, though, still has a way to go. As well as becoming a better player, the 20-year-old can also grow as a person, according to Villarreal teammate and veteran defender Raul Albiol.
“He’s a very good player, very fast and very good in one-against-one situations, a good dribbler,” explained Albion, who has also represented Valencia, Getafe, Real Madrid and Napoli in his club career, as well as winning two European championships and a World Cup with Spain.
Chukwueze is expected to be one of the first names on the team sheet when Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr announces his team for next month’s AFCON qualification clash against Sierra Leone.