Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze has got another feather added to his cap of individual honours, as Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have named him in a list of 50 young players that are expected to shake the continent’s top leagues this season.
Although Chukwueze will only be in his second season ever at senior level in La Liga, UEFA deem him among the top prospects, based on his exploits with The Yellow Submarine last time out and with the Super Eagles at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Despite a dilemma that almost saw him opt for the Flying Eagles at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, instead of going to AFCON 2019 with the senior team, Chukwueze twinkled bright in the opening group game against Burundi, then scored a goal and was named man of the match in the quarter-finals’ 2-1 victory over South Africa.
Chukwueze showed early signs of justifying his rating, as the Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup gold medalist scored from a fine solo effort in Villarreal’s 4-3 pre-season win over Bologna of Italy at Olímpico de San Marino.
Chukwueze got off The Yellow Submarine’s bench in his first pre-season friendly appearance for the club, since returning from international duty with Nigeria at AFCON 2019.
Six minutes after he was introduced, the young winger breezed past his markers to strike one home and give Villarreal a 3-1 lead at the time.
The home side fought back to level, but eventually were outdone by the Spanish club when forward Gerard Moreno fired home the winner.
Bologna also featured a young Nigerian, Michael Kingsley, who was also in Nigeria’s Chile 2015-winning team and joined La Rossoblu in 2018, but was sent on loan to Perugia two seasons ago.
Chukwueze wiull now aim to be on fire this weekend, when Villarreal open their La Liga campaign for the new season with a home game against newly promoted Granada on Saturday at Ceramics Stadium.