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Club Brugge: The Raphael Onyedika Conundrum

Club Brugge faces difficult decisions now that Raphael Onyedika is going through peaks and valleys this season. He is a footballing number six who always thinks ahead and offensively, which sometimes disrupts the balance in Ronny Deila’s team.

The recent emergence of Casper Nielsen adds extra competition, with coach appearing to prefer the Dane, who is more useful in terms of tactics and positional play.

Onyedika is intrinsically a player for the European top and in recent weeks and months he has been – not coincidentally? – linked with a summer transfer to Galatasaray or even FC Barcelona.

However, Onyedika is not a player to put on the bench and Club Brugge has always intended to cash in heavily on him in the long term.

Raphael Onyedika is a player for the European top

Raphael Onyedika is experiencing a season full of highs and lows. He shone in the first games of the new season with good defensive positioning and very vertical passing.

Despite the fact that the Nigerian midfielder occasionally took risks, which sometimes led to losing the ball, the ‘golden triangle’ in central midfield with Hugo Vetlesen and Hans Vanaken performed excellently.

Onyedika was often in the right place, and the team regularly built through him. He was strong in the duels and in his positioning on the field. René Vandereycken loved how the Nigerian played and predicted that he is a player who will eventually move to a top competition.

Also The morning noted that many observers credit him with the European top. “Potentially by far the best player in the defensive or controlling compartment of Club, for many within the club, despite a changeable first round, still a 22-year-old talent who can aspire to the European (sub) top,” said The last news.

Onyedika is raw gold, but remains a high-risk patient

Raphael Onyedika plays on the six this season, but he is not a typical ‘breaker’. More of a footballing number six who always thinks ahead and offensively, which sometimes disrupts the balance in Ronny Deila’s team.

Onyedika has enormous footballing qualities, but too often consistency and focus are still lacking. The last news noted that Onyedika exudes class, but also nonchalance.

The coach often had to call Onyedika and Hugo Vetlesen, the regular ‘sixes’ for the defense at the start of the season, to order to make it clear to them that they could not both run for the ball at the same time.

It is striking that the Nigerian can maintain a strong defensive focus in one match, can do the dirty work and plays defensively in a disciplined manner. On the other hand, his tendency towards nonchalance in defense, but also in build-up, has repeatedly proven to be a major problem.

The newspapaer established that Onyedika’s guilelessness had already made him a wrong-way driver at Club Brugge. “The Nigerian is gold, but raw gold,” the newspaper said. “Onyedika remains a high-risk patient.”

Casper Nielsen has played Onyedika out of the team

After a few wake-up calls, Raphael Onyedika took steps in his positional play for the defense and he finally seemed to have understood what was expected of him. “It would be surprising if – barring rotation – he disappears from the team,” wrote The last news.

On the other hand, Ronny Deila wanted to anticipate the fact that Club Brugge was far too open and vulnerable in the transition, and at the same time he wanted to play as dominantly as possible. The last news noted that Onyedika often failed to live up to expectations as number six.

“A great shotter, but one who often did not pay attention to his position, the spaces or the balance in the team.”

Although the Dane was not initially a player for Deila, the coach gradually saw him as the best option in the number six position in terms of tactics and positional play.

Nielsen has a more useful profile in that regard, despite Onyedika’s unadulterated class. During Onyedika’s absence from the Africa Cup, Nielsen managed to make his mark and became increasingly important at Club Brugge, so it is not a given that the Nigerian will simply get his starting place back.

The last news even suggests that Onyedika has little prospect of a starting spot given the rise of Nielsen and his growing influence within the team.

Onyedika out at Club Brugge?

On the list at Galatasaray and FC Barcelona With the stiff competition in central midfield, the battle for starting places is becoming increasingly intense, but Raphael Onyedika is not a player to be put on the bench.

Club Brugge has always had in mind to cash in heavily in the long term on Onyedika, who, with a purchase value of almost 10 million euros, is the club’s second most expensive incoming transfer.

At 22 years of age, the talented number six still has significant room for growth, meaning he is likely to be highly sought after in the next summer transfer window.

In recent weeks there have been several rumors about a possible transfer of Onyedika to the Turkish top club Galatasaray, while Sports world has also mentioned him as a potential signing for FC Barcelona.

2024-02-14 16:24:00
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