A cameo for Chikeluba

By Nduka Orjinmo

The success stories of the likes of Francis Jeffers, Theo Walcott and recently Jordan Henderson will prove how powerful the media can be in making a player.

And when you add an extremely talented player like Andy Carroll, then media power is perhaps the icing on the cake for football fraud.

That is why I feel Chikeluba Ofoedu of Rangers International is worth whatever shop window placement the media can give to him at this point.

He even has the added advantage of being a real talent, unlike the English flops deified by the press over there.

For once, the crux will not be his invitation to the nation’s U17 Eaglets and his touted invitation to the Super Eagles next time on by Coach Stephen Keshi, but rather on the player himself.

For those who have watched the young Chikeluba Ofoedu either live on TV when rain did not interrupt signals or who like me have seen him live, then his talent oozes forth in tremendous portions and points the way forward in a career chart that just began the climb.

Chikeluba boasts of a fine off- the- ball movement, one of the best I have seen in a local striker.

Only if Jude Aneke could have this, you wonder how many goals he could get. Chikeluba has the pace, good dribbling skills and a greasy foot that allows for flair and sharp turns.

Against Dolphins, he was exceptional. His constant runs into spaces behind the Dolphins defence and his ability to drift out wide was a source of torment to the Dolphins defence.

Pity he has no knowledge of Kennedy Chinwo, he would have gone to the left.

The 4-4-2 formation favoured by Coach Okey Emordi also favours his style of play. But his choice as an out and out point striker in my opinion, is under-utilizing his potentials.

A 4-4-2 diamond with Chikeluba as the support striker I feel, would be far more potent an attack and would increase the goals haul of his side.

Though he may not really get more of his own with such a formation, you feel that a potent striker-Victor Ezeji in his prime- or a less mobile Jude Aneke will profit from a combo with Chikeluba.

His ability to find those spaces and make those runs-a rarity in our league-, will drag center backs out of position and with his trickery; you feel that he can always find that space for the telling final ball.

However, he is not the finished player yet.

Pity we don’t have the nursery’s that dot the Dutch, Spanish or German football landscapes that would have groomed him into a better player.

What the guy is driving on is just the raw God-given talent and you wonder what a player he would be with the right football upbringing.

That education is the difference between a confident cool chip over the goalkeeper and a rash shot into his mid-rift; a bent shot into the bottom right of the goal and a powerful shot flying on fate; it is the difference between an in-swerved free kick or corner and a flat booted kick with no intent.

Ultimately, that education is what makes the near perfect player.

His shooting ability, his aerial potency, his balance, his final pass and his defensive duties all have to be worked on to make him a better player.

Hopefully, coach okey Emordi will be able to give him the tutelage that will improve him as a man and player.

Coach Emordi should also realize that the lad is still quite young and so has a developing physique.

The rigors of a full season in the NPL against defenders like ThankGod Ike may perhaps slow down the growth of the youngster.

He should be used cautiously, a la Arsene Wenger.

You can follow Nduka Orjinmo via twitter at @Orjinmounduka
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  1. I literally loved the way you blogged. Hey, if i ask you the top 10 benefits of double glazing, what things will you include?