Villarreal’s Chukwueze must work on finishing, warns Adepoju

Samuel Chukwueze Villarreal 2019-20
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The 21-year-old was impressive against Real Madrid, albeit, the former Los Blancos midfielder wants the youngster to be more clinical in front of goal

Samuel Chukwueze may have helped Villarreal hold Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in Saturday’s La Liga encounter but Mutiu Adepoju feels the youngster must improve in front of goal.

Without inspirational captain Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema due to injury, Los Blancos took the lead after just 107 second through Mariano Diaz.

Nevertheless, the Yellow Submarine levelled matters from the penalty spot through Gerard Moreno after Thibaut Courtois had fouled the Nigerian in the box.

Chukwueze was a constant threat to Zinedine Zidane’s side's defenders, albeit, he fluffed several scoring opportunities that could have handed the hosts all three points at stake.

Giving an assessment of his performance, the former Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Racing Santander midfielder rated the youngster highly, however, insisted he has a lot of work to do in terms of scoring.

“When he was brought on in the second half, he really caused havoc against Real Madrid,” LaLiga ambassador Adepoju told Goal.

“He was the brain behind the goal Villarreal scored and overall, he had a very great game.

“However, when he gets near the goal, he rushes and fires off target because he is not calming down.

“Probably, he needs to work on his finishing skills during training because I feel with his dribbling abilities, he should be scoring more goals.

“He has made an impact in the few games he has played [this season] and I still believe he is still in the right direction.”

Thanks to his impressive outing when he helped Nigeria win the 2017 Fifa U17 World Cup in Chile, the speedy winger was signed by the Spanish elite division side from Diamond Football Academy.

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Having impressed for Villarreal’s reserves in the third tier, he was promoted to the senior team – making his debut in a Europa League game against Rangers – as manager Javi Calleja brought him on as a 79th-minute replacement for Nicola Sansone.

The 21-year-old made his league debut on November 5, 2018, playing every minute in a 1-1 draw against Levante.

Since then, he has been a regular in the Yellow Submarine setup - while accentuating his importance to the team with eye-catching performances which got him among 2019’s Golden Boy 40-man shortlist and also earned him a call-up to Nigeria’s senior national team.