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Raphael Onyedika: Everything you need to know about new Nigeria invitee

09:36 SAST 2022/09/18
Raphael Onyedika
The 21-year-old represents Club Brugge - here's your guide to the youngster who has been invited by Jose Peseiro.

Raphael Onyedika has been invited to the Nigeria senior national team for this month’s international friendly against Algeria.

Who is he and what will he bring to the three-time African champions as Jose Peseiro hopes to raise a solid Super Eagles team?

In case you are unfamiliar with the 21-year-old and his style of play, GOAL has come up with an extensive profile of the man who will be expected to make a big impression on the three-time African champions.

Who is Raphael Onyedika?

Onyedika is a professional footballer who represents Belgian elite division side, Club Brugge.

Born in Imo, Nigeria - the talented midfielder initially rose through the youth ranks at FC Ebedei – an outfit owned by Sunday Oliseh’s elder brother Churchill.

After three years at the Amateur side, he joined Danish side Midtjylland in 2019. There, he continued his development and represented the club in the Uefa Youth League.

He was handed his first professional contract on July 1, 2020 – penning a five-year contract with the Wolves. Nonetheless, he was loaned to second-tier outfit FC Fredericia to get more experience.

During his loan spell, the Nigerian impressed – scoring three goals in 28 league matches.

The 2020-21 season – Raphael Onyedika’s breakthrough

Following his return to his parent club, Onyedika was promoted to Midtjylland’s first team, with his debut coming against Odense Boldklub in the first game of the 2021–22 Danish Superliga.

To cap a notable campaign, he featured in 31 league matches with two goals to his credit.

With just six games played in the 2022-23 campaign, he penned a five-year contract with Club Brugge in a deal worth €10 million.

So far, the youngster has played four matches (two leagues, two Uefa Champions League) for Carl Hoefkens’s men.

Which position does Raphael Onyedika play?

Onyedika is a central midfielder and is capable of playing on the right flank, in a holding role, as a deep-lying playmaker, in a box-to-box role, or even as an attacking midfielder.

His style of play has been likened to that of France international and Juventus star Paul Pogba. And it is not surprising the Nigerian sees the ex-Manchester United star as his idol.

“I like to win duels and I am also good with the ball at my feet,” Onyedika told Belgium’s Voetbal Nieuws.

“Personally, I look up to Paul Pogba. A lot of people say we look alike, but I just want to be the best version of myself.”

So what sort of player is he exactly?

Onyedika is a skilful midfielder who is very good when it comes to aerial balls.

The 21-year-old is strong and has also drawn praise for his flair, speed as well as ability to hold up the ball.

What is Raphael Onyedika’s FIFA 23 rating and potential?

Onyedika’s rating is yet to be revealed on FIFA 23, but his FIFA 22 grade was 64 with a potential Rating of 80 overall.

He had a medium attacking work rate and a high defensive work rate. He prefers to shoot with his right foot.

His best stat is sprint speed, which is 75, while he has 71 in aggression, plus ball control, short passing and standing tackle of 65.