Nigerian football sensation Samuel Chukwueze, a long-time admirer of former Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben, has confessed what he learnt from the Dutchman, Soccernet.ng reports.
Inspired by Robben’s incredible skills and impressive career, Chukwueze has sought to incorporate elements of the former Chelsea man’s playing style into his own game, resulting in notable improvements in his performance.
Chukwueze’s fascination with Robben’s game is evident in his study of the video clips of the Dutch maestro, meticulously analyzing every move and decision on the field.
Chukwueze has openly acknowledged that he sees Robben as an inspiration and one of the greatest players to have graced the sport.
During a recent interview with El Pais, Chukwueze revealed the valuable lessons he learned from observing Robben’s playing style. One key aspect that stood out for the Nigerian winger was Robben’s ability to consistently penetrate defenses, even when opponents were well aware of his intentions.
“What I learned from Robben is that even though all the defenders knew what he was going to do, whenever he received the ball, he went inside,” Chukwueze explained.
“He hooked to his left and fired. It was fantastic. So fast! The defenders thought, ‘I know what he does, but maybe not today.’ And he did it again! Defences have blood in their veins too, they feel the need to move, and that leads them to deception.”
Chukwueze also revealed his approach when confronted with defenders who opt to retreat rather than engage him directly. In such instances, he exploits the opportunity by using the ball to approach the defenders.
Chukwueze cleverly ponders, “When the defenders back up, I use the ball to go get them. How far is he going to go back? Up to his goal?”
Incredibly, Chukwueze got his tricks on point at the Santiago Bernabeu – Robben’s old stomping ground – this season when he scored twice to inspire Villarreal to a memorable win over Real Madrid.
That excellent display sparked transfer rumours that Chukwueze could be on his way to Real Madrid this summer.
But the Super Eagles ace has dismissed those reports, saying there is no offer from the former UEFA Champions League winners.