Super Eagles and Bayer Leverkusen striker Victor Boniface is one of the best young dribblers in Europe, Soccernet.ng reports.
Boniface has been the most exciting youngster in Germany this term, having picked up the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month awards for the first two months of the campaign.
The 22-year-old forward has nine goals and four assists in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen, with seven of those goals coming in the German top flight.
Only five players – none of them younger than 22 – in the Bundesliga have managed more goals than Boniface, who is in his debut campaign in one of Europe’s big leagues.
Boniface, not just a goalscorer
Boniface has managed three assists – only eight players have assisted more – in the Bundesliga to support his claims that he enjoys scoring goals as much as creating chances for his teammates.
New data has also revealed that there is more to Boniface than scoring goals.
According to a report by the CIES Football Observatory, Boniface ranks highly among the best dribblers in Europe below the age of 23.
Boniface comes in as the 14th best U-23 dribbler in Europe’s five top leagues, with 4.5 dribbles per game and a 58% dribbling accuracy.
Month don Dey end— Boniface_jrn (@boniface_jrn) October 24, 2023
First born don Dey strong face pic.twitter.com/HI1PP8dxwj
Of players with 58% or more dribble accuracy, only Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli, Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo, Burnley’s Luca Koleosho, and Girona’s Sávio Moreira make more dribbles per game than Boniface.
None of them, however, has as many league goals as the Nigerian forward, which clearly shows that he adds incredible end product to his dribbles.
Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso is aware of all the qualities that Boniface brings to his team when he called the Nigerian lad a ‘complete’ forward.
“It is my wish that every opponent has problems with Boniface, Alonso told Bild Sport.
“He does everything well. Not only with his game, he helps the team. He has a good connection with Grimaldo, with Florian Wirtz, and with Jonas Hofmann.
“Boniface wants to enjoy the game. But not just for himself. He’s not just a classic striker, not just a regular poacher. He’s complete.”
A menace to Bundesliga defence
With Bayer Leverkusen playing so well and
increasingly becoming an exceptional attacking machine, Boniface can only get better with his dribbles and finishing.
Already, the Super Eagles striker is proving to be a nightmare to many defences in the German elite division.
Boniface is Leverkusen’s highest-rated player at 8.09 (Whoscored) and the third-best in the top flight.
The youngster’s average shot per game of 5.9 is the best in the division, while only Serhou Guirassy (4), Jonas Wind (4), and Harry Kane (3) have claimed more Player of the Match awards than Boniface (2).
Boniface won the Bundesliga Player of the Month award in August and came close to winning it again in September.
And for a player as hungry to improve as Boniface, Leverkusen fans can be assured that there is more to come from the former Union Saint-Gilloise star.
Boniface was an unused substitute when Bayer Leverkusen dispatched Sandhausen with a 2-5 win in the DFB Pokal on Wednesday night.
Manager Alonso clearly wants his Nigerian import to be in top shape when the league leaders make the trip to face Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga this weekend.
That match will be followed by another away game to Qarabag in the Europa League, where a win will all but guarantee a qualification spot for Leverkusen in Group H.