Villarreal star Samu Chukwueze must follow lead of Vinicius as Unai Emery asks for patience

Villarreal star Samu Chukweueze is entering a pivotal stage of his young career.

Chukwueze burst onto the scene for the Yellow Submarine just one year after arriving in 2017.

The Nigerian was quickly labelled as one of football’s next biggest things, armed with electric pace and feet to match.

But despite becoming a key member of the Villarreal first team, he is yet to match predictions in hitting the stratosphere.

There is still time – Chukwueze is only 22 years of age, after all – but the winger must progress quickly from here on out if he is to reach his potential.

A serious injury has not helped him this season. He has missed four months in all, but he recently returned to make his first two appearances of the campaign, scoring in the most recent as Villarreal defeated Young Boys 4-1 in the Champions League.

Patience is required from for now, Villarreal boss warning on Friday: “It was a significant injury. It was a muscular injury and he was out for four months.

“This injury, mentally, causes lots of doubts and it is significant for confidence.

“It’s a slow process. He is in the phase of getting minutes in games that he can use to regain confidence, and he has already scored a goal.

“We continue with this process. We are in the phase where he is close to playing more minutes.”

But where does Chukwueze go from here?

Thus far, the winger has been consistently inconsistent.

Last season, he managed four goals and three assists in 28 games, and that tells much of the story.

While he has pace to burn and beats rival players aplenty in one-on-ones, he still struggles to produce the final product.

Whether it’s providing a cross or finding the net with a cool finish of his own, Chukweueze just can’t seem to find the composure to finish a run with a high-quality final touch.

Interestingly, that’s a similar problem Vinicius Junior suffered from at Real Madrid.

Vinicius

The Brazilian is also quick, able to beat just about anyone in a one-on-one, but until this season, he was erratic in the final third, often blazing shots over the crossbar or hitting and hoping when it came to crosses.

That was until this season. Vinicius has found a cool-headedness under Carlo Ancelotti, recording seven goals and five assists in 11 games so far this season.

Suddenly, when he gets to the final third, he takes a breath and picks a pass or strokes the ball home with a composed finish rather than swinging a leg in hope.

Whether that form will last for Vinicius is another question, and he too has to manage consistency, something he has struggled with in the past.

But it’s a lead Chukwueze must follow once he is back to full fitness, and Emery needs to sprinkle whatever Ancelotti has done with Vinicius into his coaching of Chukwueze as he looks to get the best out of his dynamic winger.

Tags Real Madrid Samu Chukwueze Unail Emery Villarreal

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