Noni Madueke & Omar Richards
Welcome to Episode two of Rising Stars. This episode includes two of the brightest rising stars in a stacked English contingent of exceptional young footballers. Omar Richards and Noni Madueke. Both of these players are far from household names and it is our job here at Agenda FC to make sure this changes. They are both top talents in their respective positions and deserve to be mentioned amongst the best around.
23 years old. Born in London, U.K. Richards currently plays for Reading in the Championship who sit in sixth place. Next season he will be on the books of Bayern Munich as he agreed a transfer earlier this year which is fully complete. A wonderful cross between an out and out old school defensively solid robust left back and a marauding technically talented wing back. Defensively Richards is exceptional an he certainly doesn’t lack going forward. He can be deployed as a left back in a back 4 or as an out and out wide midfielder. However, he is a left back by nature and will probably compete with Alphonso Davies for that position at Bayern as David Alaba moves on away from Germany.
Richards main attribute is his exceptional tackling ability and he is statistically the best defender in the Championship with an incredible 103 tackles made at a rate of success of 81% across 34 games. Richards stands at 6’1 which makes him more than capable in the air and he uses his physicality to overpower opposition wide men. He has incredible pace and timing. All of this make him a fantastic full back.
Richards is however without a goal contribution this season. This on paper looks poor, but this season he has been deployed as a defensive full back with minimal licence to overlap and advance further forward. I expect him to flourish as a complete wingback at Bayern.
Similar Players: Nicholas Tagliafico, Ferland Mendy, Eric Abidal, Filipe Luiz.
Talent Rating: 7.5/10
Take a look at some of his highlights as he prepares for his big move to Bayern.
Before we look at Noni Madueke, check out our first edition featuring two young Bundesliga stars.
19 years old. Born in London, U.K. Madueke plays for PSV in The Netherlands. He is a left footed right winger with an outstanding dribbling ability and blistering pace. What makes Madueke an exceptional player isn’t just his dribbling and pace, it’s his output. Madueke has the highest G/A per minute ratio of ANY English player in professional football this season. With 7 goals and 6 assists in 781 minutes of football he has a G/A every 60 minutes of football. This is simply outstanding. Putting up these kinds of numbers at such a young age for a wide player is nearly unheard of.
Madueke plays with the flair and pace of the wingers of old who take on their opponents with their skill and pace, but he has the composure and vision for a finish and the pass of an elite forward. Madueke is a wonderful player to watch with his trickery and eye for goal and that killer pass. The fact he wears a headband too just screams out flair to me. Usually when we talk of young skilful and direct wide-men we think of a lack of end product and that they’re raw talents who needs nurturing and that experience in order to add goal contributions to their game. Madueke already has those goal contributions to back his flair and direct style. This is a scary thought for defenders, and he is certainly not slowing down anytime soon.
Ideal clubs for Madueke would be Manchester United, Borrrusia Dortmund, Leicester City and Napoli. These clubs need a right winger. Manchester United haven’t had a quality right winger for years, yes they have signed Amad Diallo who is an absolutely outstanding talent but having Madueke on the books too would be a welcome addition. Leicester still haven’t replaced Riyad Mahrez. Rachid Ghezzel was awful for them and has moved on, Ayoze Perez is simply not good enough and Mark Albrighton isn’t getting any younger. Napoli need a new fresh face to replace the aging Dries Mertens and will have money to spend when they eventually let Koulibaly leave. Dotmund will sell Jadon Sancho and simply put, Madueke is the ideal replacement.
Similar Players: Arjen Robben, Ansu Fati, Rihad Mahrez, Ousmane Dembele
Talent Rating: 9/10
Another great highlight package I highly recommend you give a watch.
Thanks for reading!
Again for this series we give our readers a chance to collaborate on these articles, send us in names of anyone you would like featured or even do a brief article yourself and we’ll feature it in our series, we’re always on the lookout for the next rising stars in football.