Samuel Chukwueze was Nigeria’s star man against South Africa as the Super Eagles booked their place in the AFCON quarterfinals.
The 20-year-old is still very raw and nowhere near the finished product but he showed during his nation’s 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations win over Bafana Bafana that he is a superstar in the making.
His goal to open the scoring might have been fortuitous in the way the ball broke in the box after his shot was blocked but his pace to react first and finish was reminiscent of a goal Sadio Mane scored in 2016.
The Senegal attacker was the quickest to react at Goodison Park as he scored inside the six-yard box after Daniel Sturridge hit the post with a shot from outside the box.
Many might call such goals lucky but Mane (and Chukwueze) displayed pace that most players in the world only dream of possessing but beyond the goal, Chukwueze is a similar player to Mane in several regards.
They share a style of running which makes them terrific carriers of the ball as well as terrifying to face in 1 v 1 dribbling scenarios.
Chukwueze’s biggest asset is that he has time on his side. At 20 years of age, he has several before reaches his prime and spending as many of those years as possible under a manager like Jurgen Klopp can only aid his inevitable development into a world class player.
Goal.com linked Liverpool with the Nigerian with a move to Anfield and while there hasn’t been much in the way of further links in recent weeks, it’s obvious why Klopp might be interested in signing him.