This article is the first in our series of articles where we will be of looking at young and upcoming British players that are plying their trade abroad. We will examine the career of under 23 British players who are currently playing for clubs abroad.
The first in the series looks at Chukwunonso Madueke, known as Noni Madueke.
Name: Noni Madueke
Current Club: PSV Eindhoven
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Madueke came through the Tottenham Academy, where he captained the under 16 team, and played for the under 18s at the age of 15. In 2018, he moved to PSV, where he signed a three-year contract after rejecting a move to Manchester United.
When he arrived at PSV, he was initially in the under 17 squad. He showed he has a habit of scoring goals as he scored three goals in three games in December 2018, which led to him being promoted to the under 19 squad, where he scored four more goals that season. A successful first half of the 2019/20 season saw him score seven goals and showed the creative aspect of his game as he got eight assists in 11 appearances, which led to his promotion to the Jong PSV side.
The reserve side of PSV are called Jong PSV and play in the second division in the Netherlands called the Eerste Divisie. He made his debut for reserve PSV, against MVV Maastricht on 26th August 2019. He came on in the 64th minute as a substitute in that game, which Jong PSV lost 1-0. He has made 6 appearances in the Eerste Divisie for Jong PSV, where he once again demonstrated his striking prowess as he scored four goals.
He first featured in a squad for PSV, when he was on the bench for their 4-0 away win against Apollon in the Europa League group stage.
He made his debut for the side in the league game against Venlo in January of this year, when he came on as a substitute for Bruma, in the 72nd minute. He made 4 appearances in total in the 2019/20 season, with appearances against Ajax and Willem II. He made his first start for the side against Groningen in a league match in March 2020, he played 77 minutes in a 1-0 win against Groningen.
Madueke has featured more regularly this season and he scored his first goal for the senior PSV side, against FC Emmen, in a 2-1 win. He scored his first goal with a tap in from a Phillip Max assist, after good build up play from PSV.
Madueke has also picked up three assists this season, demonstrating his creative qualities. He picked up two assists in the 3-1 win against Groningen at the start on the 20/21 season. His first assist came when he picked up the ball right of centre just inside the Groningen half and drove with the ball towards the box, managing to hold off a Groningen player and he threaded the ball through to Malen, who received the ball on the right edge of the 18-yard box and passed it home past the goalkeeper.
He got his second assist of the match when he ran onto a clearance from his own defence and managed to hold off Groningen defender Dammers, when he ran onto the ball just inside the Groningen half, he managed to drive towards the goal, heading to the left side of the 18-yard box also holding off a challenge from Dankerlui. He checks back onto his right foot on the left side of the 18-yard box, waiting for support from his team mates and slides the ball to the edge of the 18-yard box, where Gakpo controls and nicely slots the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
That passage of place displayed Madueke’s speed, the strength to hold off defenders and the intelligence and calmness to hold the ball to wait for his team mates to arrive to support.
Sancho is an Inspiration
Madueke once told Voetbal International that ‘[Sancho] has opened eyes to other talents.’ He went on to say that ‘A year after him, I went from Spurs to PSV. The plan I had in mind is now working out the way I intended’. He went on to say that ‘In England, it is very difficult as a young talent to get into the first team, especially at the bigger clubs. The squads are very large and there is little room for youngsters. They often stay in reserve teams for a long time or are loaned out. There is little flow or chance to break through. That is completely different in the Netherlands’.
Noni Madueke has represented England at youth level. He has played for England in the under 16 age group, the under 17 age group and is a current under 18 England International. He once again showed his natural goal scoring ability with him scoring two goals in the under 17 categories, both goals came in the same game against Denmark. He was also a squad member of the side that went to the under 17 European Championship in 2019. Madueke made his debut for the under 18 side against Australia in September 2019. He scored his first goal for the under 18s four days later in a 2-0 win against South Korea.
Noni Madueke is predominantly a left footed player. He spent a lot of his career so far being a winger or wide forward but has also been used in a more central forward position under PSV boss Roger Schmidt.
He is a creative player, but also can be clinical in forward areas and get goal for himself. He demonstrated this with his goal against Fortuna Sittard when he scored in a 2-0 win. He capitalised on hesitancy from the Sittard defender Rota who failed to deal with a high ball and Madueke ran from the half way line with the ball, managing to hold off Rota, to slip the ball past the goalkeeper with his favoured left foot and seal the win for PSV.
He has good ability to dribble with the ball on his left side, while being able to position his body to either stop defenders accessing the ball or being able to draw himself fouls.
He has shown he has the strength to hold the ball and close ball control to be able to negotiate himself out of difficult positions when surrounded by defenders.
An aspect he could improve in his game is he could try to improve his passing and shooting on his right foot, which would make it difficult for defenders as they would be unsure where to direct him if they know he has the ability to shoot or pass with either foot.
Madueke will continue to improve as he is now playing in the first team now for PSV, he is an exciting prospect to watch and the experience he is gaining now even in games where he may not play as well as he wants, he will learn and will be one that hopefully go on to play in the other age groups for England.