Frank Onyeka: what is his greatest asset?
Super Eagles latest sensation Frank Onyeka, who has taken to life in the English Premier League like duck to water, was in his usual no-compromise mood last weekend by posting a robust display in Brentford's narrow 2:1 loss to a resurgent Leicester City.
Brentford signed the Nigeria international on five-year deal from FC Midtjylland after his work permit was issued back in August for a fee rumoured to be around £9 million.
The 23 year old center midfielder has played in all bar 1 of Brentford's 9 league games in England this season with displays that often draw encomiums from pundits an fans.
Despite last weekend's slim loss to Leicester, Brentford still sit comfortably in mid-table with no suggestions of them being involved in a relegation dog-fight just one season into their promotion to the top-flight: their brand of football has been compelling and pleasing to the eye.
In the match against Leicester, Onyeka - rated highly by sofascore analysis website with 7/10 scores - played for 76 minutes. He recorded a 92% pass accuracy while winning 6 out of 10 ground duels and made a combined 5 interceptions and tackles (one of which rubbed his international team-mate Iheanacho of the ball).
He short, he was robust, resounding and rambunctious in dispensing his role on the day.
Frank Onyeka’s biggest asset is “positional awareness and discipline”. He is a midfield nuisance who just nibbles away at opposition attackers like grasshopper chewing grass.
For Brentford, they need Onyeka to serve as a deterrent to opposition attacking initiatives and to make them rethink their approach; this Onyeka does by helping his team maintain their shape with his pristine positioning while timing his interceptions to distrupt the flow of opposition play.
Next stop for the London club is an EFL Cup tie against Championship side Stoke City on Wednesday October 27 where Onyeka is expected to continue what is already an impressive first season in England football.