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Is Marcus Abraham potentially as good as Bukayo Saka?


There can be no harm done in singling out a truly precocious talent when you see one hence Marcus Abraham, 21yrs, is generating much social media traffic with his pristine performances in the Portuguese division 2. This weekend, Marcus helped his team squeeze out a crucial 1:0 win for his club Feirense against their obdurate hosts (Chaves FC) in a bitter battle as part of their league-long efforts to gain promotion to the country’s elite league. Marcus’ performance and goal in that encounter only served to add another ring to the lengthening chain of splendiferous spectacle being displayed by the young Nigerian winger on a near regular basis in the Portuguese Segunda Divisão. He now has an astonishing 7 goals in 9 league matches with most of them being brilliantly conceived and expertly executed. He is the rave of the moment at that level of football in Portugal as they can’t just get enough of him. Little wonder Nigeria fans are starting to think of possibilities. Unfortunately, as with a number of young Nigerian players in recent history, possibilities do not always metamorphose into the crusible of fulfilment. Distractions, inconsistency, questionable work ethics, prioritising money over career advancement, love of women and party life are few of the self inflicted banes that have stunted the development and career growth of many promising Nigerian young players.

I think of a supremely innately talented player like Henry Onyekuru who could easily have been playing for clubs like Atletico Madrid or at least modest Monaco only to perennially settle for the less tasking Turkish league. Conversely, 100s of Nigerian players (Kanu, Yobo, Mikel etc) have gone on to fully fulfil their potentials. When tracking, monitoring and commenting on young Nigerian players like Abraham Marcus, one can only say a silent prayer for them to go on and be among the elites for years to come. And nothing at this point suggests otherwise. Feirense are currently second in the Portuguese Liga Pro. It is remarkable that they have not tasted defeat in any of the 9 games that Marcus featured (recording 6 wins are 3 draws). His greatest strength, even at this budding stage is his career, is his flexibility. Just like Arsenal’s Saka, Marcus has also played as a full back this season, even chipping in with a goal from that position against Estoril Praia fc in October last year to help his team grind out a hard fought 3:3 draw. The future looks bright for this young lad but more crucially, the future is in his hands, head and feet. With focus, concentration, practice, hard work and dedication, there is nothing to say that Marcus will not go on to become (at least) a very decent winger, full back, wing back or attacking midfielder in seasons to come.

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