With the support of Nigerians, Samuel Chukwueze is a Europa League winner
Samuel Chukwueze scored a goal and had four assists to help Villarreal to the Europa League title.
This came after Wilfred Ndidi, and Kelechi Iheanacho helped Leicester City to win the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Chelsea on Saturday, May 15.
The bants dominated Nigerian social mediasphere, and Nigerian Manchester United fans tried to appeal to the emotions of their fellow Nigerians by listing a certain Shola Shoretire, an English player born to a Nigerian father as a Nigerian.
That didn’t work on Wednesday night, Chukwueze, with the support of Nigerians, became a Europa League winner.
Villarreal beat Manchester United on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final played at the Polsat Plus Arena Gdansk in Poland.
Chukwueze was not in action in the game after failing to fully recover from a hamstring injury he suffered in the semi-finals against Arsenal in early May.
His absence didn’t matter after the game as he received a winners’ medal, the first of his senior career. He already won the FIFA U17 World Cup with Nigeria in 2015.
He purred about the Nigerian support while celebrating in the dressing room after the game.
"I too love Nigerians, the way Nigerian people take support me today, omo una too much," he said in Pidgin English.
"The way una take support me today, omo Twitter. twitter people una too much. Una too sweet Nigerians. If I nor come from Nigeria this world for nor sweet."
The Europa League win puts a great end to a season that has seen the 22-year-old blossom into a player that has added decisive contributions to his nimble feet and close control.
It didn’t start well for him under Unai Emery, who at first didn’t trust the Nigerian.
At first, he had to compete with former loanee Takefusa Kubo and only made six league starts in the first half of the season.
Surgery for a groin injury further disrupted his season, but admirably, the forward bounced back and posted some strong performances, which earned him more minutes on the pitch.
Emery trusted him more, and he repaid that trust with some fine performances.
He was outstanding in the Europa League; he was good in their round-of-16 ties against Dynamo Kyiv and grabbed an assist in the second leg.
He had a Man of the Match performance in a league game against Atletico Madrid in February and, in April, grabbed a league brace in the-a career first- to end a league drought that had started in November 2020.
Another significant contribution came in the quarterfinals of the Europa League with a fine performance and an assist across two legs against Dinamo Zagreb.
He had some bright moments in the first leg semi-final against Arsenal. He started the move for the Yellow Submarine’s opening goal of that game, dribbling past Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos before laying the ball, albeit accidentally to Manu Trigueros to finish past the Arsenal goalkeeper.
Despite those bright moments, he missed an opportunity to truly show his qualities at that level and trouble Arsenal’s emergency left-back Xhaka.
There was some spark in the second leg at the Emirates before he was taken off after suffering a hamstring injury.
In this successful Europa League season, the 22-year-old scored a goal and had four assists for the eventual winners.
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