Samuel Chukwueze's brace for Villarreal at the weekend shows he's gradually getting back to his best
Samuel Chukwueze has put in a string of fine performances in recent week.
Chukwueze dropped a fantastic appearance at the Estadi Ciutat de València to help Villarreal win which took them to fifth place on the La Liga table and make a statement regarding his recent form.
The Nigerian was good from the start of the game till he was taken off in the 81st minute.
He forced the goalkeeper to a brilliant save with an effort from inside the penalty area in the sixth minute.
Despite his lively performances, he waited until the 63rd minute before he got his first goal, sweeping home after a pass from a teammate left him one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
He scored again in the 75th, making a run behind his marker and Levante's defence line to pick up a pass before running at goal and finishing past the goalkeeper.
With his brace on Sunday, the 21-year-old ended his 17-game goal drought in La Liga. Before the goals against Levante on Sunday, the forward had not scored since November 2020.
Since that goal in November 2020, the forward had struggled to establish himself as an undisputed starter at Villarreal and had his season disrupted with a groin injury which kept him out for about a month.
It's Chukwueze's third season in top-flight since he broke out in 2018, but although talented, there hasn't been any remarkable development and consistency to his game.
But in recent weeks before his brace against Levante, he has been showing glimpses of why he caught the eyes in his breakout season.
He has had some fine league cameos and impressed in the Europa League. He had a bright evening and grabbed an assist in the Europa in a round--of-16 tie against Dynamo Kyiv in March.
That was after he got a Man-of-the-Match award despite his side Villarreal losing 2-0 in a league game against leaders Atletico Madrid.
He was outstanding in the first half of that game, causing problems from the right side of the attack and picking out teammates in good positions. He was unlucky not to get a goal and assist in that game.
Another assist in the Europa League, in a game that he hit the woodwork twice before his brace against Levante.
As Villarreal head into a crucial part of the season, they will be hoping that the Nigeria international continues with his impressive streak.
It is crucial for the forward now to put his heads down and work hard to maintain consistency until the end of the season.
"He's a very young player who has to find consistency," Emery told the club website about the Nigeria winger.
"We need to take steps forward with him and be demanding.
"He's a footballer with great quality. He has a lot of talent, but he needs to improve in front of goal. Today he put in a great performance and managed to score."
With Villarreal gunning for Champions League places and facing Arsenal in the semi-finals of the Europa League, Chukwueze must strive to replicate his recent performances or even raise his game.
That's the only way he would show he has added more to his game; anything less than that, and he will be just another talented youngster who has failed to develop.