Why Leicester City winning the race for Akinkumni Amoo would be smart
According to All Nigeria Soccer (h/t Leicestershire Live), Leicester City are among a host of European clubs lining up a January swoop for Nigerian starlet Akinkumni Amoo, who has caught the eye with his scintillating performances at the U-17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Record title-holders Nigerian crashed out with a 3-1 defeat against The Netherlands in the round-of-16 but that wasn’t before Akinkumni Amoo put himself on the radar of some of the top clubs in Europe with his dazzling displays.
The 17-year old, who has already drawn comparisons with Lionel Messi for his left-footed nature, failed to find the net even once, but a tally of 3 assists in 4 games at the U-17 World Cup has apparently been enough to convince the Foxes of his talent and potential.
However, Leicester City could have their work cut out in race in the sign the talented youngster, with several European heavyweights, including Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Real Madrid, Ajax, AC Milan and Valencia, as well as Premier League rivals Man City and Arsenal, all vying for the teenager’s signature. (All Nigeria Soccer h/t Leicestershire Live)
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Akinkumni Amoo has also illustrated the versatility to play in a No.10 role behind the striker.
In James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray, Youri Tielemans, Hamza Choudhury, James Justin, Caglar Soyuncu and Ben Chilwell, Leicester City already boast of a plethora of young talents in their first-team, and there are several others who are trying to make the transition to the senior level from the U-23s.
To that end, Leicester City’s interest in Akinkumni Amoo certainly strikes the right chords and the Foxes could have a real gem on their hands in the years to come if the 17-year-old goes on to fulfil his potential at the King Power stadium.
Over the years, the FIFA U-17 World Cup has proven to be an excellent breeding ground for some top-quality young talent and a wonderful platform for prodigies to make strides towards establishing themselves as professionals in the beautiful game.
Nigeria, who have won the title a record five times, most recently in 2015 when Victor Osimhen claimed the Golden Boot, have produced Premier League stars like Nwankwo Kanu, Celestine Babayaro and John Obi Mikel from the same tournament in the previous years, and Amoo could be the next in the queue to make his mark in England.
Having handed professional debuts to Raheem Sterling and Kieran Tierney during his managerial days at Liverpool and Celtic respectively, Brendan Rodgers has a good track record when it comes to developing up and coming prospects in the first-team.
With so many top clubs in Europe tracking the Nigerian starlet, Leicester face the risk of being blown out of the water, however, Rodgers’ presence at the helm of affairs and proficiency in extracting the best out of young talents could play a big role in convincing Amoo to complete a move to the King Power stadium.
Notwithstanding the fact that several starlets emerging as hot prospects from the U-17 World Cup have faded into obscurity at the senior level over the years, Akinkumni Amoo looks like a really special talent with loads of potential, and he is certainly worth a punt for the Foxes, who have made it a priority to build a team around developing players.
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A quick and direct route to the first-team is exactly what all youngsters crave for and Leicester need to stress on that factor in their efforts to convince the Nigerian prodigy to ditch other clubs in favour of a move to the King Power stadium.
All in all, Leicester’s interest in Amoo clearly underpins their long-term ambitions moving forward and this looks like a move that could pay off handsomely in the years to come.