Onyemaechi's form should make Peseiro ponder over Sanusi's position at left-back

Published: March 21, 2023
 Onyemaechi's form should make Peseiro ponder over Sanusi's position at left-back

Zaidu Sanusi is the first-choice left-back of the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the moment.

While Calvin Bassey has also featured there, it would be surprising to see the Ajax's defender play there in any of the two-legged ties against Guinea-Bissau considering how well he has done as a centre-back for the Eredivisie defending champion in recent weeks.

With Sanusi's unconvincing form for Porto this season and the fact that he is yet to convince as the first-choice left-back, Paseiro should give Bruno Onyemaechi a chance in the forthcoming matches.

The Boavista left-back has started all 21 league games he has been named in the matchday squad as compared to Sanusi, who has started just 10 out of 17 he has been made available for selection.

Onyemaechi has shown to be a better left-back offensively and defensively this season than Sanusi. Not only does he has more goal contributions than the Porto left-back, but he has also made more progressive passes and more passes into the final third than his compatriot.


Sanusi may have completed more passes but that is because Onyemaechi has made twice as many passes as the former.

It doesn't stop at that. The 23-year-old has shown that he is more willing to contribute to the attack than his senior colleague. He has had more touches of the ball, carried the ball into the final third and completed more dribbles than Sanusi.

One vital point here is that the Boavista left-back has also demonstrated a willingness to cross the ball more often than Sanusi.


He has attempted 84 crosses this season as compared to Sanusi's 45. This is being highlighted because Osimhen is one of the best headers of the ball in Europe and will benefit from someone like Onyemaechi playing as a left-back.

Onyemaechi has also stood out defensively in comparison to Sanusi. He has won more duels and made more recoveries and more defensive actions ( tackles plus interceptions).


While it could be argued Onyemaechi's number is higher because he plays for an inferior side, his tackle-won percentage is enough to erase that.

While Sanusi will most likely get the nod, Paseiro should give a chance to Onyemaechi in the forthcoming matches against Guinea Bissau to have a better and fair assessment of both players and determine who should be the first-choice left-back.

Stats provided by FBREF



Abdulkareem Abdulhamid




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