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Ducor Sports Star of the Week

A composed figure with the ball to his feet, he’s not shy of pulling off nutmegs to beat opponents

Ducor Sports gives a lowdown chronicling the most standout African over the past five days. South Africa’s Kevin Anderson was brilliant this week for knocking Roger Federer off his perch but Chima Akas Uche gets our backing for the star-of-the-week gong.

The mention of his name does not ring a bell and is streets apart, in terms of popularity, when compared to established compatriots like Mikel John Obi, Kelechi Ighalo and wave-maker Ahmed Musa. However, it won’t be long until he catches up with them. Consistent show of the recent flashes of inimitable brilliance he has been displaying should get him up that pedestal.

Plying his trade in Allvenskan –equivalent of Sweden’s Premier League – with Kalmar FF, the Ibandan-born left-back is also a box of tricks.

The 24-year-old, who joined the Red Brothers from Enyimba International FC in January, has not only excelled since his arrival, but his club now faces a real fight to keep hold of his services.

The Super Eagles’ man was excellent in Kalmar FF’s 3-1 away win over IFK Göteborg on Sunday, finishing the last weekend’s action as the top African performer in Europe.

He was on for the entire match duration and had a game rating of 7.2, making 3 clearances, 2 interceptions and tackles, completing 81% of his passes, whilst also winning 8 of his duels contested – a match high.

“Akas is an incredible professional to have in a young group and dressing room. I was extremely proud of his performance,” the team coach Nanne Bergstrand, said in a post-match conference.

Where is he from?

Chima Akas was born on 3rd May 1994 in Ibadan, Nigeria. He started his career with Shooting Stars way back in 2010 before moving to Sharks after four seasons.

Akas latter joined Enyimba where he made his name. He scored eight goals for the Peoples Elephants in his 60 appearances and it was with this outfit that he received his first call-up to the Super Eagles.

He captained the NPFL All-star team that travelled to Spain on a tour in matches against La Liga sides Malaga and Valencia.

The adulation and love for Akas in his native town in Oyo, a state of 3 million inhabitants, is massive.

So what is his style of play?

His experience belies his age. No one gets likened to Real Madrid’s Marcelo for no reason. A composed figure with the ball to his feet, he’s not shy of pulling off nutmegs to beat opponents. Free-kicks is another thing he has nerves for. The young man understands the responsibility that comes with being a modern day full-back. With speed on his side, he doesn’t look back when overlapping and more often than not poses a threat when building up attack.

So where next for him in the future?

It’s early days to run the rule on a player only beginning to find his feet after moving in this January. Adaptability is not an issue for the defender and the statistics he’s raking up is glaring testament to this. Starting in all twelve of his side’s games is an encouraging trajectory for Uche. However, the Nigeria is not the quite the finished product. How this season pans out should be enough means to assess his development. His boom is expected to continue with fans already akin with his contributions. There certainly would be clubs lurking in the background. It’s worth mentioning that his price tag has soared. Suitors planning to grab the prized asset from Kalmar’s grasp should be willing to cough up in excess of 500,000 euros. For now the Swedish club are feeling blessed enjoying his services.

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