Noni Madueke is an 18-year-old English footballer who plays as a winger for Dutch Eredivisie outfit, PSV Eindhoven. The youngster spent the entirety of his youth career at Tottenham where he led the Under 16 side and also made his debut for the under-18 side as a 15-year-old.
After being declared Player of the Tournament at the Sonnenland Cup in Germany in 2017, the youngster started attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. A move to another Premier League club would have been a safer choice.
However, Madueke decided to make a move to PSV instead where he had a better chance of playing regular first-team football. And after a promising 2019/20 campaign, Madueke is ready to take his game to the next level.
This scout report will look at Madueke’s individual qualities and an in-depth tactical analysis will seek to find out if the young winger can become another success story of an English player leaving his comfort zone in order to further their development. In this scout report, we’ll also take a look at his style of play and role in his team’s tactics.
Position and Role
The above heat map clearly shows that Madueke has a strong work rate and isn’t just a regular winger who would prefer to stay close to the touchline. The youngster likes cutting inside if given enough space and due to his great dribbling ability (which we will elaborate upon in a bit), is able to add more creativity into and around the final third.
Even if he is positioned as a right-sided winger, Madueke prefers moving in a central role since it allows him to see more of the ball whilst also improving his involvement in games.
Moreover, this heat map also seems to suggest that the youngster doesn’t mind going in the deeper positions where he can be quite effective in helping with the buildup and also being an extra defender when the team is under pressure.
Further up the pitch, you can see a lot of activity inside the opposition penalty area which means that Madueke is unlike most of the wingers out there in a sense that he likes to play closer to the goal.
Due to the fact that he has excellent dribbling ability, Madueke is able to make forays deep into the opposition territory.
In the long run, his ability to hold his own in multiple offensive zones is going to make him a very effective player to have, something I will discuss further in this tactical analysis.
Off the Ball Movement
Madueke is blessed with great pace which allows him to be a very annoying presence for the opposing players. His ability to constantly move around the edge of the penalty area while far away from the buildup always keeps defenders on their toes.
However, the youngster knows exactly how to free himself up as evidenced by the following image:
Here the PSV full-back receives the ball and has two good options available to him. He can either pass the ball to the teammate who’s moving towards the left or put a simple pass through to his teammate who is in the centre.
The left-back goes for the latter option.
As we can see, Madueke makes a diagonal run towards the penalty area as soon as his teammate receives the ball. While the move did not result in a goal and his shot was blocked, the entire scenario showcases the youngster’s dynamism in the final third.
During most of his outings, Madueke has proven to be a very accomplished player when it comes to creating space and making himself available to teammates. The youngster does like to cut inside but you will mostly find him scanning for possible areas where he can be a better option for one of his teammates. This can cause a lot of problems for teams especially those who look go for a man-marking system.
In the same build-up image, Madueke was observing things at a pedestrian pace but slowly kept moving a little closer to his other teammates, knowing that he might eventually be in a good place to receive the ball.
The youngster’s ability to play potential scenarios in his head help him be more effective in buildup play. You will always see him trying to fill a pocket of space which allows his teammates to have more options to go for.
For a winger, perhaps the most important attribute (arguably) would be how good he is when it comes to dribbling the ball and carrying it deep inside enemy territory. Madueke does love to dribble quite a lot and perhaps this is why watching him is always a scouting session spent well.
The Englishman has great close control and excellent pace which allows him to penetrate and stretch defences.
Madueke’s dribble map perfectly aligns with his overall heat map. The young winger has a habit of cutting inside and take on defenders – something that he is very accomplished at. As you can see in this visual, the Tottenham academy graduate mostly follows up a successful dribble with a shot which means that he is fairly confident in his ability to get the better of his opponents in one on ones.
The above breakdown of dribbles shows that Madueke’s favourite time on the pitch is when he has the opportunity to take it to a centre back. The winger boasts a 70.8% dribble success rate against defenders and an xG of 2.4.
Being a winger, Madueke is expected to hold his own against left backs so it is not surprising to see him boast a 78.9% success rate in duels with left-backs.
In total, he boasts a 76.1% successful dribbles rate which is a very great number for a player who is still in the early stages of his development.
What helps the youngster a lot in his dribbling is that he has a great first touch and normally you would see him control the ball and then rolling his left foot on it in order to cushion it further before going for a pass.
Since he is predominantly left-footed, Madueke tends to position his body in such a way that it makes it easy for him to make a pass from his preferred foot. While it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, relying on his left foot has seen the youngster make the wrong decisions which is something he would need to work on.
Every speedy winger blessed with a bag of tricks needs to be a great reader of the game, especially when his team is transitioning from defence to attack. While his first-team career has only recently begun, Madueke knows exactly how to make use of his excellent dribbling skills and ability to bring teammates into play.
Now in this particular scenario, Madueke receives the ball from a teammate and clearly has a lot of space to operate on. With his dribbling and ability to hold onto the ball, the youngster can stretch the defence enough so that he has enough options ahead of him.
Once he has received the ball, Madueke sees that he needs his teammates to be in a better position to receive the ball. Therefore, the youngster carries the ball further up the pitch while his teammates try and find a pocket of space ahead.
Now in such scenarios, a lot of players would use their teammates as decoys and test the goalkeeper for themselves. However, Madueke goes for a better option this time around.
Rather than going for glory, Madueke passes the ball to his teammate the moment he is in the perfect place to test the goalkeeper. The end result of this move was a goal for Eindhoven which could have gone another way had the young winger gotten a bit too carried away.
Another thing about Madueke which you would find very impressive is that the youngster isn’t a ball-hogger. He has great pace and good control but depending on the situation, he would make the right call.
Madueke likes to set things in motion quickly and there are instances where he would go for a first-time pass to his teammate if he’s in space or is in a better position. The England youth international does not like to complicate things and would simply put a teammate through.
In the long run, this ability will help him become a team player and his passing accuracy for first-time passes will also improve considerably.
Being a winger, one can expect Madueke to be a good crosser. However, the youngster still has a lot of work to do on his crosses inside the penalty area.
The Englishman definitely doesn’t cover himself in glory when it comes to delivering crosses and this should be a major concern going forward. While we do understand that he is a different type of winger, one who wants to be closer to the action, he will be required to whip in crosses more often than he does.
But then again, the youngster isn’t exactly a highly experienced first-team player so he is bound to come up short in a few instances.
A 50% crossing accuracy isn’t bad but a total of 12 crosses doesn’t really command a lot of confidence.
But then again, Madueke isn’t really your average crosser. The youngster plays as an inverted winger so if we go back to his heatmap, it becomes abundantly clear that the teenager likes to stay close to the penalty area, especially when his team is finding a way past the opposition in or around the final third.
Last season, the youngster managed to feature in only 4 Eredivisie games for Eindhoven. However, the youngster’s performance in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie saw him score four goals and provide one assist in only six games.
Madueke was simply not happy with how he was developing at Tottenham which was why he made the bold move to play in a different country. However, it is quite clear that the youngster has the mental strength to do well in the Netherlands.
The 2020/21 Eredivisie season could be a breakthrough campaign for the young winger who has already provided two assists and scored one goal. At the age of 18, it is not surprising to see that Madueke has a lot of room for improvement.
The youngster is great at making progressive runs but as a winger, he really needs to work hard on his crossing ability and frequency since that would really make him a more rounded winger.
But the manner in which he has taken to Dutch football clearly shows that he is more than up for the challenge.