Ademetan Abayomi provides a detailed scout report on Stationary Stores’ youngster Emmanuel Utake, who could be the next great Nigerian central defender.

Emmanuel Utake is a utility player who can play anywhere in the defence. Primarily he is a central defender.

Who is Emmanuel Utake?

Emmanuel Utake was born in 2002. He is a central defender and began his career on the streets.

The youngster was also part of the youth national team, the 2019 Golden Eaglets set.

Last season, he played for Warri Wolves on loan. He is currently at his parent club, Stationary Stores.

What is his Style of Play?

Utake is a no nonsense defender. He offers security and wins the ball back and gets it out of danger. He is a ball playing defender. He’s quite good at what he does and he makes sure that once the ball is won back, everything is safe and gives the goalkeeper as well as other defenders some breathing room.

Primarily a centre-back, he is also capable of playing at right-back and, to a lesser extent, left-back.

His main qualities are his athleticism, positioning and reading of the game.

What are his Strengths?

He’s not the tallest center back in the world at 1.84 metres but he makes up for this by having a great jumping ability. His jumping ability is quite impressive. He’s a very focused player and is excellent at timing his tackles. He’s also very fast, which works for him when he needs to track back in order to stop a counter or to stop players that try to beat the offside line.

His positioning is also quite good. As mentioned, he’s focused and concentrates on his man. He is good tactically as he’s aware of his role and lives up to his style a lot. One major strength is that he doesn’t try to be too fancy. He’s mature for his age and could do well abroad.

He is great with his anticipation, due to his speed, and is perfect when it comes to facing fast opposition forwards. He is also very useful with the ball on his feet, for he is technically good and helps his team constructing the game.

What are his Weaknesses?

His main weakness is his concentration, which could be an issue against certain target men. His no nonsense style could be seen as a weakness depending on the views of certain fans.

Aside from those weaknesses, he’s done excellently at all levels. He is a solid central defender, and maybe it’s time for him to test his luck abroad.

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