From the 2020/21 season the brilliance and exceptionality of Buhari Ibrahim stood out under the guidance of Coach Abdul Maikaba.

The former Rarara football academy graduate thrived massively with his defensive pairing with Andrew Ikefe.

When you think of solid and effective central defenders in the NPFL then Buhari is highly rated.

In this tactical analysis, in the form of a scout report, I will analyse some of the key aspects of BUHARI’S game. I will discuss how he makes Plateau United backline tick, and how he is becoming a key figure national team handlers should consider.

Defensively sharing the centre of defence with the dependable Andrew Ikefe, Buhari is the primary individual in the backline.

TIMELY TACKLES

Specifically, most of his tackles are duels higher up inside his own third than a normal centre-back.

GAME INTELLIGENCE

Technically, Buhari is a good reader of the game with high intelligence. When team loses the ball, and opposition teams attempt to play over the top, Buhari has the presence and ability to step out of the backline to win aerial duels and dominate in the air. He understands that with the high defensive line causing an offside trap, he has the change to enforce a turnover. He can be often seen pushing out attackers into wide positions.

However, Buhari’s high pressing defensive style forces attackers to wing areas, allowing time for players to come back and defend.

BALL PLAYING CENTRE BACK

If a young centre-back wants to become successful and play for a big club passing and technical ability is key, especially in a team that plays a lot of the ball. Plateau United did that most times under Coach Abdul Maikaba. This means that most offensive plays occur with their wing-backs and attacking wingers – with devastating wing combinations in game situations spreading to the wings, concentrating on ball rotation between the centre-backs, before spraying long diagonal balls to the wingers.

This is a huge part of his tactical awareness. Buhari has an amazing range of passing, from diagonal points to defence-splitting crosses and floor vertical passes through defensive lines.

TRANSITION /VISION.

He has the natural vision to spot a pass behind a defensive line. Buhari has all the modern attributes needed by a centre-back playing in the fast-paced game. He has a phenomenal range of passing, combined with solid passing success rates and exceptional vision. He would fit perfectly into any top side with touchline-hugging wingers

Purposefully, if Buhari remains consistent he would be one of the best the NPFL has ever seen.

By Uni Dan Kakwi

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