Destiny Udogie is a 17-year-old left back currently on the books of Italian Serie A outfit Hellas Verona. The teenager has represented the Verona-based outfit in various youth levels and has already managed two appearances in the league this season.
Last season, the youngster featured for Verona in the Primavera 2A division and helped his team finish fourth in the league standings, with 33 points from 18 games.
Verona never cease to amaze us and after holding league leaders Milan to a 2-2 draw, they also offered a glimpse into the future. Two hopefuls were given a run in the first team and Udogie is one of those players. Born in 2002, he is seen as a potential standard bearer of Italian football in future and has been already drafted into the Italian Under-19 setup.
A pure left-footed player, blessed with a rasping shot and devastating crossing ability, Udogie also has quite a remarkable physical profile for someone of his age.
So, in collaboration with The Scouting App, this analysis will seek to find out about the strengths and weaknesses of this young left back who we believe is potentially “destined” to become a true star in the coming years.
Since he has only just started life as a first team footballer, this scout report is going to focus on how he fared in his first two games for the Hellas senior side. This would allow us to give a better insight on what he brings to the table.
Playing away from home against an in-form Milan side, Ivan Juric decided to bring on Udogie in the 69th minute. With Milan trailing the game at 1-2, the young man showcased an ability to stretch the defense with a very good run.
Here you can see the youngster receive a pass from his teammate. Now Udogie has no option other than passing the ball back to his teammate. However, the next snippet will give you a very good idea about his composure and quick thinking.
Rather than going for an easy option, the teenager opens up his body in a way that would allow him to add more yards to the flank.
Due to his physique, the youngster is able to hold on to one challenge and manages to carry to ball a little further. And even though he was unable to end up whipping in a cross, Udogie had given his teammates enough time to regroup with matters reaching injury time.
This particular scenario also highlights the youngster’s dribbling ability and a serious burst of pace.
It is also worth mentioning here that Destiny Udogie was in fact positioned as a central midfielder in this encounter. This also sheds some light on the player’s overall versatility.
Udogie Against Sassuolo
In his second league game for Verona, Udogie was on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat to Sassuolo but during the 23 odd minutes he was on the field, the youngster was fielded as a left-back.
While during his debut Udogie’s passing accuracy was less than desirable, this time he ended up the game with a 90% passing accuracy and also won 80% of his challenges.
With his team losing 2-0, Destiny Udogie also managed to showcase a great ability to score and could have had his first Verona goal had it not been for the cross bar.
Perhaps one of the most striking things during his cameo appearance was that the teenager showcased a great willingness to add to the offensive part. He was always there to make a run and make himself available to his teammates.
In this clip for example, the youngster is far from an attacking position but seeing that the teammates up ahead are being crowded by three Sassuolo defenders, he decides to head deeper into enemy territory.
Here, Udogie has arrived at the Sassuolo penalty area and even though he did not receive the pass he was hoping for, it does give an impression of a marauding full back who is great at going forward.
After doing our preliminary analysis, we’re now going to talk about the youngster’s greatest strength.
Pace: Udogie has a serious burst of pace which is something in line with the evolution of a modern-day full back. His pace allows him not only to contribute in attack but also to make good recoveries.
Positional awareness: The teenager appears to be a player who is very aware of his surroundings. During both Serie A games, Udogie can be seen trying to be at the right place at the right time. Spatial awareness is really crucial for a full back since this role requires a player to be ready not only for a potential transition from defense to offense but also withstand counterattacks.
Passing: The manner in which he opens up his body to receive a pass and then quickly release the ball is something you are unlikely to see in most 17-year-old players. Udogie is however an exception. He is very confident on the ball and tries to keep things simple yet effective with good passing.
Weakness: Although there are not a lot of issues in his game and he is too young to be considered the finished product, it would perhaps serve Udogie well if he can work on his tackling ability. While he does possess great physique, he can at times get a little too enthusiastic in his tackles.
At the age of 17, Udogie has a lot of time on his side to develop into a consistent performer in the Serie A. He is definitely at the right place under a manager who seems to trust him. With great pace, dribbling and passing ability, we are hoping that the young player manages to make the most of the opportunities he’s given this season before maybe one day shining for a bigger team in Italy.