Chidera Ejuke is finally proving right the decision of CSKA Moscow to splash a record transfer fee of over €11m to sign him from Dutch side Heerenveen two summers ago.
The Nigerian struggled in his first season at the club often guilty of holding onto possession unnecessarily which most times killed the team’s attack especially when they want to play on the break.
All of that has changed now under new coach Alexey Berezutskiy, who gave specific instructions to the winger and it has so far resulted in three goals in his last four games. Four in 12 games with two assists this season keeping him on course for his most productive season at the club.
Speaking on the transformation in the way the Nigerian play, goalkepper Igor Akinfeev narrowed it down to his good relationship with the players around him and also his ability to track back and help the team in defending.
“Chidi really improved in many components,” Akinfeev confirmed. – He began to interact much better with Oblyakov, with Zabolotny, with other players. I would like to note that Ejuke also improved in defensive actions, I also consider this moment very important ”.
Known for his dribbling abilities, in September he was rated the best in the league in that regard by Opta with 26 successful attempts five times more than any other player in the league and in the process claimed the award of the club’s player of the month for the second time in a row.
However that ability of his was worked into a more productive spell by the words of coach Berezutskiy who gave specific instructions to the Nigerian to only weave his tricks around the box and not in the centre of the pitch, where the team could be punished if he loses possession.
Also he was told to drift into the middle from his position on the left and it has become one of the strong attacking point of the team as it affords him the chance to move into empty zone, which means he doesn’t need to use his speed or dribbling abilities and it affords him more chance to get a shot at goal.
At 23 years of age, he will likely be on his way out of the league if he sustains or improve on his current form which has also help him cement a spot in the squad of the senior national team of Nigeria.