Who Is Rumored Liverpool Transfer Target Ogenyi Onazi?

Who Is Rumored Liverpool Transfer Target Ogenyi Onazi?

Ogenyi Onazi

Ever since the end of the 2013/2014 season which saw Liverpool finish second and qualify for the Champions League, rumors have ran rampant linking the club to a number of players, both known and unknown. Recently, the Daily Star and the Liverpool Echo reported that the Reds were interested in Lazio midfielder Ogenyi Onazi. The Serie A club has placed a £12 million price tag on the Nigerian starlet.

Onazi first attracted attention from European clubs after he was called up to the U-17 Nigerian team after impressing for My People F.C. in his native land, a football club founded by local pastor T.B. Joshua. Shortly after, he was signed to a contract by Lazio, being called up to the Eagles’ first team squad late in the 2012/2013 campaign. Since then, Onazi has appeared over 65 times and has 4 goals and 4 assists. By virtue of his impressive performances at Lazio, Onazi has been capped for Nigeria twelve times, scoring once and forming a dynamic midfield trio with Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Sunday Mba. He was a part of Nigeria’s squad that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, starting on the bench at first, but forcing himself into the starting eleven after a series of extraordinary appearances.

Typically, Onazi plays as a defensive box-to-box midfielder, but he is also capable of playing as a central and attacking midfielder. He averages a total of 84.4% passing accuracy, higher than Liverpool stand-outs Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling. Much like Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, Onazi possesses lethal long-range shots. Onazi’s main weaknesses are in the air and in his discipline. He only wins an average of 0.3 aerial duels per game. To put this into perspective, let’s look at Fernandinho, who is only a few centimeters taller than Onazi. Fernandinho wins an average of 1.2 aerial duels per game. Another area in which Onazi has to improve on is his discipline. He has accumulated 4 yellow cards and 1 red card. However, it is predicted that Brendan Rodgers and the rest of the Liverpool squad can help Onazi on these areas.

Overall, Onazi would not be a first team player right off the bat unless he was to overachieve in his first season. Right now, the DM role is pretty much guaranteed for Steven Gerrard, who has excelled in the transition from more of an attacking midfielder to a box-to-box midfielder. Onazi would provide great back-up for the captain and could perhaps shift a fading Lucas Leiva out of the club. With Liverpool contending for more than one competition, back-ups are a must have and seeing as how Onazi has previously stated his desire to play in the Premier League, he would be a very viable option for both now and the future.


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About The Author

Brett Chandler

is a Liverpool fan since the age of five. Besides football, Brett also enjoys basketball and wrestling. Brett currently lives in Brasilia, Brazil, but sadly will not be attending any World Cup games. He does, however, hope to attend a LFC game in the future.

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