Days after he was criticized by Villarreal Manager, Unai Emery, over his inconsistency and need to raise his game, Samuel Chukwueze responded with a crucial goal in the Europa League against Sivasspor in Turkey, Thursday.
Chukwueze tapped home from close range to score the odd goal that gifted the Yellow Submarines passage to the next round of the competition and as group leaders.
It was the Nigerian’s first goal in the Europa League campaign this season and his second in all competitions this season.
Ahead of Thursday’s encounter, Emery tore into the 21 year-old’s inability to kill off games and how he has let the Coaching crew down at least once this season.
According to Victor Franch (Marca), Emery insists Chukwueze and another youngster Takefusa Kubo, must ‘increase his performance.
“We need the experience that some players accumulate to translate into improvements. We need Samu to settle down after two years being irregular in the first team. We need him to make a difference and this year he is doing it to a lesser extent,” said the Villarreal Manager.
“At Anoeta I bet on him with The idea that he would win the game and it couldn’t be. We will continue to insist.”
In 2019 Chukwueze broke into the first team at the Estadio de la Cerámica and was among the 10 finalists of the Kopa award for the best U19 players in the world.
That season he played 26 league matches and scored 5 goals. In the Europa League he made 9 appearances and scored a goal.