Despite missing out on the Danish Superliga title this season, FC Nordsjaelland kept on doing what they do best: churning out top talents primed for success in Europe’s big leagues. Ernest Nuamah is the latest on that list.
FC Nordsjaelland’s talent factory has delivered once again. The Danish club that brought the world Kamaldeen Sulemana (Southampton), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax) and Andreas Schjelderup (Benfica) is one of Scandinavia’s top talent producers, mainly thanks to their great connections in Africa.
Ever since Tom Vernon, the founder of Ghana-based football academy Right to Dream, became the club’s new chairman at the start of 2016, the Farum side have benefited from an influx of African talent. That’s played a significant role in FC Nordsjaelland’s strong recent performances in the Danish Superliga (a third-place finish in 2018 and second-place finish last campaign) and impressive transfer sales. The aforementioned Sulemana and Kudus – both graduates of the Right to Dream Academy – left Denmark for a combined fee of approximately €26 million, with Ernest Nuamah the next talent destined for greater things.
The 19-year-old Ghanaian is a multi-functional forward, having played on the left, right and through the middle for manager Johannes Thorup this season. Nuamah – who ended up in Denmark after impressing in a series of trials a couple of months prior – was part of the Right to Dream academy for over eight years, before joining FC Nordsjaelland in January 2022.
The attacker made his debut for his new side in April 2022, scoring a late equaliser and picking up his first Man of the Match award in the process. He played just 23 minutes.
After that debut, Nuamah played just 160 more minutes in the 2021-22 Superliga season. Despite limited playing time, when the 2022-23 campaign came around, the Ghanaian was ready to pounce. He started 30 times for FC Nordsjaelland last season, scoring 12 goals and registering four assists.
Comparing those numbers across Europe’s top 10 Leagues, and Nuamah – born in November 2003 – was the youngest player to register 15+ goal involvements last season.
It’s not just his actual output in terms of goals and assists that has caught the eye of Europe’s big clubs, however. His underlying numbers also show the forward’s danger in front of goal. Nuamah ranked second-highest for expected goals (13.9 xG), shots (84) and shots on target (35), and third for the most touches in the opposition box in the 2022-23 Superliga.
Furthermore, just three players recorded more attacking sequence involvements in the past Superliga season (139), which further shows Nuamah is more than just your typical forward. The teenager not only shoots and creates but is also involved in the build-up to his team’s attempts.
But that’s just half of what makes Nuamah such a spectacular player to watch. Despite being used in a variety of positions last season, one thing remained constant: the Ghanaian’s penchant for taking on opponents.
As the graphic below shows, very few players were as dangerous when running with the ball as Nuamah was last season. The forward ranked in the top three for almost every dribbling-based stat going.
For a quick and digestible way to understand what type of player Nuamah is, we can use the new Opta Player Radars and their similarity score to compare his style of play to that of players from any of Europe’s top five Leagues this season.
The four forwards who had a statistically similar output to Nuamah last season were Manchester United star Marcus Rashord (81% similar), Borussia Dortmund’s Donyell Malen (78%), Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani (78%) and Milan’s Rafael Leão (77%). That’s not bad company to keep at all.
Now, to be fair, Nuamah’s radar is based on his performances in the Danish Superliga, which is evidently a weaker league than Europe’s big five. If he does make a move, it will be interesting to see how he can translate his skills to a more competitive league.
But the fact he profiles similarly to someone like Rashford, or Kolo Muani – who could well make a huge move himself this summer – bodes well for the Ghanaian.
Any club looking to sign Nuamah will have to put their money where their mouth is, though. Other Right to Dream graduates Kamaldeen and Kudus left FC Nordsjaelland for €17m and €9m respectively, while the former ended up at Southampton for over €30m in February. Kudus probably won’t be too far behind him in terms of a move to the Premier League.
With Nuamah’s incredibly versatile set of qualities and electric ability with the ball at his feet, he could well become FC Nordsjaelland’s biggest sale in history.
Ernest Nuamah has a Right to Dream.