This could be a pivotal summer in the career of Sheffield Wednesday defender Osaze Urhoghide.
The 20-year-old is in-demand at the moment, with his Owls contract set to expire in the summer and a raft of sides thought to be keen.
The defender’s current club are understood to still be in talks over a new deal but it’s thought he’s in no rush to decide his future.
But what has attracted such attention? We’ve put a spotlight on his performances this term to examine just that…
The 20-year-old first emerged last season but it’s been the second half of the 2020/21 campaign when he’s really shown his quality.
He has featured 12 times in all competitions and missed just two of Wednesday’s Championship games since the 30th of January – mostly featuring as part of a back three.
Playing in an out-of-form side as a young defender is not easy but Urhoghide has managed to impress despite the Owls having a testing few months.
The centre-back’s enthusiasm for his defensive work is clear, averaging 12.33 defensive duels per 90 (more than any other player in the Championship) at a 70.1% success rate (Wyscout), but he’s rarely rash and reads the game very well.
His football intelligence and maturity beyond his years are highlighted by his average of 5.4 interceptions and 13.5 ball recoveries per 90.
That’s not to say he is completely mistake-free but it’s rare that you find a young defender that is.
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Despite being only 20, Urhoghide is already fairly comfortable with the physicality of the Championship and able to deal with balls into the box. In fact, he averages 6.3 aerial duels per game at an impressive success rate of 62.9.
Being defensively solid is often not enough to court top-tier sides in modern football and while it would be misleading to call the Wednesday man a ball-playing centre-back he is certainly capable in possession as his pass accuracy of 76.8% highlights.
He’s not the finished article though and he doesn’t offer the threat going forward that some defenders do.
The 20-year-old has touched the ball in the opposition penalty area just twice all season, neither of those with much control, and averages just 1.26 dribbles and 0.27 progressive runs per 90 – highlighting that his attacking output is an area for improvement.
But he is still young with little experience under his belt and has time to work on improving his game, so there is a huge amount to like about Urhoghide and given he could be available on a free transfer, it’s no surprise that there are sides lining up to strike a deal.