Antonio Nusa

Who is the Norwegian Neymar, and why are Chelsea and Spurs keen on him?

Erling Haaland is no longer the most promising young player in Norwegian football. That title currently goes to 18-year-old Antonio Nusa, also known as the “Norwegian Neymar” owing to his dribbling ability, and his name is becoming more well-known by the week. Let’s know: who is Antonio Nusa?

Who is Antonio Nusa?

Nusa is a two-footed wide forward with a gliding pace and enticing technique who can drive with the ball or caress it through tight corners. You already pity the fullbacks who have to face him.

The Norwegian scored his first goal for Norway on his debut in a friendly against Jordan in September 2023, and in his second appearance, in European Championship qualification against Georgia five days later, he set up goals for Haaland and Martin Odegaard.

The second of those assists elicited a cheer from the fans in Oslo: Nusa squared up a pair of Georgian defenders, darted away from them with a whirl of skill, and cut back for Odegaard to score. Stadiums rarely create those kinds of noises.

Although he was raised by Stabaek, the Eliteserien team from Baerum, just outside of Oslo, he was signed by Belgium’s Club Bruges for €3 million (£2.6 million; $3.2 million) in 2021.

When he first joined Stabaek at the age of 13, his ability to attend training sessions was first restricted. The hour-long commute (by rail and bus) from Nusa’s family’s home in Langhus, in southern Oslo, was too much to make every day. Rather, he practised twice a week with Stabaek and played locally at home for the other time.

Why is Antonio Nusa known as Norwegian Neymar?

The media has ineffectually dubbed Nusa the Norwegian Neymar, although the notion is not wholly absurd when considering talent, at least. He consistently scores elegant, beautiful goals and exudes confidence when handling the ball.

He has been dubbed as the Norwegian Neymar because of the way he teases opponents, the way he moves into space, and the skill with which he creates shooting angles.

What are Nusa’s biggest strengths?

Nusa’s dribbling is his greatest weapon. The teenager is a nightmare to defend against since he has an abundance of speed and agility, along with a toolbox full of moves.

He is bold as well, always trying to outdo his man when the chance arises. In the Pro League this season, no player with more than 20 appearances is averaging more successful take-ons (4.38) per ninety minutes.

He can also move the ball forward and into open space with ease. This season, Nusa is leading all Pro League players in progressive carries (6.7) per ninety, with Gent’s Malick Fofana being the exception.

Nusa’s bipedal gait helps him dribble more effectively. He can move with ease on either foot, and you never know what he’ll do next. He can beat his opponent by going inside or outside, a quality that even some of the most expensive widemen on the planet lack, regardless of which wing he is deployed on.

Only ten players in the Pro League this season are putting in more effort per ninety minutes, so Nusa’s confidence is evident in his shooting as well.

Antonio Nusa – A Hot Transfer Prospect for Chelsea and Tottenham

The 19-year-old should be moving this summer after coming dangerously close to completing his ideal Premier League transfer in January.

The January transfer window of 2024 was the quietest in recent memory for a variety of reasons. This reality even affected the Premier League, which is generally perceived as the land of infinite wealth. For the most part, the clubs in the league saw the recruitment period go by without any significant incidents.

But there were a few instances where this didn’t apply. One such instance was the dedicated efforts of three London clubs to import Antonio Nusa into the country.

The forward’s availability was reportedly discussed with Club Brugge by Tottenham and Chelsea, but Brentford ended up being the most likely destination.

The Norway international was even close to signing a contract for £25 million ($31.1 million) with the Bees before his Medical revealed a cartilage problem in his knee and possible chronic back issues.

As a result, Brentford withdrew at the last minute, leaving the highly-regarded youth to finish the season in Belgium’s premier division.

The way things ended would have no doubt annoyed Nusa a little, but he still had plenty of time to win his big break. Indeed, several of Europe’s best teams will probably give the gifted player another look this summer.

This news is probably going to rekindle the competition to sign Nusa this summer. The three capital clubs who were considering the winter player will undoubtedly be in the running once more, and the fact that his contract is only six months away from terminating in 2027 might persuade a few continental teams to give him a look as well.

There’s no denying Nusa’s quality, but his high price tag might turn off some of his possible suitors, especially after Club Brugge came significantly close to paying over £25 million for one of their prized assets in January. In any case, it seemed like a matter of time until Norway’s next big prospect is starring in one of the best leagues in Europe.

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