Scouting Report : Antonio Nusa
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After being linked to top clubs such as Real Madrid, Arsenal, Chelsea or Liverpool, Brentford seem to have agreed a deal for one of the most promising youngsters actually playing in Europe, a player who has been one of the leathers of Club Brugge good performances in the recent days. We are talking about Antonio Nusa, an 18 year old Norwegian, another case of young nordic players who has taken the leap in quality to be taken into account as one to watch in the near future. Started playing for Stabaek young academy in his home country, he made it to the first team and was transferred to Brugge in the 2021/22 season, where he has established in the starting XI and has left huge quality performances that have not gone unnoticed around Europe.

Mainly starting as left winger or adopting the left inside forward role, he is capable of playing anywhere along the attacking front three, being an attacking all rounder. He feels comfortable starting in the right wing, and also adopting inside positions, playing more as a second striker or playmaking role. He stands out for being a clever player, with great understanding of the game, skillful and pacy.

Despite mainly starting next to the sideline, Nusa is the kind of player who loves to operate freely around the pitch. His tactical intelligence is elevated, in terms of space occupation. He detects space amazingly well, either to come to receive in the left half space or attack vertically provided with high pace, which makes him a mobile and versatile player in attacking phase, difficult to detect and predict his moves.

Nusa is a technically gifted player, who becomes a clear menace when entering in contact with the ball in the last metters. When adopting inside areas, he possesses close ball control and fast footwork, which allows him to operate in tight spaces and maintain the ball under pressure, having fast decision making. In those areas, despite not being a really associative profile, he is clever to provide incisive space opening passes or filter killing passes providing goal scoring opportunities, having creativity and vision to find passing lanes.

When acting next to the side he shows his vertical style of play. Likes to receive the ball and carry it forward, progressing in the game by powerful ball carries. He tends to cut inside, looking to adopt central areas to try for a shooting or looking for clever through balls down the middle. When that happens, Nusa also shows great understanding with his left back, allowing him to overlap and providing him with great deep balls. But he can as well go wide, as he possesses great ball manipulation with his weak foot, and huge crossing capacity. When cutting inside and going for goal, he shows great shooting, with great accuracy in his shots, but in general his end product is low, not being a huge threat for goalkeepers, aspect that he would have to work on to keep on improving.

When facing rivals in 1vs1, he is a differential player, difficult to defend. He is unpredictable, as he possesses a great repertoire of tricks and resources in his pocket, being difficult to read his game. His physical conditioning is key in those one-on-one situations. Full of flair, great acceleration and change of pass in the first metters, he can beat explosively rivals in terms of seconds, having coordination, agility and body balance to keep the ball when entering in contact situations trying to beat them. He loves using body feints and stepovers to surpass his rivals, almost unstoppable when carrying the ball forward powerfully provided with fast direction shifts, being confident in his skills and having the personality to keep on trying despite losing his first dribbling attempts. All those elements make him a key element to offer a transitional high tempo playing style, picking the ball and driving it forward, getting his team up the pitch up quickly and having great decision making in those situations.

Entering in the defensive phase, his implication is much more significant in high areas than down the defensive and central third. His pace is key in order to propose a high pressing system, being a nuisance when making counter pressing work, and also in defensive transitions in order to track back and regain positioning. His good tactical sense allows him to regain lost balls when pressing high, allowing his team to attack from advanced areas. Whereas he tracks back correctly, his defensive contribution is not high, not making many defensive interventions. He lacks the physicality to provide strong tackles and be incisive in duels in the midfield, not being powerful enough to shrug opponents off the ball.

Nusa has been over performing since his arrival to Brugge, showing flashes of a great and mature football player for his young age. The Norwegian seems ready for a move to a tier 1 club competing at the highest level around Europe, to keep on developing his interesting profile and become the outstanding player he seems to have potential to become.

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