Chiedozie Ogbene Celebrating a goal
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Chiedozie Ogbene: Luton & Ireland’s Exciting Seat Raiser

Chiedozie Ogbene gets you off your seat. It is as simple as that. This talent is not something that a metric can measure, but it is undoubtedly a vital trait to have in a team. His electricity gets fans out on their feet, it lifts the atmosphere in matches, and the Irishman is one of the most exciting players in the league.

The 26-year-old has not had an easy rise to the Premier League. After fairly impressive stints for Cork City and Limerick in the League of Ireland, Brentford vied for his signature in 2018. He spent just 19 months at the Bees, making just nine appearances before moving to Rotherham, with a loan to Exeter in between that year and a half.

At Rotherham, “Chieo,” as his teammates refer to him, finally started playing regular first-team football. Throughout four seasons, the Nigerian-born Republic of Ireland international made 136 appearances for The Millers.

Then when Luton made their way to the Premier League, he finally secured a move to England’s top-flight on a free transfer. Since then, Chiedozie Ogbene has not looked one bit out of place.

Chiedozie Ogbene for Ireland

Chiedozie Ogbene: A Dynamic & Electric Winger

It will not come as a shock to anyone that Luton is statistically one of the worst teams on the ball in the Premier League. Not only do they have one of the lowest averages of possession in the league, but they make the least amount of passes when they do get on the ball.

These are not stats any attack-minded player will want to see for the club they play for. It is certainly one Chiedozie Ogbene won’t be too happy about. Despite this, the Irish international is still a joy to watch. He is one of the quickest players in the league, clocking in a top speed of 36.93 KM/H, the highest this season.

Luton Possession stats
Credit: Data.mb

As stated, one of Ogbene’s key characteristics is his dribbling, and data highlights it. Despite playing in a team that is more often than not on the back foot, as explained by the graphic above, the Luton attacker is in the upper quadrant when comparing Successful Dribbles % and Dribbles per 90.

Only eight more players attempt more dribbles per game, with only two of those eight having a higher success rate. Michael Olise and Jérémy Doku are the duo who outshine him in this regard.

It is clear that when Luton does get the ball, they pump it out to their wide players, Chiedozie Ogbene and Alfie Doughty, to get the ball up the pitch.

Chiedozie Ogbene dribbling stats
Credit: Data.mb

Another underrated trait the Irishman possesses is his ability to draw fouls. Chiedozie Ogbene has an average of 2.2 fouls won per 90 in the Premier League. He is ranked among the top 79th percentile for players in his position.

With Luton barely seeing the ball, set-pieces are an excellent opportunity for The Hatters to try for a goal. They currently have nine goals from these situations, which is 32% of the goals they have scored so far. This makes them the joint second highest reliers of goals from set pieces, level with Arsenal, and trumped by Everton (46%).

With Opta predicting Luton to finish 19th, racking up more opportunities from set-pieces could be key to staying up.

The Glaring Issue? – Output

When it comes to modern football, though, the classic Twitter (or X) fan cares more about the basic numbers. The goals and assists. The output, if we may.

While there is no way to sugarcoat that the former Rotherham man’s numbers are low, he does profile similarly to Bukayo Saka. Looking at the radar below, when it comes to having the ball at their feet, Chiedozie Ogbene actually outperforms the Englishman in most categories besides those goals and assists numbers.

So, when combined with the fact he plays in an incredibly defensive side who rarely get on the ball, and even when they do, they have very little of it, there is an argument that the Irish winger’s numbers would drastically improve if playing in a side that controls the ball more.

Chiedozie Ogbene vs Saka
Credit: Data.mb

There is no denying that Ogbene is an exciting player. His direct way of playing, how he beats the man in front of him, his explosive pace, and his dribbling ability make him someone who lifts the crowd.

Just one successful dribble and run can increase the atmosphere. Just one ounce of hope for the crowd. One moment of excitement. That is all it takes to change the momentum of a match.

It is a metric that can’t be quantified. It is an attribute that can be hard to find. But it is one that every team should look out for. Chiedozie Ogbene is one of those players.

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