‘He didn’t give me space’ – Chukwueze names Arsenal star as toughest player he faced in UEL:: All Nigeria Soccer

‘He didn’t give me space’ – Chukwueze names Arsenal star as toughest player he faced in UEL:: All Nigeria Soccer

‘He didn’t give me space’ – Chukwueze names Arsenal star as toughest player he faced in UEL

Contrary to popular belief, Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze has admitted that Arsenal left-back Granit Xhaka did a good job to neutralise him when both teams faced off in the first leg of the Europa League semifinal at the La Cerámica on April 29.

With first choice left-back Kieran Tierney failing a fitness test ahead of the clash, the Switzerland star, who was asked to play out of position as a makeshift fullback, had an intriguing battle with Chukwueze.

The Villarreal number 11 acknowledged that Xhaka kept tight to him and he didn’t have the freedom to operate from the right hand side.

Chukwueze fielded questions from UEFA’s official website ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League showpiece against Manchester United.

When asked to name the toughest player he faced in this season’s Europa League, the Nigeria international replied : “It was (Granit) Xhaka. He was man-to-man marking me. He didn’t give me space.

“He was just very close to me and I couldn’t move an inch”.

Chukwueze picked 18-year-old Villarreal winger Yeremi Pino as the best young player in this season’s Europa League, ahead of the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

“I think it’s Yeremi Pino, I think he’s a very fantastic player. He has done so well in the Europa League.”

On the most dramatic moment in this season’s Europa League, Chukwueze said : “It was dramatic against Arsenal. This is my first time reaching the Europa League final. I used to watch them on TV. I can’t wait to be there”.

Chukwueze has traveled with the Villarreal squad to Gdańsk in Poland despite concerns about his fitness ahead of the showpiece.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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