Villarreal boss Unai Emery has praised Nigeria's Samuel Chukwueze, stating he has quality but will need to show improvements defensively.
This praise came after he was faulted for the goal his side conceded during their 1-0 loss to Real Betis in the Spanish La Liga on Sunday night.
The Yellow Submarines surrendered their 100% record to the Green-and-Whites in a keenly contested affair at the Estadio Benito Villamarin with Rodri’s 61st-minute goal separating both sides.
Chukwueze came in just nine minutes into the second half for Yeremi Pino as Emery sought for dynamism up front. Unfortunately, the Super Eagles star was caught napping as Rodri crept in at the back post to easily convert a fine cross from Luiz Henrique to hand the hosts the win.
The defeat to Manuel Pellegrini’s side was Villarreal’s first of the season and their first loss in all competitions since May 15 when they lost 2-1 to Real Sociedad.
Speaking after the game, the former Arsenal manager was left disappointed with the outcome of the game but still stated his belief in the Nigerian.
“Chukwueze has quality, and we are working on improving his defensive performance. He has lacked the two meters necessary to defend from post to post.”
Villarreal are in fourth position on the Spanish La Liga log with 10 points after three wins and one draw.
Chukwueze and Villarreal will look to return to winning ways when they face Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago