Daniel Daga only turned 16 in January, but despite his young age, the teenager is making a name for himself on the FIFA U-20 World Cup stage. Nigeria head coach Ladan Isah Bosso showed faith in the defensive midfielder as he named him in the starting 11 for the Flying Eagles' first game against the Dominican Republic.
It's go time! 🇳🇬 🦅
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) May 21, 2023
Daga's Performance in the FIFA U-20 World Cup
Naive is the best word to describe Daga’s overall performance. As impressive as it is that a 16-year-old is playing in the U20s, he did look a little out of his depth. However, it was the first game, so perhaps the occasion got to him. The youngster is reminiscent of an old-school enforcer with his commanding physical presence and aerial dominance.
He frequently showcased good positioning as Nigeria looked to build from the back, offering himself as an available passing outlet and was able to progress the play reasonably well. The youngster can play long passes and bring runners into play from wide areas, a valuable skill for a defensive midfielder. His first touch is also excellent, making him a reliable outlet in possession.
Two of Nigeria's hottest prospects, brilliant game from both of them today in flying eagles 2-1 victory over Dominican republic.
In Daniel daga and Benjamin frederick. 🇳🇬🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/TODiXQLb4O
— NAIJA FOOTBALL NEWS/origin SWITCHES/GOAL/assists⚽️ (@ComonNG) May 21, 2023
Daga is a physical player. His profile is representative of someone much older. The midfielder can easily outmuscle his opponent in the duels, which was on show throughout the game. He is also adept at tackling when required, meaning he can provide cover should Nigeria be caught on the break. It will be interesting to see him perform against the more physical Italy team compared to the pacy technicians of the Dominican Republic. Additionally, he is a great athlete and can cover significant ground throughout the game. As a result, he can be utilised as a box-to-box midfielder.
#U20WC – 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 #𝟮 – 𝗗𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲𝗹 𝗗𝗮𝗴𝗮 (𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗮)
— Target Scouting (@TargetScouting_) May 23, 2023
The talented young man shows excellent tactical awareness and can ensure that he is always in the right position to cut off opposition passing lanes. He also quickly understands the manager’s tactics and can execute them on the field.
Where the Young Flying Eagle Could Improve
The only area of real weakness in his game is his inability to dictate the tempo of the play, which is surprising given his good passing range. This means Nigeria can get a little overran, and perhaps Daga could be the one to just exert a little control over the flow of the game.
However, Daniel Daga is a wonderful prospect for the future, one that the Nigeria Super Eagles can look to build around for years to come. Of course, he has plenty of time to improve, and at only 16, the young midfielder will no doubt become a key player for the senior team in the future. After a good FIFA U-20 World Cup debut against Dominican Republic, Daga will be looking to show why so many people are keeping their eyes on him with a quality performance against Italy.
This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago