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Mohammed Kudus to West Ham: How FC Nordsjaelland’s ‘accelerated studying’ means Ghanaian is Premier League prepared | Soccer Information

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When Mohammed Kudus made his Premier League debut at Kenilworth Highway, he was the youngest West Ham participant on the pitch. In actual fact, at 23, he had nearly three years on the subsequent youngest of the 14 gamers utilized by David Moyes at Luton that night.

Because of this, the temptation is perhaps to view Kudus as a mission signing even at £38m. One for the longer term, a participant who will want time to assimilate to the calls for. It will be a mistake. Kudus is a long-term funding however a participant able to make an impression now.

He has packed lots in already since arriving in Europe on the age of 17. West Ham supporters will bear in mind his World Cup objectives however it’s two years now since he received the double with Ajax and 5 since his debut for Danish membership FC Nordsjaelland.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham’s win towards Luton

All through all of it, he has at all times entertained.

“Count on a participant who desires to please the group, desires to specific himself,” former Nordsjaelland boss Flemming Pedersen tells Sky Sports activities. “He’s such a technically skilful participant. He has these superb particular person expertise. After which, he has this excessive bodily energy.”

It’s an uncommon mixture. The trickiest of dribblers have a tendency to come back with a slender body however Kudus is stocky, in a position to take up place within the centre of the pitch after which burst by the areas with that winger-like capability to glide past and between.

“It isn’t regular to see a participant retain their steadiness in one-on-one duels with such a low centre of gravity. Typically you suppose he should fall after which half a metre from the bottom he works himself up once more and goes on this slaloming dribble between opponents.”

Predictably, he was adored at FC Nordsjaelland and the identical was true of his time in Amsterdam. Maybe extra surprisingly, based on his former coach, it was a view shared by supporters of the opposition too. West Ham have had just a few like that through the years.

“Even the followers from different golf equipment in Denmark beloved to look at him,” laughs Pedersen. There’s a quiet confidence to Kudus too. Pedersen as soon as requested him if he realised he was the most effective participant within the competitors. With a smile, he confirmed that he did.

“He’s extraordinarily humble,” insists Pedersen. “However he has a very good sense of humour. You must get into his head. He is not going to strategy you so it will be significant for the teaching employees to get to know him. Simply give him the prospect to open up as a result of he has a lot to supply.”

Mohammed Kudus at the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana
Mohammed Kudus started his journey on the Proper to Dream Academy in Ghana

In that respect, Pedersen likens him to Michael Essien, one other Ghanaian, now working as a part of the teaching employees at Nordsjaelland. Essien was 22 when he got here to the Premier League and instantly earned his place in Chelsea’s title-winning staff.

There’s a motive why Pedersen is satisfied that Kudus has the mentality to make the adjustment too. His three years at Ajax will assist, after all, a interval during which he proved himself at Champions League degree, scoring objectives towards Liverpool and Napoli.

However it owes a lot to his background throughout the Proper to Dream academy in Ghana, the schooling that they supply for his or her gamers, and the seamless transition to the European sport that follows at Nordsjaelland – the membership purchased by the academy for this objective.

Promoting the subsequent sport’s subsequent stars is a part of the mannequin and Kudus was among the many first to make the step. They knew that the demand was for younger expertise, however younger expertise that already had the tactical acumen to adapt to the hardest competitions in Europe.

They name it accelerated studying.

“We wish to create this protected atmosphere the place gamers dare to play with threat,” says Pedersen. “That is so vital with younger gamers. The explanation why we name it accelerated studying is as a result of if you find yourself 20 you need to play like you’re 27.”

However how do you truly coach that?

“There are a number of components to it,” he explains.

“The primary a part of it’s to offer them a transparent model of play with clear ideas so they don’t get misplaced within the sport as a result of the sport may be so advanced. We lower the participant’s choices within the sport in order that as an alternative of getting 10 potentialities, they’ve 5.”

Pace and accuracy are important on the prime degree. This helps with each. “In our expertise, your decision-making is faster and there’s a increased chance of success.” However absolutely reducing the choices stifles creativity? No, insists Pedersen. It helps it flourish.

“Reducing the choices offers them a construction. It’s positively not inflexible. Inside that framework, gamers may be inventive. For instance, earlier than you obtain the ball, if you have already got a few plans in thoughts, you have got extra power to make a inventive resolution.”

Mohammed Kudus at the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana

The stream of gamers rising from the Proper to Dream academy earlier than making their means by the Nordsjaelland system and shifting on to larger issues would recommend that the mannequin is working. Kudus was the primary however he was definitely not the final.

Kamaldeen Sulemana and Simon Adingra made their Premier League debuts even earlier than Kudus, the latter marking his with a purpose on the opening weekend of this season. Ernest Nuamah, 19, joined Lyon this summer season in a membership document sale for Nordsjaelland.

All have their very own journey to make.

“Gamers are usually not bricks to be put in place,” says Pedersen. “That’s too inflexible. They’re human beings with their very own ideas and concepts. The easiest way to align that with our model of play is to get into their head and perceive how they’re pondering.”

Mohammed Kudus' touch map and shot map for Ajax in the Champions League last season

It is going to be fascinating to see how David Moyes plans to make use of Kudus.

Because of his schooling, there are alternatives. “He’s in a staff sport so there’s a framework during which he should play however he can play a number of positions relying on the model of play and the way the coach desires him to play collectively along with his team-mates,” says Pedersen.

“At FC Nordsjaelland, we used him as a central midfielder, going from field to field. We additionally used him as a extra offensive midfielder and as a false quantity 9. However I believe the most effective place for him at West Ham, at the very least firstly, could be in the direction of the proper.”

By that, Pedersen means the channel fairly than sticking him out on the wing. “Not as a right-winger, though he can go on the skin, however enjoying in that proper half-space, and having a very good offensive full-back outdoors him to offer depth.”

He doesn’t doubt that Kudus has the expertise and mentality to shine. He could also be a relative teenager at West Ham however that is no fledgling. “Two years in Denmark. Three years at the most effective membership in Holland the place they’re at all times anticipated to win,” provides Pedersen.

“He’s prepared for the Premier League.”

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