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Nigeria’s Isaac Success, a top forward potential with Granada FC


isaac-successISAAC Success continued his good start to the season by having a hand in both of Granada’s goals in their 2-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. It was his square pass that Athletic defender Aymeric Laporte turned into his own net for the first while he converted the second himself with a well-controlled volleyed finish from inside the area.

Success joined Granada in March 2014 after being spotted by the scouting network of their parent club Udinese following impressive performances for both the BJ Foundation Academy in his native Benin City and for Nigeria at Under-17 level. He was assigned to Granada’s B team, where he scored three times in five appearances, upon his arrival in Spain but was also an unused substitute for the first team on a couple of occasions towards the end of the 2013-14 season.

The young forward began the 2014-15 campaign, as a registered B team player, but it wasn’t long before he began to get first-team opportunities. His debut came in a start away to Elche in late August and by Christmas he had notched his first goal in a 1-1 draw at home to Valencia. He had appeared 19 times by the end of the season and was rewarded for a highly promising debut campaign with a contract extension through to 2019 this summer.

The 19-year-old has become a regular this season under Jose Ramon Sandoval and has impressed with a series of bright performances for a side that have otherwise struggled during the early part of the campaign. He currently has one assist and three goals to his name, with the latter total including a lovely strike against Sporting Gijon in which he received the ball on the left of the area, cut inside and fired a curling effort into the far corner.

Yet it has not been an entirely smooth ride for the Nigerian. He was fined and temporarily banished from first-team training after he refused to travel with the team for their defeat away to Rayo Vallecano earlier this month in protest over the club’s reluctance to further improve his contract. He had previously received warnings for other acts of indiscipline and was only brought back into the fold after issuing a public apology to everyone at the club.

Success is a quick, strong and confident forward whose daring and incisive dribbling causes regular problems for opposing defences. His end product is still a bit hit-and-miss, but his physique and persistence make him a real handful for his markers. He is capable of playing through the middle, but Sandoval currently views him as a player who can offer more to his team from a wide starting position on either the left or right flank.

Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez:: “Granada base a large percentage of their play around him.

He is a strong and powerful player, and that allows them to play a direct and incisive game in certain areas of the pitch. He has been creating a lot of danger and is one of their most important players.”

Granada teammate Salva Ruiz: “Success is one of the strongest guys I’ve ever seen.”Trivia

Success set up a record label, I.S Music, this summer, and made a cameo appearance in the video for the label’s debut single, Young Alhaji, performed by his childhood friend Trazyx.

Success has been in the notebooks of international scouts since his first appearance at under-17 level and his performances so far this season have simply underlined his potential. But he is a player that Granada view as their next big payday — a player who in two-to-three years is capable of reaching the €20 million valuation assigned to him by his buyout clause — and it is unlikely that they will allow him to leave at this early stage of his development.

The 19-year-old is already getting regular playing time in one of Europe’s big five leagues and is improving on a weekly basis. He is still raw and needs to work on his end product in order to become more consistently decisive for his side, but if he can avoid off-field distractions and remain focused on his development, he looks to have all the attributes necessary to become a very useful top-level forward in the coming years.

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