The Nigeria Professional Football League’s biggest stars are set to return to action this weekend in what is promising to be another exciting, action-packed 2023 season.
In a build up to the kickoff, we’ve decided to take a look at one player who could make an impressive mark across the the new season for his club.
Seidu Mutawakilu (Rivers United): Goalkeeper
Seidu Mutawakilu is a Ghanaian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Rivers United.
He has been hailed for his ability to produce crucial stops and brilliance in one-vs-one situations, as well as his distribution, positioning and consistency; he is one goalkeeper who has been rated by analysts in the sport as one of the finest goalkeepers in Africa.
The Ghanaian goalie in a recent interview cites ex Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés as an inspiration, due to his ability to calmly play out from the back, as well as Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, for his ‘sweeper keeper’ style. Mutawakilu is also known for his great timing and speed when coming off his line, as well as his ability to clear or challenge for the ball with his feet outside the penalty area, or collapse to ground quickly to collect or parry the ball inside the box; moreover, due to his distribution, he is capable of playing the ball out from the back quickly with his hands as well as his feet, and also has the ability to initiate attacks, or pick out his wingers with his long goal kicks. His brilliant composure and skills with the ball at his feet in possession have even seen him dribble his opponents on occasion, when under pressure, and allow his teams to play with a high defensive backline.
Despite his towering height (standing at 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in), size, strength, large, powerful and intimidating physique, Seidu Mutawakilu is also an athletic and agili shotstopper who possesses good reflexes and excellent shot-stopping abilities, as well as the ability to produce instinctive and spectacular reaction saves when necessary.
He is furthermore known for his handling, and is effective at dealing with aerial balls, which allows him to come out and claim crosses and command his area with ease.
In his last season as a Rangers player during the 2021/2022 NPFL campaign, Seidu Mutawakilu kept 11 clean sheets before completing a move to the eventual champions, Rivers United.