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Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.
The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. Our blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.
Recruited by FC Porto from his native Nigeria in 2014, he has developed through their famed academy system, featuring 59 times for Porto's B side and 10 times for the first team. This season has been his first full year in competitive first-team football after he was sent on loan to Nantes where he has been the third-choice centre-back but has also filled in at right-back, left-back and defensive midfield. Under the tutelage of Claudio Ranieri, Awaziem featured 22 times in Ligue 1 and scored 1 goal. At 6ft 4ins Chidozie is a real athlete with pace, awareness and power as can be seen in the headed goal for Nantes from a set piece in this video footage
Still just 21 years old, Awaziem is a long way from reaching his full potential however, the World Cup will pit him against the world's best. They face a Messi-led Argentina as well as a Croatian side containing Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic within their group. In these games, the Nigerians are likely to spend much of the game on the back foot where their defensive solidity will be tested.
If Awaziem earns a start in either of these games it will certainly tell the scouts in attendance what level he is at and whether a top player is waiting within him. A half decent showing should he make the pitch could be the catalyst for a big club move at what would still arguably be a no risk price or as a minimum the step up to Porto's first-team will be where he sees himself next season and as a known developer of talent and selling club his destiny would well and truly be in his own hands. Awaziem also had the highest pass success rate of any Nantes defender last season suggesting he would be well placed in a Premier league side. Clubs In England such as Everton, Leicester and Southampton are rumoured to have noted him but maybe the safer bet would be Burnley who have had considerable success as a finishing school for defenders in recent times such as Trippier, Keane, Tarkowski and Mee.