Nordsjaelland and Right To Dream: Which Talents Are Next Up?
The Right To Dream Academy was first founded in 1999 in Accra, under the name “Last Chance” and then moved to Dawu in 2005, before their first purpose-built facility opened in 2010 on the banks of the River Volta.
Fast forward to the present, and they now have academies in Ghana, Egypt, Denmark and an international program. They are also affiliated with Danish club Nordsjaelland, and Egyptian side FC TUT. For more information on RTD’s programs, visit http://righttodream.com.
So far, Nordsjaelland has been the standout route for RTD graduates to progress in their careers. Mohammed Kudus, Mikkel Damsgaard and Andreas Schjelderup are the biggest examples of this to date.
Since the introduction of their affiliation in 2016, the Danish side have seen a vast improvement.
They have made their way to the Championship Round in six of their last seven seasons, recording their highest finish last season in second.
Their current crop of talent looks to be bright with some players being touted for big European moves in the near future. Here are three of Nordsjaelland’s brightest talents set to breakthrough soon
Adamo Nagalo (20)
Adamo Nagalo is a Burkinabé ball-playing defender. Across the 2022/23 season, he made 28 appearances in a second-place finish.
He is a right-footed central defender who typically operates as the left-sided centre-back in a back four. An involved ball-playing defender, averaging 89% passing accuracy per game and three accurate long balls throughout per 90.
As such, Nagalo is an effective line-breaker and able to help his team progress up the pitch. He is also able to progress the ball himself, showing confidence in his ability to frequently glide past players to carry the ball up the pitch, sometimes even reaching the final third with the ball seemingly glued to his feet.
In terms of his defending, he is quite aggressive and proactive, frequently breaking Nordsjælland’s defensive shape to close down opponents with his sheer pace rather than luring them in and often using his frame to lunge (and sometimes bundle) into challenges, while still managing to win the ball.
He also boasts impressive aerial numbers with the six-foot-one defender winning 52% (on average) of his aerial dues per 90 last season. For reference, Virgil van Dijk won 57% of his aerial duels last term.
Ernest Nuamah (19)
Ernest Nuamah is Nordsjaelland’s most prized asset already at 19.
He is often deployed as a striker but tends to drift out to the right to cut in on his wand of a left foot.
Last season, he amassed 12 goals and four assists in the league. This season alone, he already has six-goal contributions in four games. He is set to sign for Lyon soon, in a package worth €30m, a record sale for the Danish club and a record signing for Lyon.
Nuamah is an agile dribbler with mesmerising footwork and a lightning-quick change of pace aiding this.
You will often see defenders being turned inside-out trying to get close to the Ghanaian forward. While defenders know that Nuamah is going to cut inside, stopping him is another task.
Before even displaying to defenders what he’s going to do, he already has the ball on his left foot and is running inside. By the time the ball leaves his foot near the edge of the box, the opposition may as well have already conceded.
His shooting technique is remarkable at such a young age. Unlike a player like Bukayo Saka whose shots are hit with more power, Nuamah’s are more curled and placed past goalkeepers. An unstoppable player in Denmark, who will likely take to Ligue 1 like a duck to water.
Mohammed Diomande (21)
Mohammed Diomande is an Ivorian all-action midfielder. He likes to venture forward a lot, often arriving into the box for a cutback or getting to the byline to provide them himself.
Last season, he scored five goals and provided four assists. Most of these came from midfield, however, he did contribute from left wing in the Championship Round.
A technically sound player with particularly good crossing technique with his left foot. His finishing on both feet is also impressive as he is able to place shots into the bottom corners with finesse and power.
The midfielder’s physical attributes should not be overlooked either. His tenacity to win the ball is respectable as is his strength to shield the ball from opponents.
He is most similar to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s profile playing on the left of a midfield three, utilising his power and strength to glide past opponents and progress the ball to the attacking third.
It would not be surprising to see him move to a top five league soon. His traits as an attacking number eight make him favourable in the market, particularly with teams like Tottenham Hotspur needing more midfielders of an attacking profile. Diomande’s ability to penetrate the box with runs and passes would suit Ange Postecoglou’s football.
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