All you need to know about new Chelsea signing Noni Madueke
Noni Madueke has been tearing it up in the Eredivisie and is on the verge of joining Chelsea – but what do we know about the PSV Eindhoven winger?
With speed to burn and enviable creativity, it’s hardly surprising that he has caught the eye of one of England’s richest clubs.
We’ve brought you the lowdown on the 20-year-old who could help save Chelsea’s season…
His career so far
Madueke was born in Barnet, a London suburb, in March 2002. He is of Igbo descent – a group of people based largely in Nigeria and other West African countries.
He began his playing career at Tottenham Hotspur, where he captained their U16 side and made his debut for the U18s at the age of 15. However, Madueke considered the pathway to the first team in north London tough, despite being highly thought of by Mauricio Pochettino, and decided to leave the club to experience more senior football.
The winger signed for PSV Eindhoven in June 2018, rejecting an offer from Manchester United, and the 16-year-old relocated to the Netherlands with his mother.
After enjoying a breakthrough 2020-21 campaign, Madueke began last season in blistering form, scoring five times in seven games and also setting up another goal for PSV.
Considering the legendary Ruud van Nistelrooy has taken him under his wing and given him extensive lessons in finishing, this explosion of form was perhaps not surprising.
A host of scouts from Premier League clubs, including Leicester, Spurs, Manchester United and Wolves, watched the winger in PSV’s 2021 Champions League play-off as well as staff from European giants Bayern Munich and Juventus.
And, although his form tailed off somewhat, Madueke produced enough moments of class to keep some glamourous clubs on his tail.
Speaking about his future last month, Van Nistelrooy said: “I know of the interest in Noni. I’d rather not have that, but it’s not something I decide.
“The fact that there’s a lot of interest in him is of course due to his quality and his performances. But I do find it worrying. Because we’ve to see if we’re able to keep him, I hope so very much.
“We will certainly do everything we can [to keep him]. But you also know that things can change real quick if the interest heats up. As a club, you’ve got to be ready and have replacements lined up because if he leaves it would mean that we lose another player this winter.”
But Chelsea have made the plunge, committing £40million to secure the services of the 20-year-old as he’s a player Graham Potter is thought to have been tracking for a long time.
Madueke has also represented England at every level from Under-16 to Under-21 and seems destined to have a bright future in the game.
Where does he play?
The England youth international wasn’t always a winger. That’s where Madueke has made his name, but when he arrived in Holland he was a central attacking midfielder or No.10.
Capable of playing on either of the wings and in the hole behind the striker, the young Englishman predominantly played on the right flank for PSV.
A physically strong and creative playmaker, Madueke possesses an excellent left foot that allows him to execute killer through balls and a powerful shot from distance.
Madueke’s style of play has drawn comparisons with Arjen Robben – another left-footed winger who would cut in from the right. This label may seem hyperbolic, but the England U21 international can back that up.
Capable of beating defenders in a one-on-one, Madueke is blessed with sublime vision that can open up defences. Combined with a killer instinct and no little flair, the parallels with Robben suddenly make sense.
That's a cracking goal, Noni Madueke 👏
At just 1️⃣9️⃣ years old.pic.twitter.com/hJb4wSVYUl
— GOAL (@goal) August 4, 2021
What he said
“I am developing well, but I can still improve in enough areas. I demand a high standard of myself. But so far it is going well.” – interview with ESPN, January 2021.
“Ruud helped me a lot last year, taking my game to the next level and now I am just trying to get better every day. I have always scored nice goals but I know I needed to score easier ones — being in the right place at the right time — striker-type finishes. Ruud has been teaching me how to get into those positions more and, being a Manchester United fan, I know he is the master of that.” – speaking to The Sun about working with Van Nistelrooy, August 2021.
What they’ve said
“Madueke can really become very good. He is a very special player. His qualities resemble Kylian Mbappe – drive, speed and scoring ability. The top clubs are all crazy about him.” – former PSV and Netherlands international Gerald Vanenburg.
“He is able to read situations, get to the right positions and be in the right place. He has a good sense of that, with his timing, and, technically, he has the skills when one-on-one.” – former PSV manager Roger Schmidt.
“He’s a talented player, he’s physically very good, he’s got a nice left foot, he’s dynamic, he wants to run in behind,” – Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers before facing PSV in April 2022.
“Madueke has created the interest by himself, because of his terrific qualities and his performances here in the Netherlands and in European games,” Ruud van Nistelrooy, January 2023.