Antonio Nusa: The Norwegian Winger Destined for Greatness

Club: Club Brugge
Nationality: Norway
Position(s): LW, RW
Preferred Foot: Right
Height: 5’11”/180cm
Age: 18
Strengths: 1v1s, speed, agility, weak-foot ability, creativity, shot volume, defensive work-rate
Areas for Development: physical strength


Norway have not made it to a major footballing tournament since the 2000 European Championships, but that may be about to change sooner rather than later. In Erling Haaland, they have a once-in-a-generation striker who has already racked up a European Golden Shoe and broken the record for most goals in a Premier League season. In Martin Ødegaard, they have an elite attacking midfielder who is capable of breaking the lines with his passing and testing the goalkeeper with rockets from outside the box. And in Antonio Nusa, they have one of the best winger prospects in football.


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Born in Langhus, Norway to a Nigerian father and a Norwegian mother, Nusa began his career at Langhus’ academy before heading to Stabæk, where he would spend three years before making the move to Club Brugge. He didn’t take long to make his mark on the Belgian side, scoring in a 4-0 win at Porto on September 13 and becoming the youngest player to score on his Champions League debut.


Nusa is a 1v1 specialist who loves to pull his full-back marker wide to isolate them then beat them with his quick feet. He is a 2-way dribbler with electric pace in his locker so once he’s fooled his marker and sees an opening, he exploits it with his speed to create separation. Two-way wingers are so valuable as they’re a combination of different types of wingers. They cut inside to shoot/clip a cross into the box AND can go outside the defender, drive to the byline & play a cutback. Nusa does both of these to a high level with decisiveness & conviction and is an incredibly effective dribbler thanks in large part due to his stride variance.


He will chop his stride to give him quicker feet when approaching a defender in a 1v1, but then quickly open up his stride to separate and power away. When given space in behind, not many defenders can catch his top speed. Not only is he deadly in 1v1s but Nusa has also displayed great shooting ability, particularly his finishing & the composure to execute these finishes. He is a great ball-striker on both feet, he loves to cut in on his right foot from the left side to shoot from distance.


Importantly though, Nusa has had a high shot volume this season so far averaging 3.34 shots per 90, placing him in the 94th percentile for players in his position, per FBRef. The type of winger he is means that he’s a team’s primary shooter with the highest shot volume. For Brugge, Norway & wherever he plays in the future, he’ll be ‘Mr Make It Happen’.


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Nusa’s dribbling numbers so far this season are very impressive, with 8.45 Take-Ons Attempted per 90 (top 1%), 4.3 Successful Take-Ons (1%), 6.67 Progressive Carries (1%) and 3.04 Carries into Penalty Area (1%). Along with this 12.16 Progressive Passes Received (3%) show how much his teammates look to him to make it happen.. A decisive winger, capable of moments. As he develops, he’ll become a world class match-winner.

Whilst his creative numbers aren’t amazing, when you watch him, he’s always looking to create chances by cutting in on his right to cross or cutting the ball back. If given good coaching to refine his decision making, he’ll be a creative monster. On top of that, the Norwegian’s defensive work rate is impressive, constantly making a tireless effort to stop the counter, track back, and help his fullback.

One smaller area for him to improve is his physical strength. He’s not the weakest at all and has great work rate but to really make him more complete I’d love for him to add some real upper body strength. This’ll make him unstoppable in his 1v1s as he can brush off markers.


Nusa made his Club Brugge debut at 16 years of age after arriving from Stabæk for €3m, and although he’s only racked up 7 goals and 5 assists in 69 appearances, he has emerged as one of the most dangerous wingers in Belgium for Club Brugge. Whilst he has played as a center forward on occasion, his optimal position is at the left wing position where he has the option to cut in or go on the outside of the defender and look for the cross or the cutback.


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His 1v1 skills on the dribble have earned comparisons to Neymar, able to deceive his opponent and maneuver his way into the final third, and whilst he is certainly more effective on the left, he is nevertheless able to do a job on the right wing due to his willingness to beat his man and his direct nature. On the left, he has the freedom to cut inside and shoot from range, a 1v1 specialist with electric pace who is capable of exploiting a low block, leading the charge in transition and test the goalkeeper on multiple occasions.


Nusa looked set for a January departure with Brentford and Tottenham pursuing a deal, only for it to break down after he failed a medical. With a contract until 2027, the Belgian giants have safeguarded the short-term future of the 18-year-old, but it’s only a matter of time before Nusa follows in the footsteps of Ødegaard and Haaland and becomes the latest Norwegian to test his skills in the Premier League.


By: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / ANP – Getty Images