Simon Adingra: Brighton’s Ivorian Phenom

A success story from the Right to Dream Academy that produces great African talent, Simon Adingra went from FC Nordsjælland’s starboy to a national hero with his heroics at the African Cup of Nations. What makes this 22-year-old winger such a special talent?


Moving from the Right to Dream Academy to Nordsjælland at the age of 19, he made his debut in a game vs FC Copenhagen and scored the game’s equalizer in the closing stages. He went on to score 10 goals and provide 3 assists in the following season. His season made Brighton and Hove Albion sign him for €8 million. However in just two years, he went from a wonderkid to being the best young player at the African Cup of Nations as well as the Man of the Match in the Final and eventful winner. Let’s take a dive into Simon Adingra’s strengths and weaknesses and see why he is a talent we should acknowledge.


The Nordsjælland Files: Denmark, Right to Dream, and Africa’s Footballing Potential


“He’s a creative offensive player who can play on both sides and is very good in one-on-one situations – David Weir.  Brighton’s technical director has summarized it all at once. Adingra’s dribbling ability is one of his greatest strengths. By using a bit of pace or trickery, he can go on the outside or inside of his opposing fullback and play a pass or give a cross into his penalty area.


In his season at Belgium with Union Saint-Gilloise where he scored 14 goals and provided 13 assists, he ranked above the 95th percentile for take ons attempted, crosses into the penalty area, expected assists and carries into the penalty area. His transition to the Premier League has not been seamless due to factors such as team environment, injuries, a new league but his successful take ons and crosses into the penalty area are ranked above the 80th percentile, the parts of his game that allow him to work on either flank.


In recent weeks, his creation has gone up a level as well as his duel success so it is indicative of an improvement in the 24/25 season. However, he struggles in both ground and aerial duels due to his smaller frame. He also doesn’t track back often once the ball leaves the attacking third whilst he is a good ball winner in and around those areas. At Brighton, he doesn’t get into good positions enough to get shots off whilst having a good shot technique. Still 22, however, these are areas of his game he can easily fix.


This year’s Africa Cup of Nations was the perfect stage for Adingra to show his talents. Injuries and recovery made him miss the first two games and a huge part of the third which caused Ivory Coast to be qualified marginally as they were one of the best third placed sides among the six groups, embarrassingly for the hosts.



He came on from the bench in their Round of 16 tie vs Senegal and helped them to salvage a draw in normal time in which they won on penalties. In the next game, he came on from the bench and scored a stoppage time equalizer from close range in a match the Elephants went on to win. Adingra made his first start of the competition in the semi finals in which he failed to impress but they made a place in the final.


The 22-year-old completed a match high five dribbles, gave six key passes including one big chance and gave the two assists that sealed the tie. This performance helped him pick up his aforementioned awards and showed the world what his talent can do. Despite his ups and downs this season, if Brighton are to do anything important while he is still at the club, he will be an integral part of it and we will all come to love and enjoy his talent very much. 


By: @princerequiem49

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / David Horton – CameraSport