Nathanael Ogbeta is an offensive-minded left-back / left-wing back with plenty of speed and energy to get up and down the line efficiently. Ogbeta signed for Shrewsbury Town in the January transfer window in 2021 from Manchester City. He first joined City at10-years-old and spent nine years in the prestigious City academy, he is also an England under20 international. While he still has a lot to learn, Ogbeta looks to have a lot of potential and could be an effective player at Premier League level. Ogbeta is a very fast player and has a great work ethic, always willing to help out his teammates both in attack and defence. He is well suited to a team that like to play in a fairly direct manner with a high tempo as he likes to carry the ball high up the pitch often. He is also well suited to a team that like to press high and aggressively due to his overall speed, energy and work ethic. In his first half-season with Shrewsbury, he played 2,229 minutes across 25 games, starting in all 25 of them.
Ogbeta’s contract expires at the end of the 2021/22 season according to Shrewsbury Town’s own official website. His height and weight appear to be unavailable at this time.
Ogbeta is an attack focused Full Back and Wing Back who is capable of making plenty of progressive runs down the left side.
Ogbeta has predominantly played as a left wing-back this season, however, has also had plenty of minutes playing further back as a left-back. Shrewsbury have favoured a 3-4-1-2 or 4-2-3-1 this season and Ogbeta looks comfortable playing as part of a back four as much as being part of a midfield four. He makes an excellent option at left-back and wing-back due to his ability to work up and down the pitch with great intensity, as well as his ability to make good progressive runs.
Here we compare Ogbeta to an interesting left wing-back from last season, Barnsley’s Callum Styles.
Styles appears to be more solid defensively than Ogbeta and this may be something Ogbeta needs to work on in order to be considered a more complete full-back. However, Ogbeta looks to be more effective going forwards, with a much greater amount of progressive runs per 90 and a much greater forward passing accuracy. Ogbeta also has greater success with his dribbles than Styles although Styles does just beat Ogbeta to have more key passes per 90.
Defensively, his aerial duels won and defensive duels won are quite low which is a side of his game that needs to be worked on although, he has a lot of potential and is still young so could improve significantly over time. His overall defensive awareness is okay and when defending in 1v1 situations he stays on his feet, does not dive in and can be difficult to beat due to his speed.
His 5.62 interceptions per 90 and 5.67 ball recoveries are a promising sign that he has the potential to improve his overall defensive abilities and that his defensive awareness, in general, is okay. However, as previously stated, at 50.29% his defensive duels won are lower than he would like however, Ogbeta wins more of his defensive duels in matches where he sits further back as a left-back than he does as a wing-back.
Ogbeta is very quick and aggressive transitioning into attacking phases of play, this is due to his energy, acceleration and drive to get himself into effective space high up the pitch. He constantly strives to get the ball up the pitch and this is shown by his dribbles per 90; successful dribbles per 90 and progressive runs per 90 all being far above that of the league median.
He is just as quick transitioning into defensive phases of play and looks to get back quickly and with urgency after his team lose possession, using his excellent speed and fantastic work rate to his advantage. He shows a good understanding of when to fall back into more of a defensive shape and when to stay further up the pitch if his team come under pressure, if they do eventually lose the ball he has more than enough speed and energy to swiftly get back into a deeper line.
Ogbeta’s attacking metrics are promising with his dribbles per 90; successful dribbles per 90; successful dribbles percentage and progressive runs per 90 all being far higher than the league median. His crosses per 90 and accurate passes percentage are also above that of the league median which show just how effective he is going forward.
His game would benefit from attempting to play more through-passes and key passes than he currently does, and this will help improve his creative stats. Under the right tutelage, he could improve this side of his game as the potential is there for him to succeed at this side of his game.
He is aggressive in attack and likes to push high up the field when his team are in possession, looking for space to run into and offering for the pass in dangerous places in the opposition’s half.
Ogbeta is an incredibly quick player and has great stamina, this allows him to get high up the field in attack and to swiftly get back to honour his defensive duties effectively. He appears more than capable of keeping this up for the full 90 minutes and this makes him a very effective wing-back. He is not overly strong and can sometimes get brushed off the ball easily in 1v1 situations, this may need attention but is not a big concern as his speed can help him out in these situations.
At just 20 years of age, Ogbeta has bags of potential and looks to be on his way to establishing himself as a strong League One player in only his first half-season at a senior level. He would be an excellent match for a side looking to invest time and patience into developing his potential and he looks like an exciting prospect.
His ability as a dribbler, along with his ability to make effective progressive runs; his great work rate and his ability to cross the ball make him a perfect option at wing-back and one with great potential.
As stated before, his defensive qualities are not at the standard that he would like them to be but there is definitely room for improvement. He is more effective going forwards than defensively and having the right time and coaching invested in him, he could improve this side of his game and become more established in his defensive qualities.
Current tier: Tier 6
Future tier: Tier 2