There is this belief that journalists wax lyrical albeit one or two good performances of their sporting heroes but recent performances of Nurudeen Abdul Aziz make such a thought a misnomer as his sparkling performance against Dreams FC jolted people out of that belief.
He has been a forgotten this campaign, with Benjamin Afutu, Emmanuel Nettey, Frederick Ansah Botchway and new arrival Mamane Lawali establishing themselves ahead of him in the pecking order. Aziz, on the other hand, has played the waiting game, grinding out substitute minutes and bagging valuable experience whenever he can.
He struggled somewhat in his first season at Hearts with few games in a struggling side- however; a step up in class wasn’t the only factor to take into consideration. At Vision FC, he was the star man, the player his teammates would look to for inspiration as he was given a free role in the team, yet he would be afforded no such royalties in Edward Odoom’s side.
The way he glides past defenders and opposition midfielders with the ball at his feet is poetic. He may not possess a lethal finish and pace, but he’s got the technical skill and a dribbling ability unmatched by the other midfielders in the Hearts dressing room. In essence, he provided, he provided a mature complement to Lawali and acted as a bridge between the rock-solid backline and the lethal attack. In other words, it was the complete performance and an aggressive reminder of exactly what’s he’s capable of.
His display added fuel to the argument that he is best deployed centrally, rather than out wide as was the case last season. He and Lawali had superb chemistry against the Still Believe lads and more performances like this should see them emerge as Papic’s started midfielders over the festive period. Of course, the step-up in the division has aided curtailing Aziz’s development, but the drastic change in his manager’s philosophy can’t be underestimated.
He’s not only been faithful to the club, but he’s also been extremely patient. Aziz stuck around, not wanted to go out on loan and, now, his ability is at par with his contemporaries. Benjamin Afutu is almost gone, Emmanuel Nettey is plateauing and Frederick Ansah Botchway needs help. Hearts need more Nurudeen Abdul Aziz and the sooner Papic allows him to shine, the better.
Papic has plenty of faith in him, and rightly so. He’s a special talent who is not simply primed for the future but is instead ready to make an immediate impact. If he can continue this electric form, Aziz will demand more minutes in arguably the division’s strongest lineup, and all that exposure will only make him better.
It’s an enthralling cycle that has fans of Hearts, Ghana and football as a whole drooling with excitement.
Source: Godfred Yeboah/ Phobianews.com