Senegal is a country with a lot of talents in several positions. Most of them are brought through the same club like Diambars which is affiliated with Olympique de Marseille, Generation Foot to FC Metz and Olympique Lyon with AS Pikine. But Nicolas Jackson is a different case and a special talent with a lot of potential.
He was born on June 20, 2001 in Banjul, Gambia but he is Senegalese too and chose to play for the Lions. It is also not every day that you are compared to one of the best attackers of your generation. And so has been the case with Jackson, who has been dubbed the Senegalese Neymar.
He started his pro career in Senegal Ligue 1 at Casa Sports during the 2018/19 season. He received his first call-up with Senegal U20 on November 15, 2019. One day later he was named man of the match in a 1-1 draw against AS Pikine. After a good season with Casa Sports, he signed for Villarreal at the very end of the 2019 summer.
Since then he hasn’t looked back and has been putting in exceptional performances for the Yellow Submarines right from the word go. The Senegalese will be out of contract this summer and is already attracting interest from the rest of Europe. But is he really worth the gamble and investment?
How good is Nicolas Jackson?
Nicolas Jackson is a 21-year-old Senegalese forward playing for Villarreal. Throughout last season he trained with the first team, even though he played most of his games for the B team. Nicolas helped Villarreal B get back into Spain’s second division and even saw some playing time in the first team. The right-footed forward can play as a winger or in a more central position of the attack.
This term, he has started as he means to go on with the first team, scoring on his first appearance since the kick-off. At the age of 21, he is a talent that some clubs could be keeping an eye on.
Nicolas Jackson, one to watch soon as he’s expected to move in the summer — many clubs are tracking him after deal collapsed with Bournemouth in January 🟡 #Villarreal
Jackson has scored four goals in the last three games with Villarreal. pic.twitter.com/ks9aCyHFtl
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 4, 2023
Nicolas Jackson stats
The Senegalese youngster that stands at 186 cm makes good use of his height to win aerial duels and is also an attacking threat inside the opposition’s box. However, he still needs to be more consistent with his approaches and technique. Nicolas Jackson is very energetic and has good stamina that combined with his pace and acceleration makes him very dangerous on the counter. Despite his height, he shows great balance and is strong in attacking duels.
In the 2020/21 season, he was sent on loan to CD Mirandes. He only played 17 games [7 starts] because he suffered multiple injuries but the coach kept confidence in him. Jackson scored 1 goal and provided 1 assist with 1.2 [63%] successful dribbles per game in 724 minutes. This was enough for rest of the La Liga to take notice of his potential.
Nicolas Jackson scout report
Nicolas can link-up with his teammates well, showing great flair while doing so. He has great receiving and passing skills and can assist teammates nicely. In addition, Nicolas Jackson is excellent on the ball demonstrating dribbling and ball-controlling qualities that allow him to overcome his opponents.
He is very strong and unpredictable in 1v1’s even when in tight spaces under pressure. However, he sometimes gets too carried away and needs to improve his decision-making regarding this aspect. Nicolas shows a decent finishing technique, although he still has some room for improvement and needs to work on his weaker foot.
Nicolas Jackson transfer news
Aston Villa are one of a number of clubs monitoring Villarreal winger Nicolas Jackson’s contract situation. Villa will be handed an advantage in the race for the wingers signature, with new boss Unai Emery knowing and managing the player in his last post.
Jackson would provide the Villans with a solid attacking outlet and even though he is still raw, his ceiling is extremely high. The fact Emery has already coached the youngster bodes well for Villa’s chances in this one and he obviously rates the 21-year-old highly. Although the sticking point here might be the fact that Emery already has a forward who has been on fire this season – Ollie Watkins.
The English striker has 16 Premier League goals and has been on the up ever since Emery’s appointment. It would be foolish for Villa not to consider this one, especially when you consider Jackson’s current contract squabbles.
Nicolas Jackson has the potential to become a very complete forward. He needs to improve his finishing technique and link-up play near the opposition’s box. In addition, if he becomes a bigger aerial threat inside the box, he will end up being a complete forward.