Despite losing in the semi-finals at the 2023 Under 20 African Cup, Nigeria were nothing short of impressive. The Super Eagles’ defence was their major strength which conceded only two goals, the second-best in the tournament. And one of the primary reasons for such a watertight backline was the presence of 17-year-old centre-back prodigy Benjamin Fredrick.
The 17-year-old, who currently plays for Nawasara United in the Nigerian Professional Football League, has started attracting the interest of clubs from Europe.
Frederick has been on the scene of senior football for a short time and has already made turns with his mature displays that prove that he has a high chance of becoming the next big Nigerian football star.
So, who is Benjamin Fredrick, and how good is he?
Who is Benjamin Fredrick
Benjamin Chiemela Fredrick was born on May 28, 2005, in Nigeria. He showed great interest in football from a young age and was encouraged by his parents to make a career out of it. He played for a host of local clubs before joining Nawasara United.
However, what brought him to the attention was his impressive displays for the under-20 national team. These brilliant performances also got him his senior team debut for Nawasara United, where he has made six appearances till now.
Frederick has used the limited minutes to significant effect, showing that his talent might already be too much quality for Nigeria Professional League. And these performances have come for a team that is languishing ninth on the Group A table, second from bottom.
Benjamin Fredrick stats
We only have a set of 11 games to look at Benjamin Frederick’s stats which makes it very difficult to predict if he can replicate these numbers for a longer spell when he plays week in and week out.
Leadership, control, communication, agility, vision and an incredible level of composure.
Benjamin Fredrick ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/knvDpQuQ6W
— SIMOIBEN FUTBALL CLUB KADUNA NIG (@SimoibenN) March 9, 2023
In the five games that he played for Nigeria at the under-20 African Cup, Frederick helped keep three clean sheets and ensured that the team did not concede more than one goal in any game.
For Nawasara United, he has been played as a centre-back and right-back, but even his brilliant performances have not helped the team turn around their fortunes.
Benjamin Fredrick scout report
At 17 years old, Benjamin Fredrick possesses all the qualities required of a world-class modern-day centre-back. One of his best skills is his leadership and the ability to organise the backline to ensure they don’t get dominated by the opposition.
Frederick is also a player who immensely improves those playing alongside him. He does that by being in constant communication with his teammates. Frederick also has incredible ball-playing skills and loves to start the play from the back.
In addition, he is also quite pacey and is not the easiest player to dispossess, which makes him a complete package. Frederick often uses these skills to avoid a situation where he has to make a last-ditch high-risk tackle for as long as possible.
Benjamin Fredrick transfer news
According to credible media reports, Benjamin Fredrcik is being chased by several clubs, three of which are Anderlecht, Red Bull Leipzig and Midtjylland. All these clubs are monitoring him now as they can only offer him a professional contract when he turns 18, which will be at the end of May 2023.
Nigerian 17-year old defender Benjamin Fredrick is now attracting interest around Europe as Anderlecht, RB Leipzig and Midtjylland are tracking him 🇳🇬 #transfers
Fredrick was one of the stand out players in U20 African Cup this month, now represented by CAA Base. pic.twitter.com/pkUcaP7bkN
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 17, 2023
Frederick is a client of CAA Base and has players such as Kyle Walker, Kingsley Coman, and Heung Min Song and youth stars such as the Manchester City duo of midfielder Cole Palmer and defender Rico Lewis.
However, wherever he goes in the summer transfer window, Benjamin Fredrick is on his way to becoming a star in the future.