Australia had one of their best World Cup campaigns as they came within a whisker of qualifying for the quarter-finals. The team also saw a batch of youngsters who are going to hit their prime come the next World Cup. Garang Kuol, Nathaniel Atkinson, and Joel King are some of the names that have come out of Australian football recently. And this is why the rise of another star in Nestory Irankunda has excited the Socceroos fans.
One of the best youth products ever produced by Adelaide United’s academy, Irankunda, is attracting the interest of some of the top clubs in the world. He has also been selected as a part of the players who were called to train with the Australian senior men’s football team.
So, who is Nestory Irankunda, and how good is he?
Who is Nestory Irankunda
Nestory Irankunda was born on February 9, 2006, in Kigoma, a city on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. However, his parents then migrated to Australia, settling in Adelaide, the capital of the Southern Territory state. Irankunda showed great potential and thus was enrolled in the Adelaide Croatia Raiders, a semi-professional club.
Irankunda showed great potential from the start and quickly became one of the brightest prospects at the club. And his rise put him on the radar of Adelaide United, the biggest club in the area.
In 2021, Irankunda joined Adelaide United and was immediately sent to the youth team, where he made three appearances before earning a call-up to the senior squad. He made his debut on January 8, 2022, against Melbourne Victory. His debut goal came on January 30, 2022, against Newcastle United Jets. In total, Irankunda made 11 appearances for the senior team scoring three goals.
Garang Kuol & Nestory Irakunda warning up together.
Money well spent, Eyes on the future.#AUSvECU #Socceroos pic.twitter.com/EpjmGCKkKd
— Seamus L (@moidle17) March 28, 2023
Nestory Irakunda stats
Nestory Irakunda started one game for the youth team in the current season before he was permanently promoted to the senior squad. And Irakunda has grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The forward has scored five goals and provided two assists in 19 games. He has played a total of 515 minutes which gives him a goal contribution every 73 minutes.
His impact can also be gauged by the fact that five of his goal contributions came when Adelaide were either drawing the match or losing it, making him one of the most impactful players in the team.
Stats from Sofascore show that he completes one dribbler per 90 minutes, making 18.4 touches. He is also brilliant at winning physical duels in the match. This season has won 3.1 duels per 90 minutes, of which 2.8 were won on the ground. These incredible stats have only come in a season where he has only played 27 minutes per game.
Nestory Irakunda scout report
One of the significant changes that Adelaide United manager Carl Veart made this year was to deploy Nestory Irakiunda on the right wing. In the previous seasons, he was switched between two wings. This has helped the teenager improve his game massively.
Irankunda is a player who is blessed with pace and dribbling skills. This allows him to take the ball and run down the wings to stretch the field of play as wide as possible and also mess up the opposition’s tactics.
When he gets near the goal, he immediately takes the ball inside, using his immense dribbling skills to get past his opponents. This is where his impeccable crossing also comes to play. If he does not cross the ball, he further takes the ball into the goal area, where he often attempts to shoot rather than pass the ball. While this strategy has helped him score five goals, it also means that, more often than not, he ends up missing the target ending the team’s attack.
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Nestory Irakunda transfer news
There is no doubt that Nestory Irakunda is an exceptional talent. And now this unique talent is on the radars of none other than German giants Bayern Munich. The Bavarians have, in recent years, increased their scouting network in countries that are not footballing powerhouses.
This strategy helped them get Alphonso Davies, who is now one of the best left-backs in the world. And the club believes that Nestory Irakunda possesses the same talent and, with the right environment, could become as good a player as Davies.
For now, though, Irakunda’s main aim should be to continue improving and ensure that he is in the best form to take himself to the next level when the big move comes.