Everyone knows that Bolton Wanderers are in huge need of a striker and, in their desperation, they’ve been linked with all manner of terrible forwards, from some random Dutch bloke through to Victor Anichebe. But, have they finally found their man in Chinedu Obasi?
Well, according to the ratings of FIFA 18, maybe, as he is rated higher than any other Bolton player on the game. We took a closer look at how he racks up to our other forward options.
Who is Chinedu Obasi?
Obasi began his career in Norway, where he scored 14 goals in 29 appearances for Lyn, for whom he signed alongside his countryman Jon Obi Mikel. That form saw him rumoured to be attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona as well as Chelsea and Manchester United, who then decided to get into a bidding war over Mikel instead.
He eventually earned a move to Germany, where he racked up over 100 appearances for Schalke and Hoffenheim. His first season with the latter, the 2007/8 campaign, was his most productive, scoring 12 goals in 27 games in the 2. Bundesliga, finishing the season as the club’s joint-top scorer alongside Demba Ba.
Upon promotion he managed 13 goals in 47 league games in the Bundesliga then, after two goalless seasons, moved on to Schalke for around £4 million. He was hardly first choice in Gelsenkirchen, scoring just four goals in 35 league appearances across four seasons but he did score in the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon.
Upon the expiry of his contract, Obasi moved to AIK in Sweden in 2016, where his six goals in ten games led the club to a second-placed finish. He was offered a new contract but turned it down in favour of a move to the Chinese Super League with Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Shenzhen.
Five goals in 17 appearances wasn’t enough to earn an extension on his one-year deal in China and he returned to AIK, again impressing with five goals in nine games in their 2017 campaign. Since then, who knows where he’s been.
He’s also won 18 caps for Nigeria and played at the 2010 World Cup, scoring four international goals in the process, although he won his last cap way back in 2011.
An interesting fact. Obasi means “Glory of God” in Igbo, and he prays before every match, on which he claims: “I can talk to God about everything, so I pray for victory.” Well, we’ll have some of that please.
You can follow Obasi on Instagram, where he has 78,000 followers.
What does FIFA tell us?
The game rates Obasi as a 74 overall, which puts him a full 3 rating points above the next highest rated player in our squad, Mark Beevers, and four points above Zach Clough and Craig Noone.
But, digging a little deeper into the stats shows us he may not be quite what we need, or rather what Phil Parkinson needs. Obasi has a physical rating of just 68, a strength rating of 72 and heading ability of 75, which isn’t wonderful for a guy who’s 6ft 2in. Compare that to the 84 strength, 78 physicality and 81 heading ratings of Gary Madine, whose overall rating is just 67, and that tells you quite a lot.
How does he compare to our current options?
Overall, the FIFA ratings would have you believe he’s a much better alternative to our current strikers. He’s a full four points better off than Clough, and five better than Adam Le Fondre and his countryman Sammy Ameobi, and well ahead of the likes of Aaron Wilbraham and Tyler Walker.
Ameobi, Walker Clough and Obasi all have higher pace ratings than Obasi’s 70 - a mention here for Wilbraham’s glorious pace rating of 37. However, all the options currently available to us are inferior to Obasi’s strength and physicality ratings. Which tells us he is probably an improvement on what we have.
How does he compare to other available targets?
Well, FIFA reckons that Victor Anichebe might be a better option than Obasi for Parky, but that he’s better than former target Michiel Kramer and Marouane Chamakh, who was released from a trial and apparently hasn’t been on FIFA since two years ago.
What do you think - should Parky bring Obasi to the Macron?