Unearthed. Osman Bukari. #1

Yet another explosive and entertaining being developed by Slovakian side AS Trenčín; a production line who’s notably produced, Leon Bailey and Moses Simon in recent years.

Osman Bukari. An introduction.

Bukari is a very skilled dribbler. He likes to take on one, or multiple opponents – occasionally will try tricks to get past his defender. But most important of all, he’s very effective in these actions.

Completing an average of 12 dribbles per game with a 63% success rate this season, these basic numbers are comparable with the likes of Wolves winger Adama Traore and Newcastle’s Saint-Maximin, although Osman Bukari’s numbers come from a much lower overall standard of league.

Bukari has an excellent touch and control, which when combined with his outstanding agility and balance help him in retaining the ball in tight spaces and under pressure. But furthermore, the unpredictability of Bukari’s direct running, makes him such a problematic winger.

Not only will he attack down the line with his superb burst of acceleration and subsequently create strong scoring opportunities for teammates, but also his ability to drag the ball inside and run towards the centre of the pitch and creating overlapping opportunities for the fullbacks, then forces the centre forward to make strong movements ahead of him.

Don’t label him as just an out-and-out right winger though. He has shown great ability to operate effectively from the left too. More often than not he will look to drive inside with the ball on his strong right foot, travelling large distances with the ball towards goal, then utilising his unpredictability, he sets the defender up so they think they know his intentions, and then he will do the opposite. Really getting the mental edge on his opposing player.

Bukari is a very prolific chance creator, creating an average of 3 key passes (48% success rate) and 3 crosses (28% success rate) into the box per game.

His overall passing accuracy is still relatively low (28 passes per game with 68% on average this season) but he shows great eyes to spot the run of his teammates and he displays supreme levels of confidence as he plays a number “riskier” passes. The vision to spot these passes is hugely impressive, but the ability to execute those passes is even more outstanding.

Bukari lacks in physicality due to his small size and build, but his speed and low centre of gravity continually give him an advantage against his opponents. Last season one glaring problem in Bukari’s game seems to be his indecisiveness in the final third as well as poor concentration and awareness. Due to this, last season (2018/2019) he was quite wasteful despite being in good positions and could have either assisted or scored.

Studying his shot map, you can see he was getting into strong positions around the edges of the box and then taking on the shot, only hitting the back of the net on a handful of occasions – this is likely due to a lack of composure when striking the ball, often snatching at the opportunity rather than focusing on the technique behind the shot.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Osman had dramatically improved in this area, furthermore, his end product in the final third has seen a huge upturn with a contribution of eight goals and 12 assists in 25 games in all competitions this season, which has taken his performances to another level. His significant rise of goal contributions has seen his profile rise significantly – developing him into being one of the best wingers in the Slovak Super Liga this season.

Referring back to Bukari’s failures with efforts on goal outside the box last season, in the 2019/2020, he has found himself taking on a lot more opportunities within the penalty area, with 6/7 league goals coming inside the area. Visibly, you can see a much higher concentration of his shots occurring within the 18-yard box, and you see how much more relaxed his technique is behind the shots, allowing him to make more of the opportunities that arise.

It is only a matter of time before sides from higher leagues make their moves for the Ghanaian, but the way to get the most out of him is for him to join a team who have a heavy emphasis on the wide players collecting a lot of the ball, and will give them lots of freedom to express themselves.

A logical step for him would be to move up within Europe to a league which will allow him to progress further, somewhere similar to Austria, Scandinavia or the Netherlands – work permit dependent.