Udogie impresses for Udinese
At just 18 years old, left-back Destiny Udogie has already made her way into Udinese’s first team, and her profile in and outside of Italy is growing rapidly.
Udinese (on loan from Verona)
Udogie is by far the best defender of the 3. In fact, he defends like a veteran, but he’s only 18 years old; his defensive readings and technique are great. Udogie is also as athletic as Bastoni (or even more so) at ONLY 18 pic.twitter.com/YFEiXlKNWa
– Propaganda of Italy 🇮🇹⚽️ (@ItalyProp) September 29, 2021
The young man made a name for himself at Hellas Verona in his hometown, and has already been subject to strong interest Everton in the Premier League and Monaco in Ligue 1 in his fledgling career.
However, it was Udinese that Udogie opted for, making the move initially ceded with a 4 million euro clause added to the agreement, which has since been activated.
With 4 appearances for the Italy Under-21 team under his belt, Udogie is certainly a left-back to look out for in the future.
Fresh off a tight spot against Atalanta, he sat down with 101 to talk about his career to date, his idols, and who has been his toughest opponent so far.
Q: How did you get to where you are now?
“It was a long process, I started in the Verona youth team, game after game, practice, practice, and I had the privilege of coming here, to Udinese, a great club with everything, and I think it is the best team for me to grow. ”.
Q: Obviously Udinese have activated their purchase clause on the initial loan from Hellas Verona. What do you think impressed the coaches so much to activate it early and gives you more confidence or gives you extra pressure?
“It gave me more confidence because they believed in me, and it’s a great opportunity to show my quality and show what I can do on the field.”
Q: Obviously, you have taken to Serie A like a duck overboard, playing regularly for Udinese this season. Who would say that so far is the most challenging player you have faced?
“I think Juan Cuadrado, from Juventus, would have to say. He is a great player, a short but fast guy, so he is dangerous ”.
Q: Is he someone you look up to, having left the band to play for Juventus’ right back?
“Yes, him and also [Federico] Chiesa, it’s very good ”.
Q: On a more serious subject, Mike Maignan has recently spoken about racism in Serie A, have you ever experienced it personally and how do you think it can be better addressed?
“I have never personally experienced it, no. I feel very lucky because it is obviously not a good thing to live for. I think it is something that we should try to stop in football, but also in other sports.
Q: Do you think there are ways to tackle it better, not just in Italy but around the world? Obviously there is kneeling in the Premier League, but what else can you do?
I think that all teams should show something to say “we are fighting against that”, but also from the top, the great football organizations. They need to find a way to address it correctly. “
Q: You have played as a left back for Udinese and in the central midfield of the Italian youth team. Where do you see your best position?
My position is left back. I grew up playing as a left back and I feel very comfortable there, I know my qualities and I feel like I try to express myself there.
For the National Team, he played in the midfield, but it was very different.
Q: How do you have to modify your game to play the different positions?
I’m just trying to give my best, for Udinese on the left side I try to give everything. For the National Team, it is a privilege to be there, so wherever they tell me, I will play.
Q: Coming back to Serie A, what do you find most challenging about the competition?
It is a high intensity league. You have to work hard and there are no small teams. All teams are good and all teams are tough, so you have to be prepared to always do your best.
Question: Manuel Locatelli was the latest example of a Serie A prospect who chose to stay in Italy rather than move to a different league, despite reported interest in the Premier League. Is your ultimate goal to play at the highest level in Italy or do you want to test yourself elsewhere?
I have just arrived in Udinese! I think they are a great team in Serie A, and for now I’m just thinking about playing for them. I hope that by helping the team I show my quality and that I can go to a great team, but we’ll see.
Q: Would you say that the big club would be in Italy or would you prefer to test yourself in England?
I would like to go out [of Italy], maybe England. But for now, I am here to help Udinese and I will try to do my best for the team.
Q: Obviously, we have already talked about Cuadrado and Chiesa, but if you had to name an idol that you had in your position, on which you base your game, who would you say that player was?
I see a lot of Theo Hernandez from AC Milan. It is my position and I think it is the best in our position in Serie A.
Q. He’s up there as one of the best in the world, isn’t he?
Yes, I think now is the best.