Continuing with our Philadelphia Union player analysis, it’s time we analyze 18-year old Cameroonian midfielder, Eric Ayuk.
The young and talented Eric Ayuk joined the Union within this past year after a successful transfer from Rainbow FC Bamenda in his native Cameroon. Ayuk brings a multitude of things to the Union offense including much needed speed and a goal scoring touch.
In his 14 starts this season and his total of 28 appearances, Ayuk has put up two goals (his first coming on April 25 against Columbus) and two assists marking a successful inaugural season for such a young player. However, after analyzing Ayuk we begin to notice that what he lacks in experience, he easily makes up for in speed and his ability to beat defenders on the wing. Ayuk merges well with the current offensive set-up seeing that his speed makes him a constantly moving threat.
Ayuk has put in a great deal of off-ball runs down the wing helping to create space and has also done a good job bringing the ball into the box on his own. But still being the young player that he is, Ayuk has had some struggles of his own this season.
For starters, Ayuk lacks experience as a ball carrier. He can beat players on the wing; and sure, he can make a few moves as well, but he lacks the veteran vision of playmakers Sebastien Le Toux and Tranquillo Barnetta. This is a trait that will hopefully come with more experience.
Another issue with Ayuk is his inability to come back and help out on defense. In the beginning part of the season, Ayuk would not fall back to help out on defense and would therefore create huge gaps for the opposing offense to take over. However, as the season dragged on he showed growth and was able to come back and add support. This is good news for the Union as they continue to develop all of their players.
In all, Ayuk is a major threat for opposing defenses because of his speed, agility, and goal scoring touch. With the possibility of more minutes next season, we look forward anxiously to see what else this kid can do.