Former NAC Breda boss Stijn Vreven has explained that Nigerian striker Umar Sadiq can go from “unbelievably bad” to “world class”.
Sadiq has joined Scottish giants Rangers on loan from Roma, and Vreven, who oversaw the 21-year-old’s spell in the Eredivisie earlier this year, has revealed what the Nigerian is capable of.
“There were times with Umar that I would watch him and think ‘this is unbelievably bad’ and then 10 seconds later he would produce a world class moment,” Vreven told the Daily Record.
“That for me sums up Umar Sadiq. He would go from magic to nothing and then magic again. Rangers fans can be sure life won’t be dull with him in the team.
“His style is strange but in a good way. He has fantastic, crazy moments but he can score goals and was really important for our team.
“It’s really difficult to play with him but that’s why it’s also difficult to play against him. He is an instinctive player and you don’t know what he’s going to do next.
“Rangers supporters should expect the unexpected. If I had one piece of advice for [Rangers manager] Steven Gerrard then it would be to close his eyes sometimes when Umar Sadiq and hope that he produces a moment of magic.
“I’ve never seen a player like him - he is one of a kind. The problem is that he plays as an individual and doesn’t think so much about the team or tactics. He is a little bit opportunistic.
“Life was never smooth with Umar. For example, when we were eating together as a team he would forget and we’d find him sitting in the dressing room or he’d arrive late.
“It was just little things that he didn’t seem to be used to. Team meetings and things like that. It got better after a while but he was sloppy in the beginning.
“Umar is young and we had our problems and I had to keep saying to him that small things can make a big difference and when he sorts that out he can be a consistently magic player.
“I don’t want to say he lacks discipline. He just had a laid-back attitude and is also a young guy but he has to learn to think as a professional footballer on and off the pitch.
“Umar can improve his fitness 60 per cent in my opinion and when he trains harder he will become a much better player than he is now.
“I told him his approach to training was too soft and that he had to change that because he thought he would be fresher on matchday if he kept his energy but it doesn’t work like that.”