Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 19-year-old academy product Owen Otasowie was the main focus of the latest edition of The Next Big Thing podcast by The Athletic, which looks at some of ‘the brightest young talents in the Premier League and beyond.’
BBC Sport broadcaster Lynsey Hooper appeared on this podcast to discuss the Wolves teen, who has already played for the United States of America’s senior international team, and she spent some time talking about what kind of player Otasowie sees himself developing into.
She said: “He’s 19 years old, he is a versatile player, he wants to be a midfielder, he wants to be the next Paul Pogba. He’s a very physical player, lots of strength, but he’s also been identified – he had a spell at West Ham for about six months and also within the USA setup – as a very good potential centre-back, but it’s not a position that he’s as keen on.
“However, I do wonder with Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves, he’s started to give him a little bit of bench time; he was on the bench for a couple of Premier League games recently against Leeds and Crystal Palace, and you think if that opportunity comes, it might end up coming in that centre-back role and I think he’s going to have to maybe be open to that.”
Do you think Otasowie could be the next Paul Pogba?
TIF Thoughts on what Hooper had to say about Otasowie…
Transfermarkt claims that Otasowie’s main position is the defensive-midfield position and according to the website, he has played in this position on more occasions than he has played in any other position thus far in his young career. This may back up Hooper’s claim that this is the teenager’s preferred position.
The 19-year-old has also made some appearances for Wolves at youth level in both the centre-back position and the central-midfield position and perhaps he has demonstrated plenty of ability in each of these positions, given that the club’s official website echoes Hooper’s claim that Otasowie is a versatile player.
He has made just one appearance for Wolves’ first-team thus far, with the American enjoying 17 minutes of UEFA Europa League action for the Old Gold versus Besiktas last season.
However, he has been on the bench for three of Wolves’ Premier League games this term, so perhaps this is a positive sign that he’s not too far away from establishing himself as a first-team squad member.
If he is to do so, then perhaps he has got a good chance of becoming one of Nuno Espirito Santo’s first-team midfield options, despite Hooper’s claim that he may have to be open to playing at centre-back, as it would seem that the West Midlands club has got more out-and-out centre-backs available to them than they have out-and-out defensive midfielders or central midfielders, as per Transfermarkt.