4th July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
It's remarkable to think that just 12 months ago Adam Nagy hadn't even started a professional game at club or international level. Fast forward to now, however, and all that's well and truly changed as he's embarked on a rapid rise that's been nothing short of spectacular.
After enjoying a breakout season with Ferencvaros, which culminated in him winning the Hungarian league title, the 21-year-old sensation didn't take long to also make his mark with the national team. Since debuting in September 2015 against Northern Ireland, his showings have been so impressive that he's quickly grown into an integral member of the mighty Magyars side.
After his brilliant string of displays at the Euros, where the gifted midfielder was quite possibly Hungary's best performer over the course of the tournament, he's amazingly continued on his wicked upward trajectory. Despite his relatively limited experience playing at the elite level, it's been refreshing to see how well he's adapted to the step up and not only played well, but flourished. Indeed, this has served as a testament to his immense talent, confidence and maturity.
Nagy, who has a futsal background just like Russian midfield wizard Oleg Shatov, is unsurprisingly a brilliant technician. He's emphatically shown it off in spades at the Euros, with his excellent dribbling, close control and thoughtful, incisive passing game allowing him to really impose himself on matches from his holding midfield station. The fact he's completed 91% of his passes, averaged roughly one key pass per game and enjoyed around one successful dribble pg at the tournament serves as a fine illustration of his quality on the ball.
His movement across the pitch has also been another key feature of his work. Nagy's relentless work rate ensured his teammates could always rely on him to be a viable passing option. Combine this with his intelligence to find space, due to his terrific spatial recognition powers, and it's easy to see why opponents endured such a tough time keeping him quiet.
Playing alongside the experienced Zoltan Gera, the pair's fantastic relationship gave Hungary the perfect foundation to generate so many threating attacks through. With Gera given greater licence to push forward, Nagy's astute positional sense was vital for the team's balance and structure. At just 21, the discipline and concentration he's exuded in such cases underlined his wonderful understanding of the game and his exemplary attitude.
While Nagy contributed enormously on the offensive end, his defensive output was of equal importance. Although he's slightly built in stature, his admirable appetite for the contest saw him challenge manfully in physical battles. But despite his physical deficiencies, he unquestionably made up for it courtesy of his cerebral approach to defending.
That aforementioned positioning afforded him the ideal platform to cut out attacks. In addition, by amalgamating this with his superb ability to read the play, it's easy to see why Hungary manager, Bernd Storck, places so much faith in Nagy's effective and efficient stopping qualities. The outstanding job he did nullifying Zlatko Junuzovic in the game against Austria gave a glowing depiction of how well he can perform a man marking assignment too.
Following his slew of accomplished outings, which has subsequently enhanced his reputation dramatically, Nagy's now one of the most wanted youngsters in Europe. Concrete interest has already arrived from the likes of Leicester City, Southampton, Marseille and Benfica. Many outlets have suggested the Eagles are keen to replace their former midfield powerhouse, Renato Sanches, who moved to Bayern Munich last month, with Nagy. While the two players are very different stylistically, Nagy's recent comments on how difficult it would be for him to turn down Benfica might, however, indicate that Portugal is his desired destination.
"The first thing that comes to mind when I hear Benfica is that it would be a pleasure to represent the club," he stated. It'd be an honor to succeed Renato Sanches. I'd be the happiest man on the planet."
"It would be great to play against other top clubs such as SC Braga, FC Porto and Sporting. It would be a great leap for me but my next step is very important. Therefore, I want to feel that the coach wants me and know how I will fit into the team's style of play and that I'll be given the opportunity to play.
Nagy then went onto add how vital it is that he's used in his preferred position. "I prefer to play at the six position than the eight because I can get the ball from the defence and make the connection to the attacking players. I like to play as deep lying playmaker," insisted Nagy.
Whatever his final decision may be, in the meantime, he'll have to think long and hard about what move is best for his development. Based on his well considered comments and commendable maturity, expect him to get that choice spot on.
The sky really is the limit for Hungary's latest midfield sensation, let's just hope his next club will show the patience required to nurture his undeniable talent, not neglect it.
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Midfield Sensation Adam Nagy Attracting Interest from Top European Clubs
4th July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.