Pre-season has not started well for Samuel Chukwueze and Villarreal as they were thrashed 6 – 1 by Swiss club FC St. Gallen.
The Nigeria national football team forward is a subject of transfer speculations from the Italian Serie A and a few clubs across Europe. It was also reported a while ago that talks have almost wrapped up for his move to seven-time UEFA Champions League winners AC Milan.
— Villarreal CF English (@VillarrealCFen) July 15, 2023
FC St Gallen 6 – 1 Villarreal: The match as it happened
LaLiga announced their 2023/24 season calendar in late June and players returned to their teams last week for pre-season preparations.
Samuel Chukwueze, who featured for the Super Eagles as they sealed their AFCON 2023 spot in June against Sierra Leone, and spent some time in his home community before going on holiday abroad, joined up with his teammates in Valencia, Spain.
From there, they began a pre-season tour in Switzerland where they were scheduled to face St Gallen on 15 July and Austrian club SC Rheindorf Altach on 18 July.
Samuel Chukwueze was all smiles as he returned to camp in some of the shots shared on Villarreal’s official website. He took the good vibes with him to the pitch against St Gallen in their first pre-season match and was active in the attacking half of Quique Setien’s line-up.
He started the first half for the Yellow Submarine, whose lack of match fitness showed against their much more prepared opponents.
By the 25th minute, the LaLiga side were two goals down but Chukwueze, who remained one of their brightest sparks in attack, halved the deficit by the 30th minute. His teammates could not muster enough to support his efforts and the new-look defence without Pau Torres conceded four more goals as they fell heavily to their hosts on Saturday.
Chukwueze played only the first half of the tie, however, and Setien was impressed with the U-17 FIFA World Cup champion’s efforts in the drubbing. It is a meaningless result but it is one that will definitely worry the Yellow Submarine who have a big season ahead of them.
📍 St. Gallen🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/ySKpKoZobp
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) July 14, 2023
Samuel Chukwueze and Villareal to face off against Hannover 96 and OGC Nice in pre-season
Samuel Chukwueze is expected to feature for Villarreal when they face off against SC Rheindorf Altach on 18 July. His future is still up in the air but he will be focused on being ready for another European football season whether in LaLiga or elsewhere.
After their match against Altach, they will travel to Germany to face Hannover 96 before travelling back to Spain to prepare for the Sela Cup.
Newcastle United is the host of the mini-tournament, which means Samuel Chukwueze and co will be travelling to England for pre-season. They will also come up against Terem Moffi’s OGC Nice in the tournament.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 7, 2023
Both players were nominated for last season’s UEFA European Conference League goal of the tournament. Moffi’s goal was voted as the best goal by the UEFA technical observers while Chukwueze’s goal was the fourth best. Fan votes saw them both lose out on a potential award, however.
Super Eagles fans will be eager to see the game as two of the Nigeria national football team’s best attackers go head-to-head.
For Samuel Chukwueze, the matches at St James’ Park could also serve as an audition as it has been rumoured in the past that Newcastle have their eye on him.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago