His performances in the U18 Premier League saw him score seven goals in seven appearances and clearly attracted the attention of the English coach. Ebiowei has continued in that vein, having seized his opportunity under Rooney this season.
The 18-year-old winger has started in 53% of Derby’s Championship games this season. And whilst he has just one assist to show for his 14 appearances in England’s second division, his underlying numbers are promising.
So promising in fact, that considering his position and versatility in attack, he is reminiscent of Palace’s talisman Wilfried Zaha.
Comparing their numbers, Malcolm Ebiowei completes an average of three dribbles per game and makes around one key pass per game. Zaha, on the other hand, has completed an average of two dribbles per game and around one key pass per game during the Premier League season.
Ebiowei’s average of one shot per game is not too far off Zaha’s average of two, whilst the teenager edges Zaha’s offensive participation as he is dispossessed on an average of just once per game, whilst the Ivorian international is dispossessed around four times per 90.
In fairness to Zaha, his 11 goals and one assist in England’s top-flight demonstrate the current difference in end product, though with Ebiowei’s similar numbers for offensive participation, Vieira would be right to take a chance on a player that Rooney claimed has “enormous ability.”