Noni Madueke Praised as a “Mentality Monster” by Renowned Coach, Drawing Comparisons to Arjen Robben

In an impressive accolade, Noni Madueke, Chelsea’s recent signing, has been hailed as a “mentality monster” and likened to the legendary Arjen Robben by personal skills coach Saul Isaksson-Hurst. Isaksson-Hurst, who has previously worked with notable players such as Brentford’s Rico Henry and on-loan Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, collaborated with Madueke during the past two summers to enhance his attacking abilities, ultimately leading to Chelsea’s £35 million acquisition of the England Under-21 international from PSV Eindhoven.


Isaksson-Hurst spoke highly of Madueke, stating, “Noni is one of the best young forwards in Europe. I’ve worked with many top players, but his intensity, mentality, and desire to be the best are unparalleled. I call him a mentality monster because he is highly driven and has clear goals and ambitions.”


Madueke’s unwavering commitment to self-improvement prompted his agent to approach Isaksson-Hurst in the summer of 2021. Isaksson-Hurst, a former coach at Tottenham and Chelsea academies, detailed their training regime, saying, “We worked together for a few weeks, conducting three or four sessions per week. He then returned to PSV and burst onto the scene, attracting interest from numerous clubs. We continued our conversations, and last summer, he flew me out to Marbella for intensive training while he was on holiday.”


Isaksson-Hurst has also worked with other promising talents like Juventus winger Samuel Iling-Junior, Chelsea’s Omari Hutchinson, and Norwich defender Max Aarons. Explaining his approach, Isaksson-Hurst remarked, “When a player comes to me, I assess their position and their role on the pitch. I then identify the game-changing moments for that player and develop tailored training exercises to enhance and master the required skills. Noni’s greatest asset is his ability to cut in from the right and utilize his left foot, much like Arjen Robben. We focused on various variations of that technique while also working on his ability to cut in using his right foot. For an attacking player, it’s crucial to provide assists and score goals and find ways to break through defenses and contribute effectively.”


While one might expect top clubs like PSV to handle such fine-tuning internally, Isaksson-Hurst explained, “Some coaches may include additional training, but the same level of thought and planning might not always be present. I have worked with elite players and possess the expertise to design training exercises that yield specific game outcomes.” Isaksson-Hurst is currently engaged with Arsenal in a consultancy capacity, further showcasing his reputation in the football coaching realm.