Octavian Popescu – The jewel in FCSB’s crown by Jake McGhee
FCSB are a club who are renowned all over the world for giving us players such as Gheorghe Hagi, Dan Petrescu, and Gheorghe Constantin. However, since the glory days of Romanian football, it’s been on a steady decline, with iconic figure Hagi stating “We have nothing, no football.” Following the nations defeat to Paraguay in the run up to the 1998 World Cup. Following these bleak and meagre scenes there hasn’t been much light in Romanian football, but with a roster of new talents breaking through the ranks and a large part of this success is down to Hagi himself for his role in the development of Romanian Youth Football. Perhaps the brightest of these talents is Octavian Popescu, an 18 year old who progressed through the ranks of clubs such as CSU Craiova before being poached by Romania’s most successful club: FCSB.
Who is Octavian Popescu?
There are many strengths in Popescu’s game, his close control and ability on the ball are clear to see when you focus in on him, additionally his ability to find the target and make the keeper work is incredibly impressive too. A dynamic player who is explosive and speedy on the ball Octavian doesn’t shy away from 1v1 situations and more often than not leaves his marker trailing behind him. Besides from the LW role I could see Popescu fitting in well to a more central role as an AM sitting behind the striker and orchestrating attacks from there, his vision and creativity are key assets of his game as he often creates a chance from a position where nothing seems on as seen here.
Octavian is clearly fond of a long range strike, and he’s got a good knack for them aswell.
His afore mentioned creativity and inventiveness lead to Popescu often fashioning chances and cutting defensive lines with an unexpected ball, a player who always thinks a step ahead Popescu has surprisingly good decision making for his age as seen here with this assist against Poli Iasi.
What’s next for Octavian Popescu?
In his native Romania Octavian is seen as one of if not the most promising talents at the moment and this attention in his native country is bound to lead to foreign clubs dipping into the market and undoubtedly highlighting Popescu as a target. With clubs in Turkey such as Fenerbahce and Galatasary rumoured to have their eyes on the young winger a move away from his homeland seems to be in the mail. Popescu could certainly go on to great things in his career, his ability is there for all to see and with his skills being honed at a top club with top coaches he could go on and be a starter at a top-5 club in any of Europe’s biggest leagues in my opinion. His value and cruciality to FCSB is evident through the fact that he has a whopping £100m release clause set on his head to ward off any clubs who have their eyes on him, this release clause is a Romanian record and foreshadows just how good this young man is and how brilliant he will be in his career. Octavian Popescu, remember the name.