Kunle Dada-Luke is a 22-year-old Canadian right-back who plays for Pacific F.C in the Canadian Premier League. Dada-Luke is a graduate of Toronto F.C’s academy but, after a handful of appearances for their reserves, he attempted a move to Europe with F.C Helsingör in Denmark. A series of injuries and the Covid-19 pandemic stalled his career significantly but he resurfaced with Pacific F.C in 2021 and established himself as one of the most exciting players to watch in the Canadian Premier League.
The highlight of Dada-Luke’s game is his dribbling. He is extremely quick and creative. This allows him to blow by players on the right wing with ease. What really stands out to me, stats-wise, is that he has an insanely high dribble completion rate, upwards of 70% depending on the source. I think that underlines the creativity in his dribbling. He isn’t just knocking the ball past people and brute forcing his way through, he is getting past people with guile and shiftiness. But Dada-Luke is slightly limited by his playmaking ability. He’s not terrible but he’s a bit lacking in creativity in the final 3rd. This means he has a lot of scintillating runs that end in a slightly underwhelming cross or just deferring to a teammate. Anyone who can improve his ability in the final 3rd is getting an elite offensive wing-back but right now his playmaking has to be acknowledged as a factor that limits his potential.
Dada-Luke is a pretty good 1v1 defender. He usually has pretty good body shape against dribblers and when he does get beaten his outstanding speed means he usually recovers in time. He also makes quite a lot of interceptions which is indicative of decent defensive positioning and his speed allowing him to pounce on anything that isn’t perfectly placed. But he’s not very good at tracking runners in behind. It’s quite common for attackers to get the better of him by drifting off his back shoulder. His speed does help him get out of these situations sometimes but it’s undoubtedly a big weakness in his defensive game.
I think Dada-Luke is good enough to be a squad player in MLS or a good starter in a league somewhere between CPL and MLS. If he could improve his end product and get better at tracking runners he could be much more than that. A club that backed themselves to improve those aspects of his game could turn him into a really excellent fullback. But at 22 the road is narrowing for him to reach his full potential.