El Rodo FC Scout -Yerry Mina

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Yerry Mina is reportedly already under contract with FC Barcelona and will move to the Catalan city with the start of 2018 – after the season in Brazil finished. The strong 22 years old center back has impressed with Independiente Santa Fe earning himself the move to Palmeiras in the summer of 2016 for about 3.2 million Euros. Since then he appeared in 13 games for the Brazilian club getting himself an amazing of four times on the scoresheet and securing one assist as well. His immense 1.95m of height give him the advantage in aerial duels and in defensive combats with opponent strikers. He is rarely outclassed in 1v1’s and wins the majority of his tackles.

However apart from his strength in the opponent’s penalty box and his defensive skills he definitely needs to develop his passing. With a 72.7 pass percentage he won’t be able to get into FC Barcelona’s starting 11 were it is essential to have a flawless passing. His experienced CB colleague at Palmeiras Edu Dracena ouclasses Mina with a almost 10% points higher pass completion rate while playing similar amounts of passes throughout the 90 minutes. Furthermore you might expect a 1.95m man to absolutely dominate the air. Although he is dangerous for standards he is still only able to win about 50% of his heading duels.

Yerry Mina must have been on the radar of FC Barcelona for at least some time but probably the moment when the identified his full potential was when the Colombian was on national duty against Uruguay, against one of the most lethal strikers worldwide Luis Suarez. Against Mina the Ex-Liverpool striker was very rarely able to even keep the ball for hi team and grew more and more desperate from minute to minute. Additionally to his fantastic defensive display Mina also scored the crucial equalizer for Colombia with what else – a header, the famously celebrating in the South American rain and mud.

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Yerry Mina – strong in the air

Undoubtedly the 22 year old has the potential to turn into a world class center back. However it therefore is essential for him to improve his passing play. Even more so when he wants to succeed for Barcelona playing on a much higher and faster level. Additionally he will have to fight for his place in the team as Pique is not only a top defender but also a leader in Barcelona’s squad and Marlon who currently performs for the B team has already proven his class in several appearances for the defending La Liga champions.

Rising Stars – Match Performance Analysis: Dani Ceballos

Dani Ceballos, 20 years of age, Spanish and what a right foot he has. Although of his young age he is a key player for the Betis side this year. He is one of the main reasons why they are able to play attractive technical football apart from their financial opportunities.

Having made his debut for the Andalusian side at the age of 17 in the 2013/17 season, he was able grow with Real Betis Sevilla and their way back into La Liga constantly after going down in his debut season. Regarding his exceptional talent he might have been able to go the easy way and transfer to another, better club. However Ceballos decided to develop patiently in Sevilla and that is paying off now. After already featuring in 34 La Liga games last year he is the creative playmaker of this years’ Betis team. Although the stats around goals and assists might not demonstrate that he is vital to Betis’ fast vertical counter style of play.

Against Valencia FC he played as the left midfielder in a 5-3-2 formation against the bats 4-2-3-1. As we used to see him he started into this game as confident as throughout the season – very active (total of 84 touches – most of his team), able to solve tight situations with a neat dribble and with a good overview enabling him to play well thought passes to open up the pitch or to trigger danger with lineal balls through the oppositions’ lines.

Ceballos did not only look sharp offensively but also did his job defensively often forced to go long ways, resulting out of the nature of the played system, to fill gaps or even to track overlapping runs on the left side of Valencia’s Montoya. Sometimes due to the low number of players in Betis’ midfield he could not get into duels which made him look a bit lost in space and made the impression of him only reacting instead of anticipating the opponent’s play. When able to get into duels he was aggressive as already seen in previous matches e.g. against Barcelona and forced ball turnovers. He made the most successful tackles in his team – level with Ruben Pardo. His aggressive ball chasing can bee seen in the VIDEO below. 👇🏻

Throughout the game he made good decisions on the ball only lacking luck in the final third. For example in the 18th minute he was able to solve a complicated situation calmly with a good dribble leading to a big chance.

In minute 39 he showed his brilliant right foot with a well paced cross. 👇🏻

Just two minute later he probably should have received a penalty after a brilliant dribbling on Valencia’s penalty box. 👇🏻

In the second half Betis got a bit tired and could create less chances. Ceballos had another highlight in the 69th minute with a perfectly weighted pass through.

In total it is impressive how Dani Ceballos is able to solve situations with his technical abilities whether it is with a dribbling or a pass. He is very confident on the ball and has a good understanding of the game. He is superb in taking up the pace when appropriate but also understands to calm the game down when necessary. All his attributes should alert the European top teams although he has a running contract until 2020. However he seems to be worth an investment.

Rising Stars – Match Performance Analysis: Justin Kluivert

As son of one hell of a legend, Patrick Kluivert, Justin obviously got transferred all of his father’s talent. Just being 17 the young Dutch is this season more and more becoming a full part of Ajax’s first team. Making his debut against Zwolle two weeks later he made his starting eleven debut against ADO Den Haag. Further The 1999 born is active for Ajax’s second team in Netherlands’ second division while also featuring in the UEFA Youth league for the Dutch side. Across the competitions he was able to get on the scoreboard three times and assisted another five goals in 12 appearances.

In Ajax Amsterdam’s victory against ADO Den Haag Kluivert mainly featured on the right wing in their typical 4-3-3 system with Dolberg playing upfront. Occasionally he switched sides with the German Amin Younes.

As you might expect the right-footed talent showed high ambitions to showcase his talent. From minute one he was on spot. Already just two minutes in the game he should have been awarded a penalty. That being impressive for itself the genesis to the penalty is even more so. His great backwards work lead to an interception near Ajax’s penalty box resulting finally in Kluivert being tripped in Den Haag’s danger zone however inexplicably not being rewarded for his work and neat dribbling.

Nonetheless unimpressed from that one minute later he again did very well to take advantage of his unbelievable pace and go past his opponent playing a dangerous cross into the box. Later on he could cross another ball in behind the defensive line presenting his very able right foot. Further he could showcase his passing quality with a decently weighted chip into the back of the defence after handling the ball with a nice flick. Also he himself moved well in space with one or another run behind Den Haag’s defensive line an with good usage of space.

Rising Stars – Match Performance Analysis: Emanuel Mammana

Emanuel Mammana is definitely a young prospect to keep an eye on. The 20 year old Argentine transferred from River Plate to Olympique Lyon last summer 2016 for around 7.5 million Euros – on nowadays transfermarket a quite reasonable price for a talent of his scale.

Making his eight League 1 appearance last weekend, after returning to action against Marseille a week ago recovering from a lengthy injury, against OSC Lille Mammana has now played 704 minutes for the French club.

Playing as right center back in Lyon’s 4-s-3-1 formation with Fekir pushing very high almost turning it into a 4-4-2 defensively, Mammana did very well from the first minute. He showed good communication with his surrounding players trying to organise the defensive structure of OL. In their build-up play he constantly made himself available as a passing option thus giving security to Lyon’s center mids Gonalons and Tolisso. When himself in possesion he demonstrated decent passing quality comfortably using both of his feet. To over-bridge space and to advnce the game forward he did not shy away from pushing into free space while never losing the overview. As presented above his passing percentage was acceptable rarely making mistakes in the build up. Noticeable he played one catastrophic pass which might have let to a goal against a team better making use of such occasions than OSC Lille did in this situation. However the rest of the game he made the impression to be very concentrated in his passing also attempting to play long balls and passes vertically through the lines to the strikers. When necessary the Argentine did not play with the fire and was not to good to clear the ball properly.

Defensively, while it might sound weird in respect to the result, he was rarely challenged. Lille’s attempts were mostly stopped early apart from one or two periods of the game when they could create some chances. However Mammana made a decent job marking his opponents, most of the time there was only one striker to mark between the two center backs, always keen to put pressure on them early making it difficult to control the ball properly. The statistics above demonstrate his defensive abilities. In 1vs1 as well in 1vs2 situations he presented good timing and a good feeling for the situation. In 1vs2 situations it was obvious that he force the pass away from the goal just to either intercept the pass or isolate the player into a 1vs1.

In the air amid his average size, 1.83m, he was very present winning 3 out of four of his aerial duels. To emphasis is that he not only won those duels but he also placed the headers to his teammates comfortably allowing Lyon to win the second balls and to take up their attacking efforts again.

As already mentioned OSC Lille’s attack never pushed him to his limits neither in possession nor in defense. Therefore he also never really was forced into sprinting duels in which he would have had to show his full pace.

To level up his game the still 20 year old could even more be actively involved in the team’s build up play especially against deep standing opponents as Lille was. Currently Gonalons often drops deep to receive and to distribute the ball. However while doing so he sometimes cuts Mammana off resulting into having 2 players in more or less the same space unnecessarily. Instead, while of course being riskier, Gonalsons could push higher up the field to as another player moving between the lines leaving Mammana with the responsibility to distribute the ball from the back.