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Sep 28, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter

Rúben Dias has moved from Benfica to Manchester City for €68m, @DuncanCastles reports. Here are his stats at a Premier League standard – good attacking output and ball retention, great defending quality, awesome tackler, good in the air on dead balls:

But what's really exciting about Dias is his attacking. He was involved in 45% of Benfica's goals last season, which is huge for a RCB. He generated even more ball progression expected goals from receiving as from passing, too, taking high-quality shots (and finishing them):

Here's our smartermap for Dias last season. He got deep into the attacking half for Benfica, leaving room on the flank for the RB, and with Manchester City he should have opportunities to do the same. He even took some of those good shots in open play!

A while ago we compared Dias with Nicolás Otamendi and Jules Koundé, another mooted signing. Otamendi was the most aggressive RCB in the league in 2016-17, but he's slowed down quite a lot. Dias will juice things up a bit as he grows into the role.


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More from @smarterscout

Jan 5
THREAD: What is João Félix for?

He's now 23 and was never flagged as a smarterscout young prospect. His attacking output was decent last season (even at Atleti!), but he rarely got shots off for a striker. His finishing and skills are so-so at a Premier League standard:

A big reason behind the drop in João Félix's attacking output this season has been lower shot quality. But his shots were never so great for a striker – we'd want to see something more like 0.15 to 0.20 xG per shot:

Here are João Félix's shot maps in open play from this season and last at striker. Lots of lousy long-range efforts and, when he's successful, finishes from the edge of the six-yard box. Feast or famine.

Read 6 tweets
Jan 4
THREAD: Where does Enzo Fernández fit in at Chelsea?

We flagged him as a smarterscout young prospect in 2021 with Defensa y Justicia, and just two years later he's a World Cup winner heading for the Premier League. His overall stats at a PL standard are amazing:

1/n #ChelseaFC
The main caution with Enzo Fernández is that his skill ratings are pretty average for the Premier League so far. But he's an aggressive player on both sides of the ball. He's a very attacking DM, involved in the majority of Benfica's goals when on the pitch:

But the majority of Enzo Fernández's attacking comes from incisive passing – he hardly gets into the box at all, as our smartermap shows:

Read 8 tweets
Aug 19, 2022
A short thread on Casemiro. At age 30, he's still a very aggressive defender with high ball retention and good attacking output at a Premier League standard. But his defending quality has been dropping, and he's been relatively worse in the #UCL.

1/4 #Casemiro #MUFC #ManUtd
Casemiro covers a lot of ground but stayed quite central for Real Madrid last season. He doesn't come out to cover on the flanks very often, and he rarely gets in to the box. That doesn't stop him from taking pot shots, though....

Right now Casemiro has a lot in common with countryman Fernandinho in his early 30s. Casemiro is better in the air but worse in 1v1s. He also dribbles less and does more progressive passing than Fernandinho did back then.

Read 5 tweets
Jun 22, 2021

Norwich have signed forward Milot Rashica ("hra-SHEET-sa") from Werder Bremen for €11m. We've been following him since 2015 – and he hasn't been as productive lately as he was in 2018-19. Let's find out why not.

Stats at a Premier League standard:

As you can see above, Rashica has played mainly as a striker for Werder Bremen, with great skill in 1v1s but declining attacking output. His style hasn't changed much, but his passing has gotten less aggressive and his dribbling has declined a little bit:

The share of Rashica's ball progression contributions from receiving doubled since 2018-19, while the share from passing is about the same. The remainder is his individual actions – so he's not taking the ball forward and winning as many duels as he used to:

Read 7 tweets
Jun 21, 2021

THREAD: Ryan Gravenberch gets the start today for the Oranje. The 19-year-old Ajax phenom and smarterscout young prospect had an amazing breakout season. Apart from aerials in open play, there's not a bad number on here. Stats at a #UCL standard: 🔥🙇‍♂️🚀

Gravenberch operated mostly on the left for Ajax, and we'll expect to see him working there in a two again today. He's got a wide range of passes but is a storming dribbler up the left channel. He takes corners from both sides, too. Multitalented, you might say...

Oh, and Gravenberch can score from outside the box in open play, too. He's 19 years old, people.

Read 4 tweets
Oct 14, 2020
🧵 THREAD: Charlie Kelman steps up!

The British-born #USMNT youth player has left Southend for QPR. Last season was tough for Southend, and Kelman didn't get on the end of many balls in the box. At 1.69m he can't do much in aerials, either. Second striker might work better.

Kelman's involvement in Southend's most dangerous moves was rather low for a central striker, though he did take decent chances on average. He was active in both channels, a bit more on the left, usually linking up the play but also dribbling on the corner of the box.

Here are Kelman's shot maps. He scored a couple of longer shots from open play. From dead balls it looks like he wasn't always around the six-yard box, which isn't surprising given his height. Again, second striker looks best for him.

Read 5 tweets

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