The summer transfer window of FC Famalicão

By Jeroen & João Nuno Sousa

It is not a secret that Famalicão have loaned a lot of players in their first season back at the highest level in Portugal. In total, they loaned 12 players. Most of them will return to their club, which means that Famalicão have some gaps in their squad for next season. In this article, we will try to look into their squad and give our recommendations.

Goalkeepers

Famalicão signed Rafael Defendi in 2018/19 while Vaná Alves and Vitor were loaned last summer. In the first few months was Rafael Defendi the first-choice goalkeeper, but Vaná Alves took over after Rafael Defendi got sent off. Vitor left after a few months.

Rafael Defendi could retire after this season, while Vaná Alves will return to FC Porto. This means that Famalicão do not have a goalkeeper at the moment. In our opinion, Famalicão need to sign Vaná Alves as he has turned out to be a reliable goalkeeper for the Famalicenses and he would be a third-choice goalkeeper at FC Porto.

However, if Vaná Alves does not want to sign for Famalicão, or if there are any other problems, Famalicão need to look for another goalkeeper. This is when Claudio Ramos comes into play. He has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Liga NOS this season and his contract expires this summer, so he could be signed on a free.

Heading over to the second-choice goalkeeper, Famalicão need to try to sign a young prospect who gets the time to adjust to a higher level and is able to take over Vaná Alves’ place in the next two years. One option could be Axel Werner, who is currently on loan at San Luis and will return to Atlético Madrid this summer.

Afbeelding
Vaná Alves in action for Famalicão.

Right-backs

Ivo Pinto, Lionn, Diogo Gonçalves, Riccieli and Patrick William have played at right-back this season. Next season, this position needs to be strengthened for sure. Riccieli and Patrick William are better at centre-back, while Ivo Pinto will probably return to Dinamo Zagreb. Diogo Gonçalves is a right-winger and will return to Benfica.

First of all, we think that Thierry Correia could be a great addition to Famalicão. Valencia signed him for 12 million euros from Sporting Lisbon, but he has not played that much for Los Che. There is certainly a chance that they are looking to loan him out and Famalicão would be a great destination for the young Portuguese, after the loan spells of Uros Racic and Alex Centelles were successful as well.

Other options are Alex Pinto (SL Benfica, on loan at Gil Vicente) and Paulinho (AEK Athens).

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Thierry Correia in action for Valencia CF.

Centre-backs

Roderick Miranda, Nehuén Pérez and Ibrahim Cissé were loaned this season and will return to their clubs this summer, while Riccieli and Patrick William will most likely stay at Famalicão. This means that there is some work to do in this position.

We think that Famalicão are going to buy one centre-back and loan one centre-back as well from one of the clubs they loaned players from recently. We have found two options that we think would be a good addition to João Pedro Sousa’s side. The first one is Gianfranco Chávez from Sporting Cristal and the second one is Ignacio Tapia from Huachipato FC. Click on the links for more information about the players.

Moving on to the possible loans, we think that the following players could be a good addition to Famalicão: Francisco Montero (Atlético Madrid), Diogo Quieros (FC Porto), Diogo Leite (FC Porto) and Branimir Kalaica (SL Benfica). It is not certain if those players are allowed to go out on loan though.

However, we think that it is possible that Roderick Miranda gets bought from Wolverhampton Wanderers. If so, Famalicão only need to buy or loan one centre-back of course.

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Gianfranco Chávez for Sporting Cristal.

Left-backs

There have been three different players playing in the left-back position for Famalicão this season. Josh Tymon was the first-choice left-back in the first few months, but Alex Centelles grabbed his chance against Sporting Lisbon. Tymon left in January and Racine Coly was loaned from OGC Nice, with an option to buy.

Racine Coly has been playing well in the second part of the season and will be the first-choice left-back if Famalicão decide to buy him. For the left-back position, we have got some recommendations as well. In our opinion, Roberto Fernandez of Bolivar would be a very good signing for Famalicão. He can either play as a left-back or a left-winger and has impressed on both club and national level.

Other options are Manu Sánchez (Atlético Madrid) and João Moutinho (Orlando City). Below you can see some highlights of Roberto Fernandez.

Disclaimer: don’t base your opinion on highlights.

Central defensive midfielders

Gustavo Assunção has been one of the most consistent players of Famalicão this season and we think that he will leave Famalicão this summer. He has been the only one to really play in this position. Jorge Pereira has played a lot for the under 23’s this season, but he has moved up to the first team recently.

However, if Gustavo Assunção leaves Famalicão, they need to sign a proper replacement. There are three players that would fit in the current squad. Manuel Ugarte from CA Fénix is our main candidate. He would cost €4.000.000 which is quite expensive for Famalicão, but he is worth it and it would be a good investment for the future.

Another good option would be Juan Manuel Sanabria, who currently plays for the reserves of Atlético Madrid. Atletico Madrid and Famalicão have done some business before (Idan Ofer has a 33% share of Atlético Madrid and an 85% share of Atlético Madrid) and there will certainly be some players that will move to Famalicão.

Other options: Alfa Semedo (SL Benfica, on loan at Nottingham Forest) and Camilo Moya (Universidade de Chile).

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Manuel Ugarte in action for CA Fénix.

Right central midfielders

This season, Guga started in the right central midfielder position during the first match of the season, but Uros Racic took over quickly and got a definite place in the starting line-up from the Moreirense match. Racic is loaned from Valencia though, which means that he won’t be playing for Famalicão next season.

This means that Famalicão need to sign a competitor for Guga. Our main candidate for this slot is Bruno Jordão, who currently plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has not played a single minute for Wolves in the Premier League this season and he could be loaned out to a Portuguese club this summer.

The second option for this position is Daniel Bragança of Sporting Lisbon. He has been outstanding on loan for Estoril this season and it is not known if he will stay at Sporting next season. Famalicão certainly need to keep an eye out on the situation of Daniel Bragança at Sporting Lisbon.

Other options: Cristhian Cásseres Jr. (NY Red Bulls) and Felipe Carballo (Sevilla B, on loan at Nacional)

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Bruno Jordão (left) for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Left central midfielders

Pedro Gonçalves has played in this position this season and has been indispensable for Famalicão. It would be logical to conclude that there will be a lot of teams interested in the 21-year-old midfielder and it could well be that he will leave Famalicão this summer.

Lawrence Ofori impressed at Leixões last season, but he has not impressed at Famalicão this season. However, we are willing to give him a second chance to show the fans what he is capable of. He needs to step his game up though, as he has not showed that he has the required level.

If Pedro Gonçalves leaves Famalicão, he should definitely be replaced by someone else than Lawrence Ofori. One player that has impressed us both enormously is André Almeida of Vitória SC. He has not played in a while for the first team of Vitória SC, but it is not sure if he is allowed to leave the Vimaranenses (either on loan or on a permanent deal).

In the case that André Almeida is not affordable, Famalicão should look at Filipe Soares of Moreirense. He has been outstanding for Moreirense this season and would fit very well in the left central midfielder position. However, again, it is not certain that Famalicão can afford him.

Other options: Domingos Quina (Watford) & Leonardo Lopes (Hull City).

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André Almeida

Right-wingers

Either Diogo Gonçalves or Rúben Lameiras have played in the right-wing position. Diogo Gonçalves impressed with his decent dribbling, while Rúben Lameiras showed some good signs as well, but struggled to be consistently good for Famalicão.

Diogo Gonçalves was loaned from SL Benfica, and he is expected to get a chance there during pre-season. This means that Famalicão only have Rúben Lameiras left, so they need to sign a new right-winger that can compete with Lameiras for a place in the starting line-up for sure.

For us, Heriberto Tavares is the main candidate to replace Diogo Gonçalves. The young Portuguese has a lot of experience in the Liga NOS, despite being only 23 years old. During his loan spell at Moreirense he impressed, but he has been less good at Boavista. However, he has lots of potential and would be a great permanent signing for Famalicão if they manage to sign him.

Other options: Iuri Medeiros (1. FC Nürnberg) and Facundo Pellistri (Peñarol).

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Heriberto Tavares.

Left-wingers

This season, Fábio Martins started really well with some important goals and man of the match performances. After the beginning of the season, he started to play more inconsistently. However, he still proved that he needs to be an indisputable starter for Famalicão, despite the fact that Walterson got some playing time as well.

It is expected that Fábio Martins will be bought by Famalicão and that Walterson will stay as well. If one of those two will leave, we think that Bruno Andrade from Salford City could be a good replacement.

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Bruno Andrade.

Strikers

Toni Martínez and Anderson Silva have swapped places in the starting line-up often this season, but Toni Martínez won the competition in the end. Toni Martínez scored eight goals this season, while Anderson Silva scored seven goals this season as well.

Famalicão do not need to sign another striker if both strikers stay at the club, but in football nothing is certain. If one of the two strikers decides to leave, there are a few players that could replace either Toni Martínez or Anderson Silva.

We have three recommendations for Famalicão. The first one is Nélson Oliveira, who currently plays for AEK Athens. He scored nine goals for the Kitrinómavri. However, he has been attending some matches of Famalicão and he could certainly return to Portugal this summer. His agent is Jorge Mendes as well.

Other options: Alejandro Cabeza (Independiente del Valle) & Pedro Mendes (Sporting Lisbon)

Conclusion

Our squad for next season would look like this, if Gustavo Assunção and Pedro Gonçalves will leave Famalicão:

IN:

  • Vaná Alves
  • Axel Werner
  • Thierry Correia (loan)
  • Roderick Miranda
  • Diogo Leite (loan)
  • Roberto Fernandez
  • Manuel Ugarte
  • Bruno Jordão (loan or permanent deal)
  • André Almeida (loan or permanent deal)
  • Heriberto Tavares
  • Fabio Martins (option to buy)
  • Racine Coly (option to buy)

OUT:

  • Rafael Defendi (retired?)
  • Nehuén Pérez (returning from loan)
  • Uros Racic (returning from loan)
  • Ivo Pinto (returning from loan)
  • Álex Centelles (returning from loan)
  • Nicolás Schiappacasse (returning from loan)
  • Ibrahim Cissé (returning from loan)
  • Diogo Gonçalves (returning from loan)
  • Gustavo Assunção (expected to move to a bigger club)
  • Pedro Gonçalves (expected to move to a bigger club)

The summer transfer window of Ajax, updated version.

By Ajax_Analytics – 25 march 2020

Due to the Coronavirus, a lot of clubs (especially in the top 5 competitions) will miss out on lots of money (TV revenue) which means that most European topclubs won’t be able to spend that much money this summer. This has its effect on Ajax, but in a good way.

Outgoing transfers

Today, Voetbal International (Marco Timmer) announced that Donny van de Beek, Sergiño Dest and David Neres are expected to stay at Ajax, despite their earlier wishes to leave for a bigger club. However, Nicolás Tagliafico and André Onana will probably still leave Ajax, while Hakim Ziyech already agreed terms with Chelsea.

Also, Edson Álvarez and Razvan Marin have not impressed this season and are allowed to leave Ajax on loan. Joël Veltman is allowed to leave Ajax as well. Last but not least, Carel Eiting wants to leave if he won’t get more playing time at Ajax.

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Hakim Ziyech after scoring a free kick against Chelsea.

How the squad looks without the outgoing transfers:

Ajax 2020/21. Disclaimer: Mazraoui and Schuurs are not necessarily the first-choices at their respective position.

As you can see, Ajax still have a lot of gaps in their squad for next season. We have to add a few notes though. First of all, it is not sure yet if Ajax will buy Juan Familia-Castillo, who was on loan at Jong Ajax from Chelsea.

Secondly, we do not know what will happen with Carel Eiting, Jurgen Ekkelenkamp, Zakaria Labyad, Danilo Pereira and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. They are not good enough for the first team of Ajax, but we think that Ekkelenkamp will be a part of the squad next season. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has an expiring contract.

Also, Lisandro Martínez can be playing as a back-up on the left centre-back position, central defensive midfielder position and maybe even left-back, as Anass Salah-Eddine may not be ready for the first team of Ajax.

Noa Lang, Sven Botman and Lisandro Magallan will return from their loan spells at respectively FC Twente, SC Heerenveen and Deportivo Alaves. Noa Lang will get a place in the squad, while Lisandro Magallan needs to be sold in our opinion. Sven Botman does not suit Ajax’ playing style, but he renewed his contract and it is said that he will get a chance during pre-season.

Incoming transfers

There are four positions that certainly needs to be strengthened, while it can be argued that Ajax need a new right centre-back as well.

1. Replacement André Onana

2. Replacement Nicolás Tagliafico

3. Replacement Hakim Ziyech

4. New central defensive midfielder

5. An improvement for the right centre-back position

In the coming weeks, we will try to find fitting players for these positions. The first position that we are covering is the left-back position, where we have looked in Argentina and Brazil to find a new left-back.

Replacing Tagliafico

In this article, @Ajax_Analytics will take a look at under 23 players playing in Argentina and Brazil to possibly find a replacement for Tagliafico. The Argentinian international hasn’t had his best season for Ajax, but FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are reportedly interested.

First of all, Ajax are exposed on the counter sometimes and both the full-backs and the centre-backs often come into an 1v1 situation with the attacker. In the image above, you can see how many times the left-backs get dribbled past and how many tackles they complete per game.

The ideal score in this is bottom-right, while bottom-left and top-right mean that a player scores high in either completed tackles or (has a low number of) dribbled past.

The full-backs of Ajax play high up the pitch in possession, sticking close to the sideline or tucking inside. They are involved in the build-up sometimes as most opponents close the center of the pitch and force Ajax to play it out wide.

It is important that the full-backs are not sloppy in possession and that they are comfortable receiving the ball a lot. If a certain player does not feel comfortable in possession and is not able to play out of pressure, he may be a good player but he does not suit Ajax and is thus not a good signing. Top-right is the ideal score in this one.

As already mentioned before, the full-backs of Ajax play high up the pitch in possession and often receive the ball. It is important that the replacement of Nicolás Tagliafico suits Ajax and that he feels comfortable on the ball. Top-right would be ideal in the scatterplot that you can see above.

Last but not least, progressive runs and dribbles attempted are something to keep an eye out for as well. An Ajax full-back needs to be decent in the closed spaces, have a good technique and be able to get past an opponent.

As you can see in the scatterplots, Tagliafico rises above the rest when it comes to the number of attempted passes and passing accuracy. He does not score that high on progressive runs and gets dribbled past quite often according to the data.

Based on the data we gathered, there are three players that stood out for us.

  • Alexandro Bernabéi – 19 years old – Lanús

Alexandro Bernabéi stood out because of his high number of dribbles attempted (4.56) and progressive runs (2.81) per 90 minutes. He scored high on key passes (1.23) per 90 minutes as well. The 19-year-old Argentine scored on his debut last november and has been a regular starter for Lanús in nearly every match since then.

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Alexandro Bernabéi
  • Claudio Bravo – 23 years old – CA Banfield

Similarly to Alexandro Bernabéi, Claudio Bravo stood out because of his high number of dribbles attempted (3.63) and progressive runs (1.80) per 90 minutes. Also, he scored above average on key passes (1.06) per 90 minutes. The 23-year-old left-back was a regular starter for Argentina under 23 during the pre-Olympics tournament.

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Claudio Bravo
  • Carlos Augusto – 21 years old – Corinthians

Carlos Augusto scored well on accurate passes to final third (7.14), on passing accuracy on the opposites half (74%), does not get dribbled past that often in comparison to the other players (0.68) per 90 minutes and scored above average on the progressive runs (1.97) and dribbles attempted (1.88) per 90 minutes as well. He has started sometimes for Corinthians, but he is not the starting left-back for them.

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Carlos Augusto

Now we are going to watch these three players closely on video and return to you with three scout reports in the near future. Then we will decide whether one of these three left-backs is good enough to replace Nicolás Tagliafico.

Cesar Menacho – Blooming

Player profile:

  • Name: Cesar Menacho
  • Date of birth: 09-08-1999
  • Age: 20
  • Nationality: Bolivia
  • Position: striker
  • Other positions: right-winger
  • Strong foot: right
  • Club: Blooming Santa Cruz

Cesar Menacho is a 20-year-old striker that plays for Blooming Santa Cruz and was part of the under 23 squad of Bolivia at the Pre-Olimpico as well. He did not play a single minute at the tournament, but he has conquered a place in the starting line-up of Blooming Santa Cruz recently. Menacho can also play as a right-winger.

Attacking

Cesar Menacho likes to stay forward in defense and positions himself quite high up the pitch. In transition from defending to attacking, he therefore stays forward and he sometimes provides an option down the wing. Most of the times he stays centrally though.

As a striker, he likes to make runs in-behind. He does this very well, as he does not get flagged for offside often and he can be dangerous by making these runs. He times the runs well and he can utilize his pace, acceleration and good dribbling ability.

Sometimes, he makes a run in-behind when it is better to come short to provide a passing option for a teammate, which is needed sometimes. He needs to come short more often as he has the ability to being useful in the build-up.

As a right-winger, he either comes short to receive the pass or he makes a run in-behind to use his good pace and acceleration to create a chance for himself or a teammate. He is a decent crosser and is able to pick out the right pass.

When Blooming attack down the wing and cross the ball into the box, Cesar Menacho comes in front of his opponent and likes to run to the front post. This is something he does consequently, he makes a dummy run to the far post and then comes inside to the front post. He is able to head the ball very well.

Before he receives the ball, he does not look behind him and he therefore does not know what happens in his back. However, it seems like he does know when his opponent puts pressure on him as he always uses his body to shield the ball and stay in possession.

Blooming often play long passes to Cesar Menacho and the Bolivian striker is able to handle these passes well. He most of the times wins his aerial duels or he passes it with his chest. He can do this very well and I think this is one of his main qualities.

Cesar Menacho can handle passes over the ground as well. He most of the times tries to find a passing option nearby and makes a first-time pass. This is something that he does well four out of five times.

In general, his technique is alright and his first touch is decent most of the times. Sometimes, his touch is a bit too heavy but he has the space to do so. This is something that he needs to keep an eye out for, if he makes a move to a better competition.

When he dribbles, he controls the ball very well and he uses his acceleration and pace to get past the opponent. Also, he is able to use his body to shield off the ball well. He has not been tested in the tight spaces that much, but the times he got tested he performed very well and managed to turn his opponent.

In 1603 minutes Menacho has scored eight goals. This season, he has scored three goals in 541 minutes. Sometimes Menacho rushes his shot which means that he shoots it wide. Nevertheless, he is a decent finisher who needs to be calmer when he can shoot it from a tight angle. In these situations he needs to cut back rather than shoot.

Defending

Cesar Menacho tries to cut the passing lanes and does this consequently. He is very sharp in putting pressure on the opponent and can use his acceleration to close gaps quickly. He keeps track of his surroundings when he puts pressure on the opponent. For the rest, he stays forward and does not do much more defensively.

Physique:

As already mentioned before, Menacho wins most of his aerial duels and he is quite strong in the duels. He uses his body very well to shield off the ball and he does not get dispossessed often. He has good acceleration and pace.

Conclusion

The Bolivian league is one of the weaker leagues in South-America and there haven’t been that much Bolivian players that have played at the highest level in an European league. That being said, I think that Menacho has the potential to either play in the Superliga or Série A in the future, or a league outside the top 5 leagues in Europe.

Menacho needs to pick out the right moves in order to do so. First, he should move to a club in Chile or Colombia. Those are significantly better leagues than the Bolivian league, but I think that Menacho can already play for a midtable club in those countries. He fits defensive-minded teams who play direct and like to counter-attack.

The summer transfer window of Ajax

By Jeroen

A few hours ago, it was announced that Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Edson Álvarez this summer. This, in combination with the other players that are most likely going to leave this summer, means that Ajax have to sign yet another player this summer. In this overview, I will discuss the transfers that Ajax need to do.

It already has been announced that Hakim Ziyech will leave Ajax for €40.000.000 and that both Donny van de Beek and Sergiño Dest will most likely leave Ajax as well for respectively Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Besides that, Bruno Varela and Ryan Babel will probably return to Benfica and Galatasaray and I think that they will not be bought by Ajax.

On the contrary, Ajax announced as well that they have signed Brazilian right-winger Antony on a five-year deal from São Paulo for €15.750.000. Ajax have been heavily linked with both Roberto Alvarado and Jorge Carrascal, who are both attacking midfielders but they can play on both wings as well.

Antony on international duty for the youth teams of Brazil.

Regarding outgoing transfers, I think that both André Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico will leave Ajax if the right club makes a formal offer. Besides that, I think that Ajax will allow Razvan Marin, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Edson Álvarez to leave the club. Huntelaar will probably get another role at Ajax like being a youth trainer. Also, Joël Veltman wanted to move to another league last year but he was not allowed to go. I think he will get his move this year.

Every summer there are some youth players that get the chance to go on training camp with the first team. It is assumable that players like Sontje Hansen, Naci Ünüvar, Kenneth Taylor, Neraysho Kasanwirjo, Jurriën Timber, Quinten Timber and Brian Brobbey will go on training camp with the first team this summer to fight for a place in the first team. Also, it will be interesting to see how Youri Regeer develops himself in the coming months as he just made his debut for the second team of Ajax.

Last but not least, Juan Familia-Castillo will most likely be bought by Ajax if the transfer fee is not to high. The fact that he has not made a single appearance for the first team of Ajax, even when Tagliafico was injured or suspended, does not mean anything.

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Juan Familia-Castillo in the youth of Ajax.

How the squad looks without the outgoing transfers:

Goalkeepers:

  • Kjell Scherpen, Dominik Kotarski & Calvin Raatsie

Defenders:

  • Noussair Mazraoui & Quinten Timber
  • Perr Schuurs & Jurriën Timber
  • Daley Blind & Lisandro Martínez
  • Juan Familia-Castillo & Anass Salah-Eddine

Midfielders:

  • Carel Eiting & Enric Llansana/Victor Jensen
  • Ryan Gravenberch & Kenneth Taylor
  • Zakaria Labyad & Jurgen Ekkelenkamp

Attackers:

  • Quincy Promes & Naci Ünüvar
  • Dusan Tadic & Lassina Traoré
  • David Neres & Antony

What now?

As you can see, without the outgoing transfers, that will most likely happen, Ajax’ squad looks rather depressing and the goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders are mediocre for now. Obviously there is a lot of talent in this squad, but it is not up to Ajax’ standards at all.

It will be a busy summer for Marc Overmars & co, but they knew this already last summer as they managed to hold on to a lot of players for another year in the hope that Ajax would reach the knockout phase of the Champions League once again.

Marc Overmars on the phone.

What signings does Overmars need to make?

Goalkeepers

First of all, Kjell Scherpen has improved a lot during the last few months but he is not good enough to be the first goalkeeper of Ajax already. I would give him the chance to be the second goalkeeper of Ajax though during training camp this summer. Dominik Kotarski can be the third goalkeeper of Ajax and can play in Jong Ajax.

This means that Ajax need to sign a new first goalkeeper and there have been a few names that have been linked with Ajax already. Odysseas Vlachodimos, Hendrik van Crombrugge and Vasilios Barkas have been the three goalkeepers that have been linked with Ajax in the last months.

Criteria goalkeeper Ajax

The first goalkeeper of Ajax needs to be comfortable on the ball, be able to play short passes under pressure and he obviously needs to have good goalkeeping ability. Also, he needs to be quick off his line when he needs to and he must be able to focus for 90 minutes, even though he, if Ajax play well, does not have to make that many saves.

Full-backs

With Sergiño Dest leaving after one decent season, where he had a lot of bad games as well, Ajax only have Noussair Mazraoui as a player that has regularly played as a right-back. In Jong Ajax, Liam van Gelderen mostly plays as a right-back but I do not think he has the potential to play for the first team of Ajax.

Quinten Timber is a player that has hardly played as right-back, but in my opinion has the qualities to play as a right-back for the first team of Ajax. He went on training camp with the first team of Ajax already last winter and will probably go on training camp with the first team of Ajax next summer as well.

Quinten Timber (left) and Jurriën Timber (right)

At left-back, Ajax only have Juan Familia-Castillo (if they do buy him) and in Jong Ajax there are Anass Salah-Eddine and Terrence Douglas who both have been performing well in the youth of Ajax. Anass Salah-Eddine has more potential though than Terrence Douglas.

This means that Ajax need to get a right-back that can compete with Noussair Mazraoui, if Quinten Timber does not perform good enough during training camp this summer. Besides that, Ajax need to sign a replacement for Nicolas Tagliafico as Juan Familia-Castillo is not good enough for the starting line-up already.

Criteria full-back Ajax

This year, it has become clear that a full-back of Ajax definitely needs to have decent passing ability because it has been common that opponents close the center and that Ajax are forced to use their full-backs in build-up. Also, they need to be able to play in the closed spaces and they need to have a good technique, obviously.

In defence, they need to be pacey and able to anticipate well as Ajax play a high defensive line, they need to be good in the defensive duels and in 1-on-1 defending as they will have a lot of 1-on-1 defensive duels when the opponents start a counter-attack.

Noussair Mazraoui after winning the title in 2018/2019.

Centre-backs

The centre-back position has been a big problem for Ajax this season. After his injury, Daley Blind has not performed as well as he normally does. Also, Perr Schuurs and Edson Álvarez have been too weak for the first team of Ajax. I expect that Daley Blind will be playing better as the season continues, but that both Perr Schuurs and Edson Álvarez are not good enough for Ajax.

This is why I would advise Ajax to sign a very good right centre-back and play Lisandro Martínez as a back-up left centre-back. This means that Ajax have a bigger problem in midfield, but Kik Pierie is not good enough for the first-team of Ajax yet and I doubt if he will ever be good enough for Ajax.

Criteria centre-back Ajax

First of all, a centre-back of Ajax needs to have good ball-playing ability. He needs to be able to play a pass that breaks lines and he needs to have a high passing accuracy on the opposites half. In defence, he needs to be able to anticipate very well, be able to win defensive duels with the striker, be pacey enough to cover counters and his positional awareness needs to be very good.

In my opinion, Nehuén Pérez ticks all these boxes and I think that he would be a great signing. The Argentinian defender does not suit Atletico Madrid at all and will most likely be sold for around €25.000.000. This is a big fee, but I think that he really suits Ajax and that he is an exceptional talent. He has some mistakes this season though, but as he is only 19 that will go away in the coming years. Matthijs de Ligt made some mistakes at Ajax as well.

Nehuén Pérez during training at FC Famalicão.

Midfielders

This season, Ajax played, when everyone was available, with one defensive minded midfielder that plays as a third centre-back in possession (Lisandro Martínez), one midfielder that plays just in front of the three-men defense in possession (Donny van de Beek) and one advanced playmaker (Hakim Ziyech).

Let’s focus on the defensive minded midfielder that plays as a third centre-back in possession. Both Carel Eiting and Enric Llansana could perform this role, but they both are not good enough for the first team of Ajax at this moment. Carel Eiting could be a back-up, but I’d rather see him getting sold or loaned out.

The most important thing is that the defensive minded midfielder is agile, quick enough to cover counter-attacks, anticipates well and has good positional awareness. In Liga NOS there are two players that would be able to play as a defensive midfielder for Ajax and those players are Florentino (SL Benfica) and Gustavo Assunção (FC Famalicão). However, there surely are better options than Florentino and Assunção in other leagues that Ajax can buy.

If Ajax would sign two defensive minded midfielders, I would advise Ajax to sign Gustavo Assunção as a back-up defensive midfielder for sure. In the case of Florentino, he will probably be too expensive for Ajax.

Gustavo Assunção in a match for FC Famalicão.

Moving on to the midfielder in front of the defense, Ajax only have Ryan Gravenberch. Also, Jong Ajax have Kenneth Taylor who can perform this role at the first team of Ajax and will most likely get the chance during training camp next summer.

Both midfielders still need some time though before they are able to be a regular starter for the first team of Ajax, so I would advise Ajax to sign another midfielder for this position. In Liga NOS, I think that Wendel (Sporting CP) could perform this role very well. He can pass his opponent, is able to play in the closed spaces and he can play as a defensive midfielder, central midfielder and he has even played as an attacking midfielder this season.

In South-America, Matheus Henrique (Gremio) would be a great option as well, but I doubt Ajax can afford him. The Brazilian midfielder definitely has the passing ability and would immediately be one of the key players for Ajax.

Matheus Henrique for Gremio.

As already mentioned before, Ajax need to sign a replacement for Hakim Ziyech. It depends on what type of player they want to sign, as Ajax played with Hakim Ziyech (a creative type) as an attacking midfielder but also with Donny van de Beek (good in the closed spaces, good spatial awareness and runs into space).

I reckon that Ajax will sign a creative type as an attacking midfielder, given the fact that they have been rumored to being interested in Jorge Carrascal & Juan Quintero (River Plate).

Jorge Carrascal would be a great option as an attacking midfielder, as I described here.

Attackers

At left-winger, Ajax now have Quincy Promes and Naci Ünüvar. I think that Ünüvar will get his chance during training camp and I expect him to grab his chance. Especially if Ajax signs an attacking midfielder that can play out on the wing as well (Carrascal), I do not expect Ajax to sign another left-winger.

With Dusan Tadic and Lassina Traoré Ajax already have two good strikers which are sufficient for the 2020/21 season as well. A few weeks ago Ajax announced that they signed Antony on a five-year deal which means that Ajax have Antony and David Neres on the right-wing.

Should Promes or Neres leave Ajax would need to sign a replacement for Promes and Antony already is the replacement of David Neres.

David Neres during the warming-up.

How the squad would look with the incoming transfers:

Goalkeepers:

  • Signing (1, Jasper Cillessen?) – Kjell Scherpen – Dominik Kotarski

Defenders:

  • Noussair Mazraoui – Signing (2) or Quinten Timber
  • Signing (3, Nehuén Pérez) – Perr Schuurs
  • Daley Blind – Lisandro Martínez
  • Signing (4) – Juan Familia-Castillo

Midfielders:

  • Signing (5) – Signing (6, Florentino or Gustavo Assunção)
  • Signing (7, Matheus Henrique or Wendel) – Ryan Gravenberch
  • Signing (8, Jorge Carrascal) – Zakaria Labyad or Jurgen Ekkelenkamp

Attackers:

  • Quincy Promes – Naci Ünüvar
  • Dusan Tadic – Lassina Traoré
  • David Neres – Antony

To summarize it all, please note that I only looked at some leagues and that these players do not necessarily are the best options for Ajax. Besides that, I expect Ajax to sign some Dutch players for the starting line-up to keep their Dutch identity, which they think is very important.

Last but not least, it will be a busy summer for Overmars and it will be interesting to see if Ajax are ready for the war. If they are not ready this summer, they will never be ready and it is a huge test for Overmars & co.

Weigl, Florentino & Transferências

By @_Helner

Há pouco mais de dois anos, Julian Weigl pisava o Estádio da Luz pela primeira vez. Na altura era visto como um dos médios mais promissores na Europa e frequentemente associado ao interesse de vários clubes grandes. 

O seu critério com bola, visão e recursos técnicos no jogo posicional de Tomas Tuchel faziam dele um dos jogadores essenciais num Borussia Dortmund preocupado em ter bola, em gerir o ritmo de jogo e que queria atacar independentemente da equipa contra quem estivessem a jogar. O certo é que, com o treinador alemão, Julian Weigl estava destinado aos grandes palcos da Europa.  

Os treinadores que vieram após a saída de Tomas Tuchel não davam prioridade a um médio-defensivo com as suas características. A equipa sofria em transições e consequentemente o internacional alemão era exposto, pela sua falta de dinamismo – que se agravou com a sua lesão no tornozelo.

Weigl no Benfica

Depois de épocas onde as suas exibições foram abaixo da sua capacidade, o Benfica apresenta-se como um clube excelente para “relançar” a sua carreira. À partida, o campeão português controla quase todos jogos com bola e a liga não é tão agressiva quanto a Bundesliga. Mas, até agora, as exibições do médio ainda estão muito aquém das expectativas.

Isto porque o modelo de Bruno Lage também não é favorável para o jogador alemão. Aquilo que o diferencia dos outros é a sua qualidade no passe e critério para encontrar a melhor solução (principalmente na fase de construção), e a organização ofensiva tem sido o maior problema do treinador português. 

Sendo que frequentemente não há linhas de passe para progredir, o internacional alemão perde influência no processo ofensivo e soma poucas ações com bola comparativamente ao jogador com quem faz o duplo-pivot:

Weigl & Taarabt (3 jogos): Respetivas médias de toques por jogo – 61,3 e 62;

Weigl & Gabriel (3 jogos): Respetivas médias de toques por jogo – 53,3 e 87,67;

Weigl & Samaris (1 jogo): Respetivas médias de toques por jogo – 67 e 83;

(SofaScore)

O jogador alemão beneficia de ter linhas de passe à sua frente e ao jogar num duplo-pivot sofre as consequências de jogar num sistema que não lhe é favorável. Nos casos do Gabriel e do Samaris, são jogadores que também necessitam de estar de frente para o jogo e ter vários toques na bola durante o jogo. Já o Taarabt, posiciona-se várias vezes de forma a oferecer linhas de passe para avançar no terreno e é dos poucos jogadores no plantel capazes de fazer a diferença entre linhas. 

Defensivamente o médio alemão tem sido muito sólido até agora, mas ainda mostra muitas dificuldades a parar oponentes sem recorrer a faltas. É driblado 2,3 vezes por jogo (WhoScored).

Weigl vs Florentino Luís

O jogador formado no Benfica começou muito bem a época, especialmente logo no primeiro jogo oficial, contra o Sporting para a Supertaça. Todos esperávamos que fosse a sua época de afirmação no clube e assim parecia até se lesionar contra o Braga em Setembro, o que o levou a falhar 6 jogos. 

Quando Florentino voltou de lesão, por alguma razão que desconhecemos “cá fora”, deixou de ser aposta para o treinador do Benfica. Algo que que me pareceu estranho, pois apesar das suas exibições (e da equipa) na Champions League não estarem ao nível desejado, trata-se de um dos jovens com maior potencial em Portugal. E pouco depois surge a contratação de Julian Weigl.

Como expliquei acima, no meu ponto de vista, trata-se de uma contratação que não traz muito ao clube. Até porque o próprio Florentino encaixa melhor neste contexto do que o Weigl. 

Nas ações defensivas, o luso-angolano é bastante superior e ofensivamente não há muita diferença entre os dois jogadores. O  camisola 61 pode não ter os mesmos recursos técnicos e qualidade de passe que o alemão mas já mostrou ter uma leitura de jogo muito acima da média, uma reação à perda muito forte e raramente é exposto em transições. A sua facilidade em ir ao chão também é notável e as suas intercepções e roubos de bola ajudavam bastante no jogo da equipa. Uma crítica que lhe faço é que podia assumir mais riscos e aprender a mascarar melhor a sua intenção com bola.

(WhoScored)

Conclusão

Uma das melhores coisas da equipa sob o comando de Bruno Lage na época passada era a sua reação à perda, que era uma grande valia para prevenir transições. Esta época tem havido muitas dificuldades nesta vertete, principalmente nestes últimos 2 meses (Janeiro-Fevereiro).

Não culpo o Weigl pelos resultados e exibições recentes, pois o coletivo em si não está a jogar ao mesmo nível de antes, mas acredito que o Florentino é uma opção melhor para a equipa. 

Além disso, parece-me que é cada vez mais visível que falta um plano no Benfica. O scouting tem vindo a piorar nos últimos anos e maior parte das compras simplesmente não fazem sentido. Há contratações que não encaixam no estilo de jogo da equipa e uns simplesmente não chegam a jogar, o que é hilariante.

No verão, independentemente de sermos campeões ou não, é extremamente importante que haja uma reorganização do plantel.

Red Bull e as asas da Liga NOS

By: @Benficaeazeite

Com os rumores que a Red Bull queria criar uma parceria com o Sporting e agora com a proposta para comprar o Aves é óbvio que a empresa austríaca está interessada em criar uma embaixada no futebol português. Toda a gente sabe quais são as desvantagens de ter esta marca de bebidas energéticas no campeonato: vamos presenciar um clube que deixa de ser um clube de futebol tradicional e passa a ser nada mais do que uma marca e a antiga história e património desse clube será completamente apagada, entre outras. Mas nem tudo são desvantagens e o objetivo deste texto será enumerar as vantagens que a Red Bull irá (caso consiga comprar um clube) trazer ao futebol português.

Quando um clube passa a ser propriedade de uma marca ou de um magnata bilionário, espera-se que haja uma injeção de dinheiro imediata e que esse clube comece a contratar jogadores de elite. Este, porém, não é o modelo da Red Bull… A Red Bull não é tímida em gastar dinheiro, mas prefere apostar no desenvolvimento de talento jovem. Neste caso o talento será maioritariamente português que eventualmente irá encontrar caminho para a seleção portuguesa. Isto cria uma certa mística à volta do clube que não costuma ser presente nos clubes que simplesmente gastam milhões em cima de milhões de um dia para o outro.

O campeonato português ficará mais competitivo com uma equipa da Red Bull. Não será imediato pois como já referi em cima esta empresa primeiro prefere desenvolver o clube, mas mais cedo ou mais tarde estarão a lutar pelo título. Quanto mais competitivo um campeonato é mais obriga os clubes do topo a desenvolverem-se e isto irá atrair mais público para o campeonato português, incluindo público estrangeiro. Com uma competitividade maior as equipas portuguesas ficam com uma preparação melhor para as competições Europeias o que obrigará os clubes e adeptos dos outros países a mostrar mais respeito para com o nosso futebol algo que neste momento não é muito comum.

A Red Bull é uma marca muito famosa no mundo do desporto, se conseguir encontrar sucesso no futebol português vai haver outras marcas dispostas a investir no nosso campeonato devido a uma rivalidade que tenham ou simplesmente porque querem também procurar um bocado do seu sucesso. Isto vai fazer com que haja mais dinheiro na nossa Liga, algo que há muito tempo que é necessário visto que o nosso campeonato já teve equipas a recusarem ir a competições europeias por não terem os meios económicos necessários.

Como podem ver a Red Bull não é nenhum bicho de sete cabeças, no contexto do futebol português tem muito a oferecer, irá oferecer mais competitividade e a Liga ficará com muito mais talento jovem a ser desenvolvido. Pessoalmente não sou grande fã da ideia de ter esta empresa no nosso futebol pois como eu já referi vamos presenciar a destruição de um clube histórico, mas a longo termo o nosso campeonato poderá coletivamente beneficiar muito.

Indian defender close to joining FC Copenhagen

AVTP Football reveals that Abneet Bharti is close to joining FC Copenhagen. Talks are underway and a deal is expected to be closed soon. The central defender will join the Danish giants in the summer.

This is not the first time that the Indian defender will move to Europe. He played for the under 19’s of Real Valladolid from 2014 to 2017 and for the Portuguese Sintrense from 2017 to 2019. Abneet was close to signing for Mexican giants Club America, but an ACL injury stopped the move.

Instead, the 21-year-old chose to sign back in his home country for Kerala Blasters to complete his rehab process during the ACL injury. He reached full fitness in January and is now fully recovered from his ACL injury.

Luis Boa Morte, his manager at Sintrense, described Abneet Bharti as an athletic defender with good ability on the ball that meets all conditions to become a great player in the near future. Besides that, the 21-year-old was included in the Calciomercato under 21 best players in Asia.

Daniel Rojas – Oriente Petrolero

By: Jeroen (@J__TP5)

Player profile:

  • Name: Daniel Rojas
  • Date of birth: 22-02-2000
  • Nationality: Bolivia
  • Position: DM, CM, RM
  • Contract expires: not available
  • Current club: Oriente Petrolero
  • Previous clubs: Club Calleja, Universidad Concepción
  • Current international: Bolivia under 20

Daniel Rojas is a 19-year-old central midfielder from Bolivia who currently plays for Oriente Petrolero. He is a dynamic midfielder who is quite complete for his age and I would like to see him play in the Liga NOS or Eredivisie soon.

Defending

The Bolivian midfielder normally plays as a right central midfielder, but he has also played as a right-midfielder this season. Oriente Petrolero played both in a 5-3-2 formation and a 4-5-1 formation. When Oriente Petrolero are not in possession, Rojas stays on the right central side of the pitch and he likes to help out Widen Saucedo (right-back) in defence. The midfielder is quite sharp in defence and uses his strength and awareness to recover possession.

In the Copa Sudamericana, Oriente Petrolero played a low defensive line and they were defensive-minded. In possession, the Bolivian club played quite direct and they put some men forward including Daniel Rojas. The midfielder plays in a different role in the Bolivian league though, as he sometimes plays as a right-midfielder.

As a right central midfielder, Daniel Rojas acts quickly in transition from attack to defence and he always is back in position on time to defend. He scans his back often to make sure that he is aware of his surroundings. As a right-midfielder he does the same things. The only difference is that he positions himself closer to the sideline then he does as a right central midfielder.

During the times that Widen Saucedo (right-back), Norberto Palmieri (right central defender) or Daniel Franco (central defender) were out of position, the 19-year-old midfielder took over their positions to make sure that the defensive organisation kept intact.

As already mentioned before, Daniel Rojas is sharp in defence and he makes sure that his opponent does not have time to think about his next action. By doing this, Rojas gives away some free kicks, but he intercepts passes and recovers possession sometimes as well.

Attacking

Daniel Rojas has an above average technique and has good awareness for space. He moves between the lines well and can give a very good pass. However, his handling speed when he is not put under pressure is not fast enough which results in the loss of possession sometimes.

Playing as a right central midfielder, Rojas likes to get forward in transition from defence to attack. He does well to look for space and he often is aware of his surroundings as well because he most of the times scans his back when he receives the ball.

Rojas can play a good pass, but sometimes there is miscommunication between Rojas and the strikers which means that he plays a through pass when the striker comes short and vice versa. When he plays it short to the striker, he likes to play a one-two and thus receive the ball back immediately.

When playing in the closed spaces, Rojas uses his technique and good dribbling to play himself out the pressure. He can do some quick step-overs and he is very quick on the turn. Rojas is quite strong on the ball as well and he uses his body very well to protect the ball.

Physical attributes

Daniel Rojas is not very strong in aerial duels. He is not the biggest of players, he is around 1.80m, and he does not time his jump right which means that he loses a lot of aerial duels. The Bolivian midfielder is quite fast on the first few meters due to his good acceleration and his pace is above average as well. He has decent stamina and as already mentioned he is quite strong on the ball.

Potential: Daniel Rojas has the potential to play in the Superliga or Série A.

Deze drie spelers zijn interessant voor Ajax – deel 2

Door @DaisMasia

In de voetbalwereld kan het snel gaan, en dat bleek eens te meer in de afgelopen twee maanden. Waar Ajax eerst leek af te stevenen op een ruime voorsprong in de strijd om de titel en de eerste plek in de groep van de Champions League, ging het helemaal mis in de afgelopen maanden, mede door enkele blessures.

In deze serie zullen een aantal leden van AVTP Football drie spelers delen die mogelijk interessant kunnen zijn voor Ajax deze transferwindow.

  • Lyanco (22, Brazilië, Torino)

De 22-jarige Lyanco is een rechtsbenige centrale verdediger die fysiek sterk is. De Braziliaan zijn sterkste kwaliteit is zijn passing, wat hem een interessante speler maakt aangezien dat bij Ajax als centrale verdediger een vereiste is. De verdediger is ook goed door de lucht, maar is wel vrij blessuregevoelig. Op dit moment herstelt de verdediger van een binnenbandblessure. Lyanco blonk vorig jaar uit op het Toulon toernooi en zijn haalbaarheid is onzeker, aangezien hij een vaste basisplek heeft bij Torino en nog een contract heeft tot en met de zomer van 2024. Vorige zomer probeerde PSV hem nog naar Eindhoven te halen, maar het slaagde er niet in om de Italiaanse club te verleiden tot een verkoop.

  • Bruno Guimarães (22, Brazilië, Athletico Paranaense)

Bruno Guimarães is een 22-jarige verdedigende middenvelder die momenteel een zeer gewild target is op de transfermarkt. De Braziliaan is rechtsbenig en speelt meestal aan de linkerkant in een double pivot. Daarnaast heeft Guimarães een prima dribbel en vindt hij altijd de goede oplossing wanneer hij onder druk wordt gezet. De grootste kwaliteit van Bruno Guimarães is zijn passing. Zowel in de opbouwende fase als in de final third blinkt de middenvelder uit. Zijn vraagprijs is €30.000.000, wat aan de hoge kant is, maar Guimarães is het zeker waard. Op dit moment wordt de middenvelder in verband gebracht met Benfica, Flamengo, Chelsea en Arsenal.

  • Javairô Dilrosun (21, Nederland, Hertha Berlin)

De 21-jarige Javairô Dilrosun is een buitenspeler die zijn opleiding genoot bij Ajax. In 2014 besloot Dilrosun dat een vertrek naar Manchester City beter was voor zijn jeugdopleiding, en daar speelde hij een aantal jaar. Twee jaar terug werd de Nederlander opgepikt door Hertha BSC en daar maakte hij al snel indruk. Dilrosun heeft een erg mooie dribbel in de benen en heeft een prima schot. Daarnaast beschikt hij over de nodige diepgang wat met een mogelijk vertrek van Neres in het achterhoofd zeker geen overbodige luxe is. Ook is het een Nederlander, wat lijkt te passen bij de strategie van Marc Overmars.