Scout Report: Karim Adeyemi

After an extraordinary summer transfer window which saw many big names switch their allegiance it’s time for the wonderkids to realise their dream of playing for a big club. The winter window will be quiet but the upcoming summer window will see a lot of clubs bidding for a host of young talents. Among the popular names, there’s a lesser known player who has turned the eyes of many clubs like Liverpool,Barcelona and Dortmund. Karim Adeyemi has had one impressive performance after another and is the next big thing to come out of RB Salzburg’s amazing talent factory.

Player Background-

Name- Karim Adeyemi

DOB- Jan 19,2002(19)

Country – Germany

Height- 177CM

Foot- Left

Wage- € 8,120 p/w

Positions – CF,LW,RW

Similar players- Timo Werner,Breel Embolo,Ben Yedder

Adeyemi started his career at the age of 8 at FC Forstenreid after which he moved to the youth system of Bayern Munich. It didn’t go well for him at Bayern and he soon moved to SpVgg Unterhaching in Germany where he began to show glimpses of his talent. RB Salzburg signed him up in 2018 and immediately sent him to their feeder club FC Liefering. He impressed there so much that he was shortly called back to Salzburg’s main team to be part of their attacking force.

Playing Style-

Adeyemi, who’s left-footed, likes to play in the centre forward position but he can be equally menacing on the wings. His style of play is very direct,intense and energetic. He likes to dribble and also likes to run behind defenders which makes marking him a big task. Coupled with his blistering pace, he has great balance and agility, thus making him difficult to contain during counters.

Here’s a Pizza Percentile chart of Adeyemi over the last 365 days in European competitions.

Although last season he was used mostly as a sub, this season he has been their preferred man upfront and he has given a great return. He has scored 14 times this season in 15 starts at a rate of 0.8 p/g. He has taken 2.7 shots p/g with 1.5 of them on target. He has a penchant for dribbling and then taking a shot, a characteristic feature found in many goalscoring wingers. Coming to chance creation, he has given 2 assists while giving 1.2 key passes p/g. So apart from scoring, he can create goals for his teammates although he will look to improve his passing if he wants to fit in a system which needs him to keep the possession. He has a dribble success rate of 46% with 2.1 dribbles p/g. He wins 3.5 duels p/g, an amazing number which shows his defensive ability.

If we look the heatmap we can understand that he’s played in the wider areas more this season,especially on the left. He’s actually best suited as the left sided CF in a front two. Not a traditional line leading CF, but someone who tends to operate in the wider areas whilst also roaming in the central areas to score goals.Therefore he can be used as a wide winger and also as a winger who likes to cut in and create chances

Given the fact that he is still very young, his decision making can sometimes be rash, a thing which can be polished by proper coaching. Sometimes he tries to do too much with the ball often which might give the defence time to settle or block his passing lanes. Adeyemi’s best ability is finishing, he has that keen eye for goal and he takes very well placed shots which is a rare attribute at this age.In tight areas,he breezes past defenders and cuts in swiftly, either taking a shot or setting up a teammate. When he’s in wide areas, he tries to cut inside on either wing rather than whipping in a cross,some attributes of an inside forward or a second striker. Rather than leading the forward line, he would be the one dropping a little deep and moving his way forward as he makes spaces for his teammates. He interprets the space around him and can dribble his way out or play a slick one two and move in open areas where he has the advantage. Adeyemi’s off the ball movement is really good which makes him a perfect player for teams which attack spaces and rely on off-the-ball movement.Coming to his weaknesses, Adeyemi is a poor passer as of now and needs to work on that aspect. If he plays in a possession based team he’ll have to contribute in the build up with quick thinking and passing. Also he will have to improve his movement in tight areas as he won’t get so much space in other big leagues. That being said, he works hard and tries to do the best with every opportunity he gets on the ball. Hopefully he can overcome his shortcomings and develop his stronger areas to suit whatever team he plays for.

Adeyemi giving a cross to his teammate.
Adeyemi getting at the end of a cross.
Adeyemi’s precise movement into the box which led to a goal

Conclusion:

Salzburg play an attractive brand of football, pressing high up the pitch and relying heavily on constant off-the-ball movements. Adeyemi is generally the one who starts the press upfront, and is adept at troubling defences with his blindside runs and mazy dribbling. As he’s very young, he can be moulded into any kind of forward as the manager wants because of his diverse skillset which suits a lot of tactics. If he fits in a system perfectly he will be a force to reckon with. Barcelona,Dortmund,Bayern and Liverpool are the clubs who fancy his signature and rightly so. At a price of about 40 million euros, he can become an asset to any team and under the right manager and tactics, he can flourish and become a player whom everyone will love to watch.

Mason Greenwood 2020/21-Season Review:-

Last season was the beginning of a transitional phase for the Red Devils. With Ole’s first full season in charge many changes were made in the squad and tactics. A lot of young players were integrated into the squad and many had big developments. One of them was Mason Greenwood. With his good performances one after the other he earned his place in the first team despite being a teenager. A lot was expected of him this season and in this article we are going to analyse Greenwood’s 2020/21 season for Manchester United.

Season First Half:-

Greenwood would have never thought that the start of the new season will be so disastrous. He got entangled in an incident with call girls along with fellow England teammate Phil Foden. The English media as usual tore into him and it had a detrimental effect on his mental health. As the Premier League began the impact of it could be clearly seen. He looked completely out of touch in the first 3-4 games. Just after that he suffered a knock against Newcastle and was out for one game. Ole had then backed Greenwood when reports surfaced that he was punished for coming late to training. Ole said that he was a dedicated lad and he had no issues with him. Greenwood scored his career’s first UCL goal against RB Leipzig. It was another milestone for him and it boosted his confidence.  A couple of games later he suffered another knock which kept him out for 18 days. As he was returning from illness, Ole backed him again and said that he had full confidence in him. Greenwood came on as a sub in a lot of games as he slowly regained his form. After a long dry spell Greenwood scored against Liverpool in the FA Cup. Signs of improvement had started to show in his game and now he was playing more confidently.

Season Second Half:-

Although he didn’t score, Mason was now concentrating more on improving his overall gameplay. Come April, and Mason was finally back to his best. He scored in three games consecutively in the Premier League against Brighton,Spurs and Burnley. Not only goalscoring,but now his movement on the pitch was better, his touches were better and he had improved his vision and decision making too. It was great to see someone who had such a bad start to the season finally getting on his feet. He complemented an attack consisting of Rashford and Cavani in most of the games and did it very well. He looks like an established figure in the team now and will only improve further.

Best Position:-

A question many united fans have had in mind is, which is Mason’s best position? Is it RW or CF? Well the answer to that is Mason should continue playing RW until he enhances his skills in order to become a CF. When asked about his position, Greenwood said this in a presser back in February, “  I don’t mind [where I play]. I could play anywhere across the front three. I can play on the right, up front and even sometimes on the left. For me, it’s just about adapting into any position I go in. If it’s up front or on the right, I don’t really mind, really. I’ll take it as they come.” As for what Ole had to say,” Mason was a bit shy there because he can play No.10, as well as a shadow striker,” he clarified. “He can play right, centre forward, 10 and, at a stretch, maybe on the left. We just have to give him time to find his final position.” We think that Mason will play RW until he develops his physique and awareness to play as a CF. Perhaps he can follow the footsteps of Robin Van Persie who became a CF at the age of 24 after playing as RW till then. Greenwood’s agility,dribbling and quick feet are perfectly suited for that RW position at the moment. It depends on how he improves his overall gameplay in the future whether he can play as a CF later or not.  

Next Season Expectations:-

There are more challenges ahead next season, as Greenwood will feel under pressure to keep up the momentum and outscore this season. But we know Greenwood and his ability to step up and deliver whenever he is asked to. The big concern is one of fatigue and over exposure amid a condensed fixture list. This is one of the reasons United need to help him out and not over play him at this age and therefore Amad Diallo’s development will help in this matter.

 Career Highlights So Far-

  1. 17 first team goals in his debut season

Greenwood tied a record set by George Best and Wayne Rooney on their first campaigns for the club.

  1. Five Europa League goals in his first season

Greenwood’s goals in the Europa League saw him become the club’s youngest ever scorer in European competition.

  1. 10 Premier League goals

Greenwood had become the first teenager since 1997/98 to score 10 Premier League goals or more in a season.

  1. Absolutely prolific at youth level

Greenwood scored 31 goals in 30 under-18 games, plus five in five UEFA Youth League matches. He scored three in three FA Youth Cup games, and four in seven under-23 matches, before being fast-tracked to the first team.

  1. Already a Champions League scorer

Greenwood scored his first Champions League goal for Manchester United against RB Leipzig. It came with his first ever shot in the competition.

  1. The 20 goal mark

Greenwood scored his 20th United goal in December 2020. He became the youngest United player to do so since Norman Whiteside in 1987.

  1. Double figures again

Greenwood reached double figures for the second successive season in the win over Roma. He became the second United player to score in five separate competitions in the 2020/21 season.

Strengths and Weaknesses :-

We have plotted a pizza chart of Mason Greenwood showing his percentile stats. The first one includes stats for the 20-21 season across all comps and the second one includes stats for the 19-20 season in EPL only. There’s a clear indication of his overall game improvement this season. He has been better on the ball and is more confident going forward. Finishing is his strongest attribute as is evident although it has dipped a bit this season. Mason plays as an inside forward in United’s system and he has integrated into that role perfectly. He needs to improve his awareness and work on the things he is lacking in such as movement off the ball, strength and decision making . For now he will play RW and build his game from that position. More game time will increase his chances of developing further and being consistent in a team which has lacked a good RW for ages.