To be honest, I don’t like to talk about players that I’ve rarely watched live. Even if I don’t watch 10-15 games of the player, I like to view at least 3 to have a general understanding of their style of play and mentality. However, I’ve done in depth research on two strikers we can bring in.
It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but recently, football is struggling for quality players. Of course we still love and enjoy the game, but if we analyze the situation, quality is lacking. This can be an article idea for another time. However, though the general football market is struggling, the striker market is struggling even more. I only found two viable options for us to bring in.
Hugo Ekitike has a rare, but interesting striker profile. He’s tall and slender with good acceleration and can make a variety of runs in behind. He’s also very skilled with his feet but his dribbling in tight spaces and under pressure is suspect.
Strengths– Movement in behind, movement in the box, change of speed and anticipation.
Ekitike’s movement is excellent and his physical features help him to get an advantage over his defenders. He’s always one step ahead of the defenders and he can change his body positioning to receive passes from different angles.
Though this video doesn’t show them, he’s also scored a couple rebounds which shows his striker’s instinct.
Weaknesses– Management of own actions, footwork under pressure, awareness of team-mates
Ekitike faces a mental block when he starts games. His frequency of runs when he plays from the beginning is significantly lower than when he comes off the bench. Maybe doesn’t want to burn energy but with more maturity and experience, he’ll overcome that challenge.
I don’t think we should take the risk on Ekitike this summer. I admire his talent and attributes and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on him next season, but he’s still raw. It’s normal for young strikers to struggle with overthinking as they want to impress their coach and fans. I think he needs another season at Reims to polish his strengths and work on his weaknesses.
Latasa is a Real Madrid youth product who now plays in the third division of Spanish football with Real Madrid Castilla.
This season, Latasa has played 30 games, scored 13 goals and had 2 assists. He was the second top-scorer in the team and he was involved in a goal every 160 minutes.
He’s a 21 year old left footed target man who’s very strong and good in the air. He has good mobility and link up play and he also has a good variety of finishes.
I remember his cameo against Cadiz when he came on for Mariano in the 81st minute. I was impressed with his determination to make an impact on the game but his passing and decision making lacked quality. He’s young, so this is normal as he was nervous on his debut with the first team.
Journalists and avid viewers of Castilla rate him highly. Promoting him is definitely a safer option than bringing in Ekitike as he won’t cost anything but I don’t think that he’s ready to play first team football for Real Madrid as yet. We will see what Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez and the scouting team decides to do with respect to back-up strikers.