Ritsu Doan scout report – The next big Asian talent in the Premier League?
The 20-year-old has earned rave reviews for his top-notch performances in the Eredivisie since the start of last season. The talented young playmaker has scored 10 goals and set up another four from 38 appearances in the Dutch top-flight.
As the stocks for the Japanese playmaker continue to soar sky high, let us get a deeper insight into one of the most promising prospects of Asian football – FC Groningen’s Ritsu Doan.
Ritsu Doan was born in Amagasaki, Japan and came through the youth ranks of J1 League club Gamba Osaka. He made his senior debut in the 2015 AFC Champions League but hardly got a chance to play at the senior level thereafter. Instead, he played for Gamba Osaka U23 in 2016 before moving on loan to Dutch club FC Groningen in 2017.
Doan caught the eye with a number of scintillating displays during the 2017/18 Eredivisie season where he scored 9 goals and provided 3 assists. As a result of his fine displays, the Dutch outfit made his stay permanent this summer.
And the diminutive Japanese playmaker has hit the ground running this term as well, scoring once and setting up another from 9 appearances in the league.
Style of play
The 20-year-old is a multifaceted attacking midfielder who can be deployed in any position in the final third. Primarily a right-winger by trade, Doan is also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder through the centre.
Standing at 5ft 8 inches with a stocky frame, Doan is not capable of challenging the opposition with his physicality. However, his upper body strength allows him to embark on powerful driving runs down the right flank.
Blessed with a wonderful technique, the Japanese playmaker combines his technical abilities with his low centre of gravity to keep exceptional close control in tight areas. He is also a silky dribbler and tends to create that extra yard of space for himself by foxing the opposition with sharp turns. Furthermore, he is lightning quick and uses his pace down the flanks to good effect.
Although he is not a particularly good crosser of the ball and does not tend to play too many passes in the final third, he is quite good at link-up play.
Doan’s tactical awareness in the final third is always an asset to his team. The 20-year-old is subtle with his movement and poses a genuine threat with his goalscoring instincts.
To add to that, he is good with his work rate and uses his speed and awareness to track back and break up the play. In fact, he has averaged 2.2 tackles in the Eredivisie this term.
Last but not the least, Ritsu Doan has a magical left foot which is not only capable of bamboozling the defenders with mesmerizing skills but can also find the top corner of the net with curling shots from range. To be honest, he has the potential of becoming a Japanese version of Lionel Messi.
Read More:- Who is this 6ft 4 in Scottish sensation being chased by Arsenal and Leicester City? All you need to know
What does the future hold?
Going by his performances and quality, Ritsu Doan might be the next big Asian name in the Premier League after the likes of Heung-min Son, Shinji Kagawa and Park Ji-Sung.
Given that he has already caught the eye of elite clubs like Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City (h/t The Sun), a move to the Premier League will do a world of good to his development as a footballer.
“He’s one of our own”, “All round performance”: Some Man City fans happy with this 18-year-old after 1-0 win vs Tottenham + Match Report
Match Report: Man City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Man City kept themselves alive in the title race with a backs-to-the-wall 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday, thanks to a solitary goal from Phil Foden in the 5th minute of the game.
Both Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino made quite a lot of changes to their line-ups from the Champions League second leg fixture on Wednesday night and the Citizens managed to have the final say in this one after their hopes of winning a quadruple came to an end.
Much like the mid-week game, City had the best possible start to this one as well. Bernardo Silva swung in a perfect cross from the right for Sergio Aguero to head it into the path of Phil Foden, who showed good movement and awareness inside the box to bag his first ever Premier League goal.
Buoyed by the early goal, the Citizens lifted the home crowd with some really audacious pressing, though Spurs had multiple chances soon after to draw level. Son Heung-min’s effort from the left was kept out by Ederson before Christian Eriksen ran clear through on goal, only to be denied once again by the goalkeeper’s heroics.
Eriksen then showed a wonderful piece of vision to split the City midfield and set up Son with a delightful through ball but it was Ederson who came to City’s rescue for the third time in the half. Man City dominated the possession but the injury to Kevin de Bruyne forced Guardiola to throw Fernandinho into action a bit sooner than he would have liked.
Trailing by just a single goal at the interval, Spurs had every reason to believe that they could still fight back and spoil City’s title ambitions. However, City were well aware of Tottenham’s attacking threat and they kept things relatively simple in the second half, retaining possession and moving the ball around to take the opposition out of the game.
City looked a lot more compact at the back in the second half, barring a single instance when Lucas Moura got himself between John Stones and Aymeric Laporte. Ederson, however, was equal to the task and managed to protect City’s lead with another brave piece of goalkeeping.
Pochettino’s plan of playing a back-five system backfired as Spurs weren’t able to press City enough in the midfield to win possession back and hit them on the break. Paulo Gazzaniga, who was making his first start in the Premier League since September, pulled off an unreal save to deny Raheem Sterling’s close-range effort.
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Spurs went all out in search of a late equaliser but City were never going to let them in, with the title race poised ever so delicately.
While the 1-0 result ensured that City maintained a one-point gap over Liverpool in the title race, it leaves Spurs in a vulnerable position in the top four, with Arsenal and Chelsea expected to win their fixtures against Crystal Palace and Burnley respectively on Sunday.
Twitter Reactions from Man City Fans
Bernardo Silva vs Spurs:
1 Shot on target
88% (35) Passes completed
3 Key passes
5 (3) Dribbles (succ.)
7 (5) Tackles won
All round performance, once again! #MCITOT #ManCity pic.twitter.com/F2jmjwSaNh
— Superbia Proelia (@SuperbiaProeIia) April 20, 2019
Liverpool beating Man City to sign this £45m-rated attacker would be a shrewd move by Klopp and here’s why
Liverpool Opinion: Reds should beat City to sign Everton Soares
According to the Calciomercato, Liverpool are interested in signing a Brazilian attacker who shares his name with their bitter Merseyside rivals, with Gremio winger Everton Soares reportedly on manager Jurgen Klopp’s wishlist for the summer.
Soares enjoyed a wonderful run in the Brazilian league last year and impressed with his scintillating performances down the left-wing, scoring 10 goals and assisting a further 3 from 27 appearances.
Currently in his sixth year at Gremio, Soares has established himself as one of the emerging stars in Brazilian football and his consistent performances have earned him 4 caps for his nation so far at the senior international level.
The 23-year-old has already tasted plenty of silverware in South America, helping Gremio to victories at the 2016 Copa do Brasil, 2017 Copa Libertadores and 2018 Recopa Sudamericana.
The diminutive jet-heeled winger has accumulated a total of 32 goals and 10 assists from 136 appearances for Gremio in all competitions.
To put things into perspective, signing Everton Soares would be a massive coup for Liverpool and the Reds should look to beat off competition from their Premier League rivals Man City.
The 23-year-old has not only made his presence felt in the domestic and continental club competitions but he has already made it to Brazil’s national team as well, which should be considered as a mighty leap in his developmental phase.
Standing at 5ft. 9 inches with a diminutive frame, Soares’ low centre-of-gravity allows him to keep exceptional close control of the ball and he brings his pace, flair and mesmerizing dribbling skills into play to cut inside from the flanks.
A player noted for his direct approach to the game, youthful exuberance and eye for goal, the Brazilian is not just a clinical finisher but he has a penchant for playing delightful through balls as well, which should help him make the step up to the Premier League.
Soares might look like a complete pushover down the flanks in the Premier League but he can be really deceptive and nippy with his drive, determination, balance and considerable upper body strength. Renowned for his ability to change directions quickly, Everton is a technically-gifted and versatile attacker who can certainly enrich Liverpool’s squad depth.
The front trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah has once again lived up to the expectations, with the three players sharing a mammoth 61 goals among them in all competitions for the Reds so far this season.
Their prolific form has been pivotal to Liverpool’s surge for the Premier League title and their run to the semi-finals of the Champions League. With all the three players still very much in their prime, Liverpool can expect them to keep delivering the goods in the foreseeable future.
However, Jurgen Klopp needs to invest in back up options up front, with Daniel Sturridge out of contract in the summer and Divock Origi’s future far from settled.
Xherdan Shaqiri looked like an absolute bargain for Liverpool in the first half of the season as the Swiss international produced some fine displays, but he has gradually slipped down the pecking order.
Hence, the Reds currently do not have a lot of cover in the attack and the acquisition of Everton Soares would add more firepower to their resources.
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That said, Liverpool should not hesitate to splash the cash to bring in one of the hottest talents in Brazil.
Who is this Portuguese U20 star being chased by Manchester City? Here is all you need to know
Man City Opinion: Citizens linked with Florentino Luis- a good choice?
According to renowned Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Man City are interested in signing 19-year-old Benfica starlet Florentino Luis in the summer, as the Citizens continue their hunt for a long-term successor to the throne of Fernandinho.
Florentino was promoted to the Benfica’s senior team only in February earlier in the year and the Portuguese U20 star has made an instant impact in the Primeira Liga, putting himself on the radar of Man City with a series of impressive displays.
The 19-year-old has made a total of 9 senior appearances for Benfica in all competitions since making his debut a couple of months back.
As Man City plan a potential swoop for the highly-rated Benfica academy product, let us take a closer look at one of the emerging talents of Portuguese football- Benfica’s Florentino Luis.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, to parents of Angolan descent, Florentino Luis started playing at the youth level at lower division club Real S.C.before joining Benfica’s youth setup in 2010. He made his professional debut with Benfica’s reserve team in 2016, aged 18.
The 19-year-old has been a regular for Portugal upto the U20 level and has accumulated a total of 65 caps for his nation at all youth levels comprised.
Style of Play
Luis currently stands at 6ft., though one would expect him to gain a couple of inches more in the years to come. The youngster is primarily a defensive midfielder by trade and has earned plaudits very early in his career for his well-rounded attributes.
Luis excels in a role as a shield for the rearguard and sits deep inside in the central midfield zone to cut out the attacks with tackles and interceptions, though he often tends to press the opposition higher up the pitch to win possession back for his team.
An aggressive defensive midfielder by trade, the youngster has shown a level of maturity that belies his tenders years both in terms of decision-making and composure.
Tackling is one of his greatest strengths and it is amazing to see how such a young player consistently gets himself into the right positions to win the ball back with fair crunching challenges.
Quick across the ground and blessed with plenty of upper body strength, Luis not only excels with his tackling he is equally good at intercepting through balls as well, using his game-reading and positional sense to good effect.
Calm and comfortable in possession, Luis has a good range of passing as well and can keep things ticking in the midfield with his impressive distribution and uncompromised work-rate.
He has got all the makings of developing into a top-quality defensive midfielder and the most impressive thing about him is his ability to combine the different aspects of his game from such a young age.
What does the future hold?
Florentino Luis is a really talented player with loads of potential but it seems unlikely that he would be an ideal replacement for Fernandinho.
Still very much in the developmental phase of his career and relatively new to the Primeira Liga, a move to the Premier League, especially to a title-contending club like Man City, at this point of time, would be a massive jump for the youngster both in terms of quality and intensity.
To Read More Man City News, Click Here:- Latest Man City News
Even if a move materializes, it would be unrealistic to expect the youngster to fill in the boots of the veteran Brazilian in the upcoming season. Nevertheless, he is an exceptional talent who has the potential to carve out an identity for himself in any top European league.
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