Unlike their name might imply, 'Inverted Wingers' are far more than just wingers that cut or drift inside. That is only one small part of an overarching role that prioritizes playmaking in the final third, and dynamically linking play between the other members of the front-line. The best of the art will often post high numbers in goals and assists, but 'Inverted Wingers' need to be so much more than just creative goal-scorers - generally tasked with creating space, rotating with teammates, and moving off the ball to exploit the half-spaces at the right moments.
When we say 'Creative Ten', I'm sure you immediately conjure up an image of a classical painter of a player, who wonderfully creates art with their passing and incisiveness in the final third. But as has been well documented over the past few years, that type of player does not tend to exist in the modern game. The Mesut Ozil's, David Silva's and Cesc Fabregas's of this world no longer tend to exist as they once did, or play in the same positions that they once held. Nowadays, 'number ten's' must not only be capable contributors in the final third, but highly active in pressing from the front, and contributing to rotations that spread the width of the pitch.
As the ball-dominant magic-wand sorcerers in central midfield, 'Midfield Maestros' accomplish feats that few other players would be capable of showcasing to the world. They ooze class every time they touch the ball, always looking dangerous as they dribble, carry or skillfully dance their way around the opposition. But beyond technical precision and pizzazz, 'Midfield Maestros' might be some of the most tactically adept out there, possessing the awareness of space that very few have mastered. Here is our analysis of the Midfield Maestro.
After catching the eye for Montreal Impact's Academy in 2018, the career of future Canadian international Calin Calaidjoglu has gone quietly under the radar. Currently plying his trade in his native Moldova, that much is understandable. But Calaidjoglu recently impressed in his side's UEFA Conference League tie against Slovenian side NS Mura, and has enjoyed a bright start to the 2022-23 season. While CPL clubs tend to recruit even younger players, the 21-year-old would have plenty to offer if a move were to be made back home. In this tactical analysis, we break down the strengths and weaknesses of Calin Calaidjoglu at the age of 21, and the CPL clubs that would most benefit from his playing style. Here is our analysis!
Israel's sparkling light in a golden generation, Oscar Gloukh is now one of the most sought after teenagers in the world of football following his stunning performances at the U19 Euros. Gloukh plays week in, week out in the Israeli first division for Maccabi Tel Aviv, but on international turf against some of Europe's brightest young stars, the 18-year-old showed that he is more than capable of competing with the best. The Israelian talisman now has a plethora of clubs chasing after his signature for the upcoming campaign, and if he finds the right fit, he could go on to become one of the best playmakers of the next generation. Here is our analysis of Oscar Gloukh after his summer of success.
Many of England's starlets have been achieving much deserved acclaim after their impressive tournament win, but an underappreciated star of the competition comes in the form of Martin Adeline, France's exceptional midfield destroyer. The 18-year-old left PSG just two years ago to grow his career elsewhere, and after playing 8 games this season in Ligue 1, he looks to have boosted his reputation a step further at the Euros this summer in Slovakia. The dynamic midfielder showed much promise for France at the competition, helping lead his team toward the semi-final stage of the tournament. Here is our analysis of Martin Adeline, and his performances at the Euros.
Despite finishing ninth place in the table, very few players from Brighton & Hove Albion achieved their deserved acclaim this season. Someone like Leandro Trossard went quietly under the radar, despite contributing to 11 of their 42 goals in his 34 appearances. Trossard's market value has only risen to 17 million as per Transfermarkt. But as a full Belgian international who can play either as a wide man, wing-back or second striker, Trossard would prove to be an excellent pick-up for any Premier League club, especially ones looking to add an edge to their Champions League dreams.
On Saturday February 26th, the Premier League witnessed one of its most harmonic cheers, heard all across the globe. The day marked the remarkable return of Danish superstar Christian Eriksen, making his debut for Brentford after suffering a heart attack during Euro 2020 for his native Denmark. For Bees fans, it was a momentous occasion. But Eriksen played it cool, almost as though it was just another day at the office.
Currently in the process of chasing down a fourth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola, Kevin de Bruyne has taken charge of Manchester City's dominance in the last few months, rising above the rest as a completely untouchable figurehead in the team. Last night saw the Belgian score four goals in a single match, taking his tally up to 15 for the season - his most in a single Premier League campaign. With that, we break down the tactical elements of Kevin de Bruyne's masterclass against a normally stern Wolves defense, and how the Belgian led his team to a smashing 5-1 victory.
After turning a few heads during his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season, Conor Gallagher has turned several heads in 2021-22, with his stunning displays for Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace. Gallagher fits into Vieira's 4-3-3 like a fever dream, and has become the most important player in a normally Zaha-reliant set-up. So with that, today we take a look at why Conor Gallagher has been so effective for Crystal Palace, after his first 19 appearances for the Eagles. Here is our latest tactical analysis.
If there is one team in the Premier League who are not in need of new players, it's Manchester City. Already with many of the world's best at their disposal, Guardiola has free range to rotate his squad as he pleases. But one Premier League star certainly stands out as being a perfect fit for the Citizens in the future, and one who could easily be their next Riyad Mahrez type. That man would be Brazilian wing wizard Raphinha, who's starred for Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds since joining in October 2020. While a move for Raphinha wouldn't be necessary to fix any gaping hole in their team, it would be a shrewd piece of business to improve their squad in the long-run.
The end of year is almost here, and that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list. This year, you, the readers of our website, will get to have your say. Just simply see the list of nominees below, and rearrange the list to suit your preference of first to last in each position. When we rank the Top 100 Footballers of the Year, we take into consideration a player's form throughout 2021, their club and national team success, difficulty of league, and their reputation + performances in the year prior. You can rank based on any criteria you desire! Below is our poll ranking the best attacking midfielders in 2021.
This past weekend, West Bromwich Albion were relegated from England's top flight. The team lacked the quality to survive, and even despite Sam Allardyce turning them into a well-functioning team, they couldn't make up the necessary ground to stay in the division. But if there was one shining light in the otherwise unremarkable season for the Baggies, it would have to be their star attacking midfielder - Matheus Pereira.