Just under five years ago, Tajon Buchanan was playing for a little-known club here in Ontario called Sigma FC, under the tutelage of Bobby Smyrniotis. Today, he's being linked with a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs - Inter Milan. Buchanan's had quite the rapid rise from a dynamic dribbling right-sided central midfielder for New England, to one of Canada's most influential players. He's excelled for Club Brugge as a right-wing-back the past couple of seasons, and now looks destined for a move to one of the grandest stages in European football. Here is our analysis of what makes Tajon Buchanan perfect for Inter Milan.
Tag: Player Analysis
Finding the next Virgil van Dijk – Tactical Analysis
Van Dijk's return post-injury has been fairly remarkable, but he is starting to show signs of slowing down. He's no longer that same commanding presence that simply cannot be dribbled around. Liverpool meanwhile are suffering, with the Europa League now acting as their best shot at attaining European football next season. The Dutchman himself is now 31 years old, and often remains alongside another key figurehead of the same age in Joël Matip. With that, we attempt to assess the best candidates to replace Virgil Van Dijk at Liverpool, as Jurgen Klopp prepares for the future.
Game of Numbers #17 – Valentín Castellanos – Scanning to score four against Real Madrid
Castellanos had one of the greatest games of his life, netting 4 goals against last season's Champions League victors. He became the first player in the 21st century to score four against Los Blancos in a league game, and did so with just 6 shots. With that, let's dissect how "Taty" Castellanos scanned for success in his heroic performance against one of the world's best sides.
Game of Numbers #16 – Riley Ferrazzo as an ‘Inverted Fullback’
HFX Wanderers looked a completely different side on Matchday 1 against last season’s first-place finishers, with a genuine intentionality behind their team tactics and set-up. The interesting thing to now keep on the radar will be whether the tactics they used on opening day were created to mitigate Atletico Ottawa’s own innovations, or whether they intend on utilizing the same ideologies in their matches moving forward. Either way, Halifax enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, through much in the way of innovation and pizzazz. Here is Game of Numbers Issue No. 16 - all about how Gheisar achieved balance in his side via the use of Riley Ferrazzo as an 'Inverted Fullback'.
Game of Numbers #15 – Jordan Pickford’s positioning masterclass
Sometimes criticized across his Everton career, Jordan Pickford has enjoyed a formidable past couple of seasons for both club and country. The Toffees might be in serious threat of relegation this season and very well might have gone down last campaign if it had not been for their remarkable keeper. Despite the club's poor form, there's even a genuine argument for Pickford to be the goalkeeper of the season thus far. That argument came to life all the more in Everton's recent match against Manchester United, where Pickford was one of the standout players on the pitch despite his side being completely outclassed. Here are the finer details behind Pickford's stunning nine-save display against the Red Devils.
Game of Numbers #14 – Ilkay Gündoğan’s Movement Masterclass
İlkay Gündoğan had a masterclass of a performance against Liverpool, playing a massive part in their commanding 4-1 win over their title challengers from last season. It was vintage Gündoğan at his best, and showcases City's potential to continue putting on top quality performances even without the presence of Erling Haaland. Here is Game of Numbers #14, illustrating Gundogan's movement masterclass!
How to move off the ball like a world class winger
In the modern era, wingers can be as vital to scoring goals and creating chances as any other position on the pitch. Elite superstars like Mohamed Salah and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have illustrated this to a tee this year, for both their goal scoring prowess and chance creation supremacy. But most young players aspiring to be the world's best struggle to see the finer details of exactly how the likes of Salah and Kvara find themselves in those scoring positions. With that, we break down how to move off the ball like a world class winger, with real examples from the likes mentioned above, in addition to Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Alex Morgan.
Game of Numbers #11 – How to dribble like Jude Bellingham
Without Jude Bellingham, where would Borussia Dortmund be right now? They've been missing Marco Reus, Mats Hummels hasn't been up to pace (literally), and all the newboys haven't quite hit the ground running as expected (perhaps Salih Özcan aside). This has meant that Jude Bellingham has needed to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders, getting on the ball at every turn to work his magic.
Why Julian Ryerson caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund
Across the 2021-22 campaign, Julian Ryerson struggled for minutes in a competitive Union Berlin side loaded with wing-backs. But this season, he's become the starlet of the side from the wings, fulfilling his wing-back role to great effect from either side. His form in 2022-23 caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, who snapped him up for a meek €5 million fee. Here is our analysis as to why the Black & Yellows made a move for Julian Ryerson, and what he will bring to Signal Iduna Park.
Explaining the Target – Player Role Analysis
Historically known as the 'Target Man', we've rebranded this term to be all encompassing. More than just about any role, the word 'Target' immediately paints a picture of the type of player we're looking for. That is, someone strong, typically tall, aerially savvy, robust, and frequently used by their team as a target for advancing up the pitch. In the hockey sense, they would typically be the one responsible for 'roughing up the opposition'
Explaining the Creative Link – Player Role Analysis
Creative Links are quite similar to our attacking midfielder persona - the 'Creative Ten'. The main difference is that they play up front, and typically conduct more of their play with their back to goal in linking up with their teammates. You could call them a 'False 9', a playmaking centre-forward, or something between a '9' and a '10.'