Around this time last year, Brighton & Hove Albion made a stunning swoop for Ecuadorian midfielder Moisés Caicedo, who at the time, was playing for Independiente del Valle in the Ecuadorian Serie A. They swiftly sent him on loan to Belgian First Division side Beerschot for the beginning half of the 2021-22 season, where his success in Belgium prompted the Seagulls to immediately install him in the heart of their midfield for the remainder of the campaign. Now an Albion regular, Moisés Caicedo has been one of the Premier League's standout midfielders since his re-arrival in the Prem, as an up-and-down 'Shuttler' capable of covering ground all over the pitch. Here is our analysis of Ecuador's supreme midfielder Moisés Caicedo.
The 'Tempo Setter' is a unique player type to our system, taking into account the possession-based players that operate in a 'number 8' position, and thrive when given the ball in the half-spaces. Youri Tielemans, Christian Eriksen and Jordan Henderson feature as some of the best within the role from an emblematic perspective, perfectly exuding the cucumber coolness required. But the likes of Thiago and Tchouaméni also stake a claim despite their extreme exceptionalities on the ball, due to the high influence they present in keeping the game moving along from a withdrawn position. Beyond the streamlined skill of Thiago, they tend not to be the flashiest of players in their teams. But 'Tempo Setters' are key to setting the tone of a football match, and conducting the orchestra from start to finish. Quite simply, without their class and composure in possession, the whole entire musical production could crumble.
The 'Deep-Lying Playmaker' is one of the already attributed player types that we have adopted within our system. Also known by its Italian name 'Regista', the 'DLP' is tasked with setting the tempo of the match from build up to progression, all the way to creation. They sit in front of the defensive line as an 'Anchor', but hold a more offensive, progressive and possession-oriented role than the other two 'number 6' types within our 'Anchor' persona. Their role is in both helping create space between the lines, and then breaking lines, recycling play, or even changing the point of attack upon receiving the ball, so that their team can advance up the pitch, beat an opposition's press and seek spaces closer to goal.
Anchors tend to play at the base of a midfield three, holding the midfield together, and allowing others to work their magic up ahead. Their role is in both screening in front of the defense to disallow progressive passes forward, particularly into the opposition's striker, and to 'anchor' the midfield by holding everything together as other members step out of position or drift into the half-spaces. Unlike the 'Midfield Destroyer' they do not need to be overly active in defensive phases on sheer statistical contributions, but should be equally active on the hard work done off the ball to shift, shuffle and slide with the play.
The 'Midfield Destroyer' continues to be alive and well in the modern game, and encapsulates some of the most highly regarded and sought after defensive midfielders on the planet. The 'Destroyer' is essential to defending in transition and stunting attacks before the opposition reach the final third, within the wider umbrella of 'Anchoring' the midfield and screening in front of the back-line. Casemiro and Yves Bissouma would qualify as some of the best around, with Óscar Valentín and Benjamin André performing as two other fantastic emblems of the fearless persona behind the 'Midfield Destroyer' player type.
After an electric start to the 2022 Canadian Premier League season, Diyaeddine Abzi has officially been transferred from York United all the way to Ligue 2's Pau FC in France. After finishing 10th in Ligue 2 last season, Pau FC were in the market for reinforcements to their team, and Diyaeddine Abzi provides an excellent overall package to excel at his new club. We examine why Pau FC took a chance on the Canadian youngster, and the potential for Abzi to excel at his new club.
Out of all the midfielders in the Premier League, very few stand out when it comes to as many attributes as Conor Gallagher. The Chelsea loanee has been on fire all season long at Crystal Palace - bagging 8 goals with 3 assists in 33 matches, alongside some of the best pressing and tackling numbers of players in his position. With his late arriving goal-scoring form and top-tier pressing intensity, Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea are bound to steal Gallagher back into their team, and give him regular minutes next season. A quintessential box-to-box midfielder who can also dovetail as a number ten, Gallagher will be a massive miss for the Eagles next season. So with that, we examine who could possibly come in to replace the 22-year-old midfielder at Crystal Palace next season.
Fabinho has been instrumental to Liverpool's success for almost four years now, as the Reds have won four major trophies - including the Champions League and Premier League, with the Brazilian at the heart of their midfield. It may not be time for the Reds to move on from a man who has made the position his own, but there is certainly an opportunity to recruit fresh, young talent that can learn the role and grow into the side, just like Liverpool have done with Luis Diaz.
Sadio Mane may not have as much versatility in skillset as Firmino and Salah, but his talent levels are supreme. Out of all the candidates, Emmanuel Dennis might be the closest clone. The Nigerian forward is just sheer speed and scoring power, which, without underselling all of this, is Mane to a tee. Then you have Rafael Leao, who is so much more skillful than the Senegalese, but lacks the exact trait we would most want to find in a future Mane replacement (better scoring and shooting accuracy). So with that, we have to go with...
As we found out, finding Mohamed Salah's replacement at Liverpool is a tough task. He's a strangely unique player, who does just about everything in the game to great effect. Nobody will ever replace his goal-scoring presence for the Reds, and that much always needs to be taken into consideration. So with that, we've done something a bit crazy.