Iñaki Williams: Bilbao’s speed force

Iñaki Williams is a 24-year-old striker who plays for Athletic Bilbao. His parents are Liberian, but he was born in Bilbao. In youth selections, he played for Pamplona and then when he was 18, he joined Athletic Bilbao, making his debut in La Liga in 2014. On February 19th against Serie A side, Torino, he scored his first goal for the team and wrote history as the first black player to score for the Basques. He recorded 189 appearances for Athletic Bilbao and scored 43 goals since that day.

Apart from that, he has 17 appearances for Spain U21 national team. Also, he made a debut for Spain national team on May 29th, 2016. He recorded 30 minutes in Spain’s 3-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly match.

Iñaki’s profile

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsCredit: Wyscout

In the image above, we can see his profile. Iñaki is a right-footed player who possesses great athleticism. With his 1.86 m frame, he is a relatively tall player. When we combine that with his fantastic pace and acceleration we get both an athletic and an extremely powerful player. His long legs allow him a fantastic first step. Without a doubt, that makes him a very important player for his club.

He has appeared in all 23 La Liga matches this season, starting in 21 of them, which amounts to a total of 1920 minutes in all competitions in 2018/19. This season, Athletic Bilbao usually plays in a 4-2-3-1 formation and Inaki plays as a striker. Also, he has played as a right (338 minutes) and left winger (294) respectively. He has scored seven goals and has recorded 3 assists in La Liga this season. As we can see on his heat map, he moves all over the opponent’s half. But we also see that he spends most of his time on the right side of the pitch.

How does he play?

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsCredit: Wyscout

The image above displays his statistics from the current season. He has recorded 2.09 shots per 90 minutes (37.8% on target). His passing accuracy is 72.5% (18.76 passes per 90 minutes). But his biggest strength is his pace and his dribbling ability. He has recorded 4.84 dribbles per 90 minutes this season in all competitions (62.2% successful), and is 18th in La Liga in 1vs1 and dribbling situations. He has 98 of them. He also recorded 43 shots in La Liga this season (20th place).

As we can see, he uses his pace and acceleration to dribble. Iñaki is very useful in counter-attacking situations. Also, he can dribble and make a situation for a cross or a shot. We will take a look at a few examples.

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsA spectacular goal against Sevilla. Iñaki kicked the ball beyond two opposition players and ran past them with sheer pace.

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsA goal against Atletico Madrid. Iñaki used the opponent’s blind side and ran behind him.

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsHe dribbled past two players. His teammates had the 2v2 situation in the penalty area. With his dribble, he created a numerical superiority.

Inaki Williams Athletic Bilbao Tactical Analysis StatisticsSometimes he has no support. He ran with the ball but had only one teammate near him and seven opponent’s players.

Conclusion

Williams is a player with fantastic pace and acceleration. He is a very useful player in counter-attacking situations because he can run with the ball and create a good situation for his club. Also, teammates can pass the ball to him and secure a 1on1 situation. He can play as a striker and also as a winger.

Definitely one to watch out for in every single game.