Nemanja Maksimović: Getafe’s modern box-to-box midfielder

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
artwork by @chapluana

This season’s La Liga has brought us some major surprises when it comes to the standings and the spots that guarantee football outside of Spain next season. One of the biggest sensations are Getafe, the squad from the Madrid suburbs that was not considered as a possible competitor for a Champions League spot.

With just 10 matches remaining, Jose Bordalas’ team are in fourth position, hoping that they will play in Europe’s strongest club competition next year. Their outstanding season brought to light some players that weren’t that noticeable in some of the seasons before this one and gave them the respect which they truly deserve.

Nemanja Maksimović is the player that controls Getafe’s game. After years of searching for the right club for his progress, the Serbian came to the club from Madrid and became one of the most important players in Bordalas’ squad.

This player analysis will show you how Maksimović managed to adapt to Getafe’s style of play and how he spread his influence through the whole team.


Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Credit: Sofascore

After he didn’t find much luck in Valencia and didn’t manage to secure his spot in their starting lineup in previous seasons, Maksimović came to Getafe who guaranteed him a place in their first eleven. Good play for his club side made him a regular national team call-up, where he also plays a significant role.

The 24-year-old adapted himself to Bordalas’ idea, becoming one of the most influential players in the team. Since the Serbian is a central midfielder, his tasks on the pitch vary due to the situations they are in. Maksimović is most comfortable in the role of the box-to-box midfielder, from which he can contribute either in defence or attack.

Depending on the situation on the field, he plays also as a deep-lying playmaker or as a tempo-dictating midfielder, which is his role, more often than not, in the Serbian national team.

He likes to cover a lot of space on the pitch and isn’t strict with his positioning. His speed and quantity of running make that possible for him. Away from that, he brings another quality to his teams, being able to support his team-mates wherever they are on the pitch.

Maksimović’s positioning

The most important part of the Getafe’s midfielder game is his positioning. He senses the play pretty well and is always near the ball providing attacking and defensive support for his team-mates.

When it comes to defending, Maksimović is usually behind the first pressing line of his team. His position on the pitch makes it complicated for his opponents to progress through the lines with ease and contributes to the density of Getafe’s and Serbia’s block.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Maksimović positions himself good in Serbia’s block, providing protection for his team-mates

The Serbian’s anticipation is one of his biggest strengths. He knows the right momentum to make a tackle and also tends to push the opposing players to the zones in which they are uncomfortable. He also pushes the opponent into the spaces on the pitch in which he and his team-mates could easily double-team them and get in possession of the ball.

Maksimović often uses his body position to make his opponent fall into the pressing trap, forcing him on one side where he will soon be without options to pass to his team-mates. In harmony with his positioning and making the opposing side to make a mistake, the whole Getafe team often uses those situations to regain possession and to get into the transitional attack.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Maksimović forces the opponent into the pressing trap on the flank with his angle of tackling and body positioning

Getafe’s midfielder runs a lot, often providing defensive protection to his team-mates when they lose their positions. His motion on the pitch makes it possible for him to play an important part in both ways of the play which is especially used by Bordalas’ who assigns him for attacking tasks as much as defending ones.

The important part of play progress

As a central midfielder Maksimović has obligations in building the play and ensuring the fast progress of the ball. Since Getafe play in the transitional style with not much possessional football in their game, the role of the midfielders is key to attacking fast and countering their opponent.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Maksimović making himself an option for the attack to progress

Maksimović doesn’t have as many responsibilities in the build-up as he has supportive ones. His role on the pitch for Getafe is based on the attacking and defensive support to his team-mates which binds him to always be near the action. In those situations, he positions himself in the half-spaces making himself an option for Getafe’s play.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Serbian finds the gap between the lines and positions himself in the right half-space

In the Serbian national team, his role is quite different, Krstajić tends to have Maksimović in the deeper position, asking him to play as a conductor of the team. Getafe’s player plays equally good in that position from which he dictates the tempo of the game.

When his role is the one Serbia’s head coach wants him to play, the 24-year-old contributes to his team with sharp passes through the opponent’s lines. He is quite sure on the ball and keeps his nerves under the pressure which makes possible for Serbia to play their way, especially when they have Tadić, Ljajić and Mitrović up front.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Serbian midfielder breaks through Portugal’s midfield under the pressure with ease

Maksimović also has great awareness for the game and is always aware of his team-mates surrounding him. His motion often confuses the opposition and empties the room for his team to progress. He tends to lock players to himself with his positioning which enables Getafe’s players to go forward into the gaps that are left.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Maksimović drags the opponent with him and empties the space for his team-mate which makes their attack progress faster

In Getafe’s system, his job is to also to get in behind from the midfield when his attackers pull the opponent’s centre-backs. His pace and agility enable him to overlap and to come back to his position in the block which is his huge advantage. The Serbian has great momentum for those kinds of run-ins and is often a threat for the opposition out of those situations.

Nemanja Maksimović Getafe Tactical Analysis Statistics
Serbian midfielder runs in behind the centre-backs’ back after Getafe’s strikers pull them out of their position


Nemanja Maksimović is a modern box-to-box midfielder who can play well in all midfield line positions. His abilities such as pace, agility, anticipation, good ball protection and good positioning are of huge importance for his teams. At the age of 24, he has great potential and a lot of time ahead of himself to develop and to become one of the most exciting players on the big teams’ shortlists.

The Serbian’s role in the Getafe side brought him to light and even though he does a lot of “dirty work” he also manages to express himself in the attacking part of the play. If Maksimović keeps developing in the way he does this season, he may be considered as a future key player for both Serbia and a bigger European club.

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