IK Start are a Norweigan club that plays in Norway’s Elitserien. In 2018 IK Start splashed out €800,000 on a little known Nigerian player by the name of Adeleke Akinola Akinyemi from Latvian club Ventspils. ‘Akinyemi’ had managed an impressive strike rate of 17 goals in 27 appearances (16/17 season) and had some major teams from Germany and France turning their heads.
In this tactical analysis, we will look at Akinyemi’s style of play, tactics, his strengths and weaknesses and with the help of statistics, we will aim to provide a comprehensive analysis and scout report on the player.
Akinyemi has a great understanding of ball mastery. With the ball at his feet, he looks accomplished and confident if not, slightly unorthodox.
What makes his ball control unorthodox is the extensive use of the outside of his boot. Above, the ball has bounced high over the defence and Akinyemi has run around the defender to get to the ball. Most footballers would probably from here, try and trap the ball and either wait for support or to beat the defender vying for a better shot at goal. Akinyemi however, hits it first time on the outside of his boot first time and it flies straight past the keeper.
If thinking the goal was a fluke here is Akinyemi again using the outside of his foot to knock the ball into the gap in defence for a shot at goal. Two things Akinyemi displays brilliantly:
Firstly, his unorthodox use of the outside of his right boot. We can see he has created a rather unnatural body position to get his right foot behind the ball which is across his left side of his body. Naturally, everyone else on the pitch expected him to pass left or dribble left but his agility allows him to bend his body shape and completely fool everybody. Secondly, Akinyemi shows his great ability to read the game and display a ‘hunters initiative’ in regards to being ruthless and opportunistic on the pitch.
Speed and reading the game
When off the ball, Akinyemi shows good ability to read the game. Not just with what is happening in the game but also anticipating a defender’s move and then pouncing on the opportunity.
Above we see Akinyemi receiving the ball just inside the opponents half. With a quick glance, he sees this is the last line of defence and the space to play into. He backs himself in a 1v1 leg race as he instinctively possesses a direct drive for goal. He taps the ball with the outside of his foot and runs around the defender.
With his man beaten, the two defenders either side race back to try and prevent Akinyemi from advancing on goal. The defenders reach him but Akinyemi shows good body strength and keeps the defenders away from the ball as he continues to bear down on goal.
After shrugging off both defenders whilst advancing with the ball Akinyemi manages to get a shot away and beats the keeper.
Above, The team are breaking down the left-wing on a counter-attack. Akinyemi has realised he needs to be in a much better position and bursts up the field with pace in order to continue the team’s momentum of the attack.
As the left-winger attempts to enter the final third of the pitch he is met with the defence. Akinyemi spots that the left centre-back steps out of the defensive line to assist with the right-back. As the defender steps out Akinyemi changes the angle of his bursting run towards the middle of the opposition’s defence.
With the angle of the run changed to stay between the defenders, Akinyemi places himself perfectly to receive the ball the wing and slides it beyond the goalkeepers reach.
Here Akinyemi spots the space behind the centre-back who has left his line to shut down the attacker. The ball gets played into the red zone behind the defence and Akinyemi gets a shot away.
An area that Akinyemi could improve on his game massively is his balance. After watching many highlights of his games he always seems to fall over when getting a shot away. A lot of the time he hits the back of the net so you could argue that despite poor balance the most important thing has been achieved, a goal. However, should a shot be saved he would be unable to recover quickly and help his team press the ball from the front.
Scout rating and Statistics
Unfortunately, Akemyemi fractured his ankle in the Norweigan league opener in March this year. This leaves us to concentrate on the season 2017/18.
What is in this analysis, is the goals per minute, which stands at 161 minutes per goal. A fantastic achievement for a player who is just 20 years of age and played a total of 2583 minutes.
My own personal rating of Akinyemi is above. He scores highly on strength, speed at 17/20. He is decent in passing, spatial awareness, reading play, composure and shooting scoring around 12-15. As mentioned earlier his balance needs work and has scored 7/20.
Adeleke Akinyemi no doubt has massive potential talent. He already possesses a great ability to read the game and has the body strength to overcome opponents in physical battles. His speed is another vital part of his game as he is able to beat most players in 1v1. I believe that if coached at a higher level Akinyemi could improve vastly and see himself playing in any of the European top leagues as well as internationally for Nigeria. ‘Akinyemi’ in Nigerian means “fated to be a warrior”. Could this be a new record goal scorer for Nigeria? We will just have to wait and see.
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