In this tactical analysis scout report, we will take a look at Siebe Schrijvers. He is a 23-year-old Belgian versatile attacker, currently plying his trade for Club Brugge; who were recently confirmed winners of the Belgian Pro League.

Schrijvers has had a reasonably successful career so far; having won the Belgian Cup, Belgian Super Cup and the Belgian league.

He is yet to make his national team debut, but he does have a decent scoring record for the Belgian youth teams. If he continues performing at club level, a call up could be just around the corner.

Schrijvers hasn’t seen as much playing time as he would potentially like at Club Brugge so far this season. However, do his stats suggest he should be playing more? In this analysis, we will delve into his statistics and see how he fits into Club Brugge’s tactics.

There don’t appear to be any transfer rumours circulating about Schrijvers. However, valued at around £3.6m in the transfer market, he could be a shrewd and effective signing for a number of clubs in bigger leagues such as the EPL or Bundesliga.

Versatility in Attack

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Siebe Schrijvers’ 2019/20 season heat map.

 

Schrijvers is incredibly versatile in the attacking portion of the pitch. As seen in his heat map above, he has operated in just about every position in the final third of the pitch. This season he has operated on both the right and left flanks and has appeared as a centre attacking midfielder. However, he has played the majority of his games as a centre forward; operating as the second striker, in a more supportive role.

He has found a decent amount of success in all of his roles; but his goals this season have come from when he appeared at centre forward and on the left-wing. However, all of his assists were from operating out of centre forward, so this is clearly his best position; or at least the position where he is the most influential on the pitch.

Schrijvers has only found himself playing 46% of the available minutes this season; only starting 13 of his 22 appearances this season. He hasn’t missed any games through suspension or injury this season. This does pose the question as to why he only plays half of the minutes, especially as his attacking statistics are very positive.

His versatility across the attacking line would certainly make him an asset to any team looking to bring him in. Now we will see if he is actually effective in attack, or whether his versatility is overshadowed by poor performances.

Goal Threat

Schrijvers is certainly a goal threat either by himself or by setting up his teammates. He has recorded 4 league goals this season. This doesn’t seem like a lot; but, considering he has played less than half of the minutes available, it is reasonably impressive.

His xG for the season is 6.29, which means he has been performing slightly below his expected level so far; getting in good goalscoring positions, but perhaps not finishing at the expected rate. His goalscoring record gives him an average of 0.28 goals per 90 minutes this season; translating to around a goal every 3 games, which is not bad at all. If he played every minute of every game we’d expect around 12 or 13 goals in a season, or maybe even more, which is a solid return. It again reinforces the question that he should be playing more minutes as he would definitely be a consistent goalscorer for Club Brugge.

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
The position on the pitch where Siebe Schrijvers attempted a shot, from the 19/20 season.

His xG figure suggests that Schrijvers has been getting in positions where he should’ve scored more often than he actually did score. In the graphic above we can see that the majority of his shots were from within the area. He clearly has the most success with shots from the right side of the area into the bottom left corner, as shown in the graphic below. This implies that some of his shots from other positions had a decent percentage chance of being a goal; thus Schrijvers should have, potentially, done better with the finish. This implies that his actual finishing may need improving; he’s getting in good goalscoring positions but isn’t finding the back of the net as much as he should.

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Siebe Schrijvers’ shot placement from the 19/20 season.

Not only is he a goal threat in terms of goalscoring, but he also is very productive in setting his teammates up too. In his role as a centre forward, he is often looked towards for creativity as much as he is for goals. Schrijvers has registered 5 assists this season, the joint-3rd highest in the league. Compare this to his xA figure of 2.82, and we can see that he is far and away exceeding the expectation of him.

If we combine Scrhijvers’ goals and assists we can see that he has 9 goal contributions in his 22 appearances this season. This means he is directly involved in a goal almost every other game, which is impressive in itself. However, when we consider that he hasn’t even been playing a full 90 minutes in a lot of these games, it’s even more impressive.

Deep-Lying Forward

Next, we will analyse Schrijvers’ playstyle as a forward. He is not your typical out-and-out goalscorer. This doesn’t mean he is not a goal threat, not at all; he scores a decent amount of goals as we previously touched on.

Schrijvers operates quite deep for a striker, which is pertinent to the way that Club Brugge has played this season. They have quite often operated using a formation that does not include an attacking midfielder. As a result of this, there are no direct links between the midfield and the strikers. This is where Scrhijvers’ strengths lie; with his ability to link-up play between the midfield and his fellow striker.

As could be seen in his heat map earlier, Schrijvers spends the majority of his time floating just outside the penalty box. This also means that the majority of his play takes place in this area. In the graphic below, we can see the beginning location (and result) of his dribbles. A ridiculously high number of these happen just outside the penalty area.

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
The starting point of all Siebe Schrijvers’ dribbles from the 19/20 season.

Schrijvers averages 4.71 dribbles per 90 minutes, which is relatively high compared to other players in the Belgian First Division. Not only does he perform a lot of dribbles, but he has also decent success with them too; keeping hold of the ball 76.3% of the time.

His link-up play doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t solely pick the ball up deep and dribble it up the pitch. Schrijvers often acts as an outlet for the midfield to pass into, coming short and offering an easy pass. Combine this with his vision and ability to pass and you have a dangerous forward.

Oftentimes Schrijvers will pick up a pass in his favoured deep role just outside the penalty area, use his vision to locate his strike partner breaking through the defensive line, and offload the ball to him.

This is detailed in the fact he attempts, on average, 6 progressive passes per 90 minutes, accurate 76.4% of the time. His most common progressive pass is between 0-20m, however, he has the most success with passes that travel 20-30m, where he finds the target 94.4% of the time!

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Siebe Schrijvers plays a lobbed pass to a forward in space.

An example of this is displayed above. Schrijvers has picked up the ball just outside the opponent’s 18-yard box. He has turned and seen his teammate making a forward run into the box, and sends a chipped pass towards him.

Clever Runs

Schrijvers has also demonstrated his ability to provide support and options to his teammates when he doesn’t have the ball.

He is very adept at making late runs into the box from deep. This is certainly complemented by his style of play, that we previously mentioned. Schrijvers averages 1.74 progressive runs per 90 minutes, putting him firmly in the top half of players in the Belgium First Division.

This has allowed him to provide options and a further outlet for his teammates. In fact, it has allowed Schrijvers to get into goalscoring positions a number of times. Below is an example of just one of these occasions.

Siebe Schrijvers 2019/20 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Siebe Schrijvers runs through on goal and scores.

Schrijvers has made a late, penetrating, run from outside the penalty area (just how he likes it!), beating the defensive line; getting himself open for his teammate to pass to him. This results in Schrijvers finding himself in a 1 on 1 situation with the goalkeeper, where he beats him with a sweet finish.

Conclusion

We have seen that Schrijvers operates best as a supportive striker in a 2 up top formation. He can effectively, and creatively, link-up play between the midfield and the forward line; being a goalscoring threat by himself, but also his creative support play allows his teammates to be goal threats too.

He has proven himself to be an effective goalscorer, whilst also being a creative outlet with the number of assists and chances he fashions for his team.

He has impressive goal and assist figures, considering he only started half the games he played, and only played 46% of the minutes available to him; suggesting that he would be an even more prolific striker if given more game time. Arguably, given more minutes, he could be a 15/20 goal a season striker, if played in the correct system; especially if he improved his finishing when in good goalscoring positions.

This suggests that he probably deserves more game time, and he could certainly prove even more productive for Club Brugge if he was afforded it. That being said, Club Brugge have been incredibly dominant in the Belgian First Division, and have a talented squad, so opportunities are likely to be hard to come by.

Schrijvers could very well be a good signing for some teams in the top division, provided he could make the step up. He has a good, winning, track record with a number of trophies to his name already. At 23 years old, and already with Champions League experience; he definitely has the potential to improve, and would likely prove value for money for a side looking to sign a striker.