Since Kaio Jorge won the U17 World Cup 2019 in his home country Brazil, several top teams from Europe like Chelsea and Juventus are interested in him. The 18-year-old centre forward was compared already to the great forward Robert Lewandowski. In this tactical analysis, we analyse how Jorge manages to get himself in promising situations and how complete he is already.
Jorge scored five goals and assisted two at the U17 World Cup. He won the Bronze Boot, which put him on the map as a top prospect for Juventus’ scouting department. The contract with Juventus was almost completed last winter, but due to the Corona-Crisis, it might be cancelled. Nowadays Jorge is linked to Chelsea. The Brazilian talent currently plays for Santos. Rumours came up that the sixth youngest overall debutant for Santos could leave the club for €35 Million.
Giving his debut at the age of 16, two years ago, Jorge just started his breakthrough this season. Until now, the highlight was his last-minute winner against Defensa y Justicia in the Copa Libertadores, the South American counterpart to the Champions League. In this scout report, we analyse Kaio Jorge’s tactic as well.
Opportunities through deep routes
In this tactical analysis, we have our main focus on how Jorge gets in dangerous zones in and around the box. Then he becomes a real threat since his shooting technique is similar to Lionel Messi’s technique.
Both are hitting the ball in the middle between the laces and the inner feet. The right-footed Jorge carries it off to shoot accurately with a lot of speed and a bit of swerving. As you can see on the analysis below, Jorge gets 50% of his shots within the penalty area on the goal. Half of them eventually ended in the net. This fact draws a parallel to Lewandowski. You can also see in the analysis that Jorge had almost as many long shots as finishes within the box.
Only five shots were blocked. The Brazilian creates space for finishing without pressure through his first touch and especially his tactical runs. The image below shows how U17 Brazil had possession against U17 Chile. They attack with a counter on the right side.
Jorge started a sprint out of the centre. He is marked by the centre-back. Jorge feinted to get into space off the right-wing. Just as Jorge got in the back of the defender, he turned his direction towards the opponent’s goal. After the long ball was played, he prepared his shot with one touch. With his second touch, Jorge netted it in and scored.
In the next tactical analysis, you can see how Jorge came from an offside position against U17 Canada. Brazil had a controlled build-up.
As Jorge was behind the centre-back, the centre-back lost side of the forward. Jorge realised that his teammate was not under pressure and therefore would be able to play an interface ball. Jorge orbited the central defender and went deep due to his tremendous speed. Also, in this situation, he touched the ball superbly. Jorge hit a cross accurately as he did not feel any pressure due to his route. However, Jorge is not only capable of converting long passes. In the next part of this scout report, we take a closer look at him introducing scoring opportunities.
Carrying the ball followed by occupying the box
We now analyse why Jorge is said to be a modern striker. Compared to a real number nine, he can take participation in the midfield like a playmaker. The 18-year-old fits himself in the transition game between defensive and offensive. He introduces chances by this type, often in deciding moments in special games, like in the extra-time in the U17 World Cup final against Mexico. These are moments in which Champions League teams take notice of young talents. You can see the scene below.
Jorge got possession on the left wing at the centreline. He turned himself and dribbled into zone 14. Afterwards, he shifted the game to the right-wing. Now U17 Mexico forgot about him. As you can see above, he was realising this advantage. Jorge demanded the cross. He ran into the box in the direction of the penalty spot. Mexico could react just unorganized as they seized him too late. Their left full-back moved into the centre to mark Jorge. Jorge missed the cross, but his teammate could score the winning goal as he was not marked because of Jorge’s run.
A similar scene happened against U17 Canada. This time Kaio Jorge drew aside the right-wing to offer a passing opportunity. He received the ball, shielded it and won a one-on-one afterwards. The image is depictured below.
Jorge raised his head and saw that Brazil were outnumbered in the penalty area because he was missing. He decided not to play a cross, but instead waited a bit and built-up over the central midfielder. This pass gave him the time to join the box to tie up the manpower inside. Jorge also exploited the fact that he was under the radar of the defenders again, as he came in with a lot of speed from the wing. The pace-acceleration supports his impact within the danger zone.
Nowadays it is common for strikers to move to the wings as their team build-up. They have to control the ball, have a magnificent technique and also have a good overview for teammates. After they played a pass, players like Jorge use their speed to occupy in the box. Entering the box with tempo gives him a big opportunity for enough space to shoot as his opponents are unsorted. Crucial for that type of playing style is the passing game of the striker.
How Kaio Jorge is involved in the passing game
Teams like Juventus or Chelsea live on a precise passing game as they play most likely the tactic of a counterattacking team. Due to his technique, Jorge can serve an accurate passing game. He has a passing accuracy of 84% so far.
In the tactical analysis above, Jorge got a wide pass on the wing again. He held the ball for a few seconds, so his team could move up. The situation seems hopeless to shift the game into the last third because Kaio Jorge dribbled towards the sideline with his back to the opponent goal. But with only one touch he turned himself, pulled the ball back with the insole and played an interface ball into the last third. He stayed focused and went straight into the penalty zone. You cannot see that two teammates were entering the box in the second post as well. This is why he went onto the first post to gain space for them.
The next image shows how he is involved in the passing game. Jorge can spread the ball like a playmaker. U17 Brazil had the ball in their pivot at the U17 World Cup Final. Gabriel Veron, the partner of Jorge in the forward positions, came towards their central midfielder. Due to this run, Veron provided space on the right-wing, which can be exploited by the right-fullback. The bottleneck of this passing combination was Veron who could not hand off the ball to the right-wing. Jorge feinted to run deep but instead, he cut off and offered an accessible passing option to Veron. Now Jorge played the interface ball to the full-back.
Veron and Jorge are well-established. After the pass was played, Jorge drew the attention of both centre-backs to himself as he went to the first post. Thereby he created some space for Veron. You can see this action in the tactical analysis below.
Jorge can also be a part of a good passing game. Creating the offensive tactic and then occurring in the box for finishing is one of his strongest attributes. Scouts increasingly seek this attribute nowadays. Besides his technique in passing, shooting and his first touch, he can provide for defensive discharge as he uses his body to control the ball.
Keeping possession to discharge the defensive
Many tactical defensive alignments are dependent on the ability of their strikers. Strikers can provide a discharge of the defensive team as they control wide passes and hence buy time. The rest of the team can fan out for generating the possession.
Jorge can undertake this task. He has a strong body and a sophisticated technique to shield the ball. In the image below you can see how Jorge controlled a clearance.
As you can see, he put his body between the ball and the opponent. He increased his body surface due to spreading his arms wide. Jorge supported his body’s centre of gravity by his angled knees. This results in a robust foothold. Now it was difficult to steal the ball from him. Afterwards, he played a pass into the centre.
In the next analysis, there is a very similar situation. As you can see, Jorge got another wide ball on the right-wing.
But in this situation, Kaio Jorge was able to turn towards the open field. Instead of maintaining possession, he set up the counter. With his abilities like a playmaker, he sidestepped two opponents in a small space, as you can see in the next image. After he kept possession, he relocated the ball to the left-wing. He already has the tactical understanding of when it is smart to stay in place and when to introduce a counter-attack. Controlling a ball in a duel can also lead to a benefit in the penalty area.
What Jorge can improve
Surely, as we analyse in this scout report, Jorge is an absolute top-talent, but he has also some room for improvement. He must improve his killer instinct in clear-cut chances if he wants to get on the same level as Lewandowski. Especially his left foot gives room for enhancement. Jorge only made 5% of his finishing this season with his left foot. And also in dribbling, he avoids using both feet equally.
As well as his left foot, he can also work on his headers. In the picture below Jorge broke free to score. But he could not manage to score as he jumped up a few milliseconds too early. If Jorge wants to measure himself with the best, he has to finish those balls successfully.
But all in all, he is more than talented. It has been remarkable that teams are willing to pay several million for an 18-year-old youngster, who just had seven top-flight starts for Santos this season.
Jorge is at an advanced stage in his development. He embodies a modern type of a striker. His biggest advantages are his technique and how he can create space for himself and his teammates with his deep runs – with and without the ball. Besides, his physique is impressive. Jorge also has some playmaker qualities. He can improve his left foot and his scoring rate in big chances. After this tactical analysis, we are certainly looking forward to what kind of way Jorge will go, but probably we will see him in a top European team.