In this tactical analysis, we’ll dissect a special talent that is Igor Gomes. The 21-year-old attacking midfielder plays for FC Sao Paulo, but he has already attracted a lot of interest from abroad. His name could soon appear in the scout reports of the Real Madrids and the Liverpools of this world. But also, Ajax were linked to the right-footed player who is already showcasing a great understanding of tactics needed to succeed.
Gomes is 182 cm tall and weighs 73 kg. The young Brazilian youth national player is often compared to the legendary Kaká. Not only do they look similar, but they play in the same position and their style is also very similar. Gomes has superb ball control and powerful runs from central midfield. The lanky midfielder can also play astonishing passes. In this analysis, we examined his strengths and weaknesses.
Analysis of transition from defence to attack
Being compared to one of the greatest stars of your country is a heavy burden. On the other hand, it puts your name on the map. Igor Gomes is just 21 years old, but after his breakthrough last season, he is dominating the midfield area.
Since coach Fernando Diniz took oer São Paulo, Gomes became an important piece in his tactics. Last season, he played the fifth-most completed passes in the league among players aged under 22. Here, he demonstrated a solid accuracy of 83.7%. He also played the fourth-most passes with the highest accuracy: 89.12%.
And Gomes did not just shift the ball from the left to the right side. Instead, he plays 5.81 progressive passes per 90 minutes. This is the seventh overall value. In the tactical analysis below, you can see how Gomes is the pivot between the defence and the offence.
So, he fits well into positional tactics. There were only two players under the age of 22 who completed more passes in the last season in the opposing half. Both were also playing for FC São Paulo: Luan Santos and Antony. But they played 257 and 1037 minutes more than Igor Gomes last year.
You can see a typical progressive run of Igor Gomes in the tactical analysis below. He had the ball around the half-line and dribbled around two opponents.
Afterwards, he ran towards the last line with pace. As you can see, São Paulo did not have a numerical advantage and the opposing defensive line stood well, but Igor Gomes provoked a mistake. He held the ball until the centre-back dropped out of his position to attack him. At this moment, Gomes’ winger charged into the open space. After the centre-back dropped out he was not close enough to Gomes to press him so the youngster played the through ball. He played it flat around the centre-back and directly into the run of his teammate.
The next analysis shows a similar situation. Gomes started the ran from deep and with opponents close to him.
As you can see, he had the ball under pressure, but his game is very vertical. Due to his close technique, he could move around the opponent. After that, he made an important move.
The right-footed player crossed the route of his opponent and disarmed him with it because the only options are to just foul him or let him pass. Gomes then proceeds to carve through the centre with the ball.
After the opposing player tried to press him from the side, the Brazilian just sidestepped the tackle, crossing the route again. That situation is similar to the situation above. Igor Gomes moves with pace in front of the last line. He was waiting again until the centre-back moved out of the back four. While the centre-back is in full acceleration, Gomes played the through ball. He has a natural talent for this timing. This makes him comparable to the tactics of the legendary Kaká.
Tactical analysis of one-touch passes
The attacking midfielder does not always need the ball at his feet for being a threat. He can also cut through a whole defence with just one contact if he plays a one-touch pass in the penalty box. Gomes can play these passes due to his outstanding technique and his feeling for the space. He moves intelligently into it and provides his teammates with passes. You can see such a situation in the tactical analysis below.
His teammate played a pass into the centre of the penalty box and Gomes used the defender’s blindside to his advantage. With this move, and the momentum for himself, he was able to act and not react.
The youngster moved but was also aware of his surroundings so he could exploit the channel between the defenders for a through ball. Igor Gomes assisted with a perfectly timed one-touch pass. The pre-assist or the third pass before a goal is one of his strongest abilities. Last year, he played the sixth-most third assists with 0.12 per game. We should not forget at this point, that was his breakthrough in the middle of the season.
A similar situation from the Brazil U23 national team is in the image below. Igor Gomes was in this situation not positioned between the centre-backs.
You can see that he moved to the outside of the back four to gain space. He got the ball from outside of the penalty area this time and his movement was once again crucial. He shook off his opponent and even had to play the ball with his weaker left foot, so his technique was not that good. Instead of playing the ball flat, he lobbed it. But his idea was the right one. Igor Gomes anticipated the route of his teammate and played an incisive through ball into the box.
His classy one-touch play is also in the image below. As you see, the opponent did not clear the ball after a set-piece.
Igor Gomes moved out of the penalty box to reach the ball. Most of the players would try to get the ball under control in this situation, but not Gomes. He realised the run of his teammate behind the last line.
While he was moving backwards, Gomes played a one-touch pass. And he had to lob it perfectly with perfect timing. This acceleration and decision-making in threatening situations is an important ability of the attacking forward.
Analysis of Igor Gomes’ dribbling
After his passing play, Gomes is also comfortable with the ball at his feet. He solves one-on-ones due to his technique and by feinting opponents. After winning a direct duel, Igor Gomes can accelerate while he is running towards the last line. So, his style is dependent on his dribbling skills. After his 51 dribblings last season, he still had a success rate of 70.6%. This number is underlining his ball control.
The tactical analysis above shows a situation where Igor Gomes had the ball in his half. He is not afraid to start a dribble in risky positions on the pitch. The 21-year-old has a big repertoire of useful skills. In the scene above he feinted his opponent with a stepover. The important thing is, that Gomes dribbles with pace towards the opponent. The opponent went to the side-line, while he exploited the space in the centre. Afterwards, he played a forward pass.
The next situation shows a different position on the pitch with a similar outcome. Now, he was getting the ball in the half-space in front of the penalty box. As you can see, he was doubled.
Situations like this are often the deciding situations in a game. Your team has more opportunities if you have a teammate who can solve numerical disadvantage situations by himself. Igor Gomes is one of those players. Even though he was not positioned optimally, and the opponent pressed him, Gomes kept his cool. He tricked both defenders with a feint as he played the ball behind his standing leg. Afterwards, he created and exploited the space in zone 14.
Later, he was attacked then again from a third opponent in zone 14. He solved this situation with a quick one-two between his legs. In just one sequence, he removed three players from the action. And then, instead of finishing, Gomes decided to play the ball to the left wing.
Direct threat from zone 14
The situation above could also be symbolic for Igor Gomes’ weakness. He is not a direct threat from the most dangerous zone: zone 14.
In the tactical analysis above, you can see that his impact from zone 14 into the penalty box is less intense than from the right half-space. The zone 14 is so dangerous because from there you can shift the ball to both sides equally. Also, you have a higher probability to score from there than from the half-spaces.
The next analysis shows from which positions Igor Gomes assisted a shot. The zone 14 is also marked.
You can also see that Gomes just assisted two shots from zone 14. Here he has some room for improvement. Kaká was a real threat from that area and that brought him so much success.
Igor Gomes scored all of his three goals within the penalty box and none from outside of the box. His finishing accuracy is 36.4% from outside of the box, which is definitely one of his worst traits.
In the tactical analysis above, you can see such a typical situation. Igor Gomes had the ball in zone 14 and tried to play a through ball. His teammate is already on his route. But Gomes missed the perfect channel as he played the ball a little bit too late and it got deflected to the outside of the box. Still, the midfielder has all of the abilities to become a threat from zone 14, as he quick in taking decisions and has superb ball control. He should stay concentrated and determined in such situations and things will improve.
All in all, Igor Gomes is a very talented attacking midfielder. He should be a great prospect for the big clubs in Europe. His biggest weapons are his ball control and the outstanding passing game which makes him comparable to the legendary Kaká.
But we also provided you in this scout report with a dimension where Gomes can improve. He has to be more dangerous from zone 14. But the young Brazilian has all of the basics to improve in that area as well. We are confident that by taking a big step this season he will improve himself end up on the scoresheet far more often.