In this tactical analysis, we had an eye on the 22-year-old striker Ermedin Demirović. The right-footed youth national player signed at SC Freiburg for this season. The Champions League semi-finalist RB Leipzig educated him in his youth. Afterwards, Demirović gained some experience at La Liga and in Swiss Super League. Now in Bundesliga, he will replace Luca Waldschmidt at Freiburg, even though he usually plays with different tactics.
We provide you in this analysis, why the classic number nine cost €3.7 million for SC Freiburg. Demirović is 185 cm big and weighs 80 kg. Demirović had his breakthrough last season at FC Sankt Gallen. In 28 top flights, he scored 14 goals and assisted seven compared to 12.34 expected goals and 5.13 assists. In this scout report, we analysed his presence around the penalty box, his run routes and defensive tactics.
Analysis of Demirović entering the penalty box
Demirović is a penalty box player. The penalty box player has a high presence within the threatening area. Due to his physicality, Demirović can screen the ball with his opponent close to him. On the one hand, the right-footer is not involved in the passing game too much. But on the other hand, he is the absolute target man within the penalty box. Demirović had 3.37 shots per game – the highest value in Super League last year. Moreover, he had 6.36 touches per game within the penalty box. This is the second-highest value.
In the tactical analysis above, you can see how Demirović entered the penalty box. Demirović’s presence around the penalty box is superb. So, the Bosnian had the ball close to the penalty box and passed it as a target man. Alternatively, Demirović got the ball before the penalty box and dribbled inside it. Afterwards, he finishes quickly. This determination is a welcomed skill.
The striker scored every 162 minutes a goal. Moreover, Demirović scored every goal within the penalty box. This analysis substantiates Demirović’s profile of tactics. He is a threat in the penalty box. The 31-year-old Nils Petersen embodies this type of striker at best in Freiburg. But Petersen is at best when he is substituted after the opponent is tired. Demirović can fulfil this tactical requirement of the groundwork over the first hour of a game.
In the tactical analysis above is a typical situation, how Ermedin Demirović entered the penalty box. Sankt Gallen had the ball in zone 14. Demirović’s teammate dropped away from the last line. He made this move to get less controlled and covered. Afterwards, he ran parallel to the line to maintain the space between the centre-backs. Due to Demirović’s run in a curve, he can exploit this alley. Demirović got a through ball, which he controlled before the penalty box. Then, he fought his way through due to his physicality, as they attacked him with both centre-backs.
After Demirović entered the penalty box, he finished directly. As you can see, the young striker was calm under pressure. Three opponents were attacking him. But Ermedin Demirović kept calm and finished with his signature move. Demirović is very strong in accurate laces kicks in the bottom corners. Also, he can finish with both feet and also with headers.
In the tactical analysis above shows a similar situation. The ball was again in zone 14. The Bosnian has different tactics for releasing. This time, Demirović eluded out of the centre to gain some space. Now, he was unmarked. After Ermedin Demirović got the pass, he controlled it with one touch. But he did not stop the ball, instead, he assisted himself for a finish.
As you can see in the tactical analysis above, he laid the ball into the penalty box. His opponent closed the alley to the second post and the goalkeeper covered the first post normally. Demirović avoids playing complicated. Instead of unnecessary dribbling, Demirović tries to finish the attack. He waited for a small alley, which opened due to a wrong movement of the opponents. The goalkeeper made one step too much into the centre. Demirović demonstrated his strong laces kick again. He scored unfussy in the right bottom corner, where the alley opened.
All in all, this type of tactics is Demirović’s signature strength. This playing style is only implementable if you have a physical player, who can win one-on-ones. But Demirović brings also another element to Freiburg.
Being the target for through balls
Demirović is a hard-running and quick striker. So, he can also be a threat for counter-attacking teams. The right-footed striker can exploit spaces behind the last line of the opponent. Afterwards, he shoots directly. In the analysis below, you can see his good feeling for through balls.
Demirović’s teammate had the ball on the right-wing. After the teammate made an inserting move, Demirović realised an opportunity. Instead of offering a passing opportunity in the centre, the 22-year-old forward crossed the route of his teammate. By this move, the space in zone 14 is not closed. Instead, it is offered for his teammate.
Also, Demirović set the centre-back a predicament. There were now two options for Demirović for a through ball. He could run straight through the centre or to the first post. The centre-back could just close one gap.
Demirović got the through ball to the first post. He also increased the distance between him and the centre-back. Demirović has a good overview and so he anticipated that he was alone in the penalty box. The forward managed to finish quickly. Again, he finished with an instep kick, but this one was too inaccurate.
The tactical analysis above shows a similar situation. Sankt Gallen had a threw-in at the right-wing. Usually, you would like to have your forward holding his position in the centre, so he could give a passing opportunity later. But this is exactly a situation, where you can catch your opponent’s napping. Demirović left his position after he feinted a straight run into the centre. Again, due to his pace, he had a big opportunity.
Demirović was not in the best position for scoring. But again, due to his accurate finishing, he scored precisely in the left corner. His intelligent run converted the build-up play around the half-line into a goal. Most of the time, these run route came to nothing and will take strength to do.
Tactical analysis of defence work
Freiburg’s coach Christian Streich claims a defensive union of his team. Everyone has to work in Streich’s defensive tactics. The striker is the first defender. Physicality is the basic requirement for counter-pressing. In this point, Demirović is an upgrade compared to the sold Waldschmidt. While Waldschmidt had only 0.87 recoveries in the final third, he revealed 1.25 recoveries in the final third. In the tactical analysis below you can see that he wins most of the balls through counter-pressing.
The tactical analysis below shows such a counter-pressing situation. The opponent built-up between the centre-backs. Demirović covered the pivot in the centre. Sometimes he breaks out of his position as he conjectures a poor pass. A hard-running type of style.
In the picture above happened such a situation. The pass was too slow. This gave Demirović time to reduce the distance to the receiving defender. The youngster ran in a curved shape to cover in his back firstly the pivot. Secondly, he ran curved again to cover the second centre-back. He might not cover the centre-back completely. Demirović set the defender under pressure. As a consequence, the defender controlled the ball poorly. Demirović won the ball. Afterwards, he entered the box and finished directly.
But he does also hard runs in the defence. The tactical analysis above shows such a situation. The opponent already outplayed Demirović. But his teammate was defending well. He did not let the opponent gain space vertically. Demirović anticipated this situation and involved himself back in the pressing. So, he ran back with a sprint. As the opponent set up the ball too far, Demirović hit him. He won the ball fairly and started the counterattack.
Room for improving his passing game
So, Demirović is especially in the last third a real threat. He does not to be involved in the passing game for being there at the right point to finish. But sometimes a first-line striker should involve himself in the passing game. Demirović has here some room for improvement. He has only a pass accuracy of 64.47%. Waldschmidt demonstrated instead a pass accuracy of 79.56%. Also, Demirović plays only 14.38 passes per game, while his predecessor at Freiburg played 24.13 passes per game.
Also, Demirović lacks a feeling for spaces in close-packed areas. If Demirović would drop deeper to his half, he could be more integrated into the passing and build-up. In a potential forward duo with Lucas Höler, this scenario seems to be possible.
In the tactical analysis above he ran the wrong route. Sankt Gallen had the ball on the left-wing. Demirović moved well behind the defender. But to gain more space the Bosnian should drop into the penalty box. With this move, he could reduce the pressure for the player with the ball. Now, he was reducing the space and hence it was easier to defend this attack. Sankt Gallen had to rebuild their attack.
A similar situation happened in a U21 national game. You can see this situation in the tactical analysis above. Bosnia led 2:1. They tried to hold the ball at the edge, but then the ball carrying Bosnian player brought through three defenders. They had now the chance to seal the deal.
As you can see, Demirović’s teammate played the ball well in the back. But Demirović was not there to finish it. Another player out of the midfield finished it. This was a high risk to the team. If he had not scored, the player would lack in the defensive block to kill the clock. This risk could be reduced if Demirović had expected the space earlier and would have entered it. Also, Demirović should have finished better. Here, Demirović can improve his passing game.
Demirović is a physical penalty box player. He is in the top ten of Freiburg’s transfers. The Bosnian youth national player had his breakthrough last season in Switzerland. Demirović demonstrates insensitivity in front of the goal. So, his signature move is an unfussy instep kick in the bottom corners. Moreover, the right-footed is a workhorse for his team. In this scout report, we also showed you, that Demirović can improve himself in his passing game.
Demirović is all in all a highly promised talent. Freiburg wrapped a sensible transfer. The Bosnian fits perfectly coach Streich’s requirements concerning his strikers. If Demirović is gaining a foothold in Bundesliga, he has everything to develop greatly. We can look forward to the season starting with Demirović at Freiburg in September.