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football

Argentine Reserve League Best 11

Pretty self evident what this one is about.

Over the last few years, as my Football Manager playing time significantly decreased, I released that the part of the game that I miss the most is scouting. I’m also an NBA fan, and big draft head. Over the last two years I have been scouting and blogging about the NBA draft. You can find that work below:

https://whattoconsume.wordpress.com/category/nba/

Now I decided to switch back to my first and biggest sports love, football. Will try to approach scouting young football players the same way I do with the draft. Watching games, figuring out tendencies and combine them with stats to project what that could mean in the future. Still haven’t figured out which stats service to choose, between INStat and WyScout etc. So far now these reports will only feature written reports based on analyzed match footage. Hoping to write one report per week from now on, until its time again to rush out as many NBA Draft Profiles as possible from the beginning of March to the end of June. So far, my plan is to cover Argentina and Brazil’s youth tournaments, and maybe Chile if I find enough games on YouTube. After that I might post reports on players who play for actual senior sides as well.

 Over the last few months, I have watched every Argentine Reserve team multiple time and compiled a shortlist which is around 62 players now. From that number of players, I have distilled my starting eleven. It’s a combination of players who I really like and players who I think have potential to become at least very good players in the Argentine first league. In the coming weeks I will write more detailed reports on each one of these guys, (Yes, even the GK). This week its my Best Eleven from the Argentine Reserve League in a 4 2 3 1 formation.

GK

Name: Federico Gomes Gerth

DOB: 5.3.2004

Club: Tigre

Height: 193 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

While there are players who are better pure shot stoppers, Gomes Gerth is just very intriguing with his on-ball abilities, size, youth and overall goalkicking ability. The team uses him in a pseudo third central defender during build up. They will keep possession and try to use his long, powerful and precise kicks to find teammates making runs deep into the opposition half. And when I say deep I mean it, he can kick the ball 60 or 70 meters consistently. If football fails, he could be an awesome kicker in the NFL. Like him more on the line, where his positioning and reflexes shine. Can be taken a back a bit when he is attacking space or crosses. At times, during build up, aggressive and good pressers give him trouble and he has to concede a throw in. Overall, a supremely talented ball playing sweeper keeper.

DR

Name: Agustin Lagos

DOB: 9.10.2001

Club: Atletico Tucuman

Height: 182 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

While Barco, the left back is more an all-out offensive option, Lagos is a more complete wide defender. He is bigger and stronger than most players in the league and knows how to use that to his advantage. But is also smart and positions himself well. All that makes him very hard to beat 1v1, even in transition when the opponent has a lot of space. Likes to counter press. Very impressed with his ability to carry the ball down the flank. He is so good with the ball in his feet that his team often relies upon him to break the opponents press with the ball in his feet. But they also like using him as an overlapping player, right from the buildup. His combination of anticipation, stamina and pace helps him get at the end of those long balls. First touch is good, but not always consistent. Crossing ability is also a bit inconsistent.

DC

Name: Imanol Segovia

DOB: 6.2.2001

Club: Racing Club

Height: 191 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

Sometimes you just look at a player and think “Oh he has to be good at x”. Segovia is one such player. When you look at his size and the way he moves you think he’s an archetypal modern complete central defender. Then you watch him play and you see that your shallow conclusion was actually the right one. Good marking and wining defensive duels. In my humble opinion he is a bit better in the air than in the ground, but did flash some impressive stuff defending in space when he isn’t playing with Nunez, Racing’s other very talented central defender. Nunez usually takes care of defending in space and Segovia takes care of the inside. Carries the ball often and well. The passing comes and goes in terms of precision, but the vision and decision making assure me that he will one day be an above average progressive passer for his position.

DC

Name: Alejo Cordoba

DOB: 17.5.2004

Club: San Lorenzo

Height: 182 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

A more modern, progressive player for our other central defender role. I think in years past he would have been a holding mid, but as the sport progresses, he is well formed to be a central defender, maybe even an overlapping central defender in a 3 at the back system. He really impresses with the ability to pass the ball consistently all over the field. His team uses him as the main outlet during their build up play. He will try and usually succeed in finding players in advanced positions with his passing. Overlapping wing backs or strikers roaming to the flanks really benefit from his passing and vision. Had one incredible long pass that directly led to a shot from around the penalty spot by one of his strikers. Good defending in space, can keep up with pacey players. Like his positioning and ability to collect loose balls and recycle possession that way. Wins headers. His anticipation helps him make unexpected runs forward and shoot from good positions.

DL

Name: Valentin Barco

DOB: 23.7.2004

Club: Boca Juniors

Height: 172 cm

Dominant Foot: Left

True definition of a wonderkid. Valentin Barco is a special talent. He is the best young crosser that I have seen since the days I saw Trent Alexander Arnold play for a u17 England squad. The speed dip and curve of the ball are unreal. And he replicates it constantly, from all kinds of scenarios. He can take indirect free kicks and corners. Can take them from the byline, from just inside the box, or from a deep position. But they always look good and find their target as often as possible. There is zero chance 99% of the goalkeepers in the top five league would even attempt to collect such a cross. Overall, a very technically capable and talented player and he really fing knows it. Very aggressive with the ball, running at and getting by opponents. Loves to draw fouls, sometimes a bit too much. Can use weaker foot to shot or pass when he cuts inside from the left side. Aggressive and willing tackler, still not the smartest tho and gets a lot of cards that way. He’s to wired when he plays. Every single game he will get into these small, childish pull and tug duels with other players or talk back to them after the whistle. Seems like a Volatile person who likes conflict. Really hoping he doesn’t encounter the worst possible person and ends up with a broken leg. But the potential is there to be an incredible attacking full back, world class even.

MC

Name: Patricio Tanda

DOB:  5.4.2002

Club: Racing Club

Height: 175 cm

Dominant Foot: Left

Everything you would want out of a holding midfield playmaker. Can operate as a single pivot or in a pair with another player. Probably the most impressive long-range passer that I have seen in Argentina. His ability to receive the ball out of the defense, turn and hit a 50+ m pass to a winger in space is truly jaw-dropping. Like that he is captain at times as well. Very aggressive in position, constantly attempting and completing progressive passes or switches. When he plays in a double pivot he has shown some ability to arrive in the box late and get at the end of crosses. For a player who is under 175 cm, he gets attempts out of corners often, even scored a few goals.

MC

Name: Franco Diaz

DOB: 28.8.2000

Club: Velez

Height: 181 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

One of the older players in this group but just a supremely complete and impressive box to box midfielder. Has one of the more impressive passing arsenal that I have seen watching the reserve league. Can find teammates with switches or by playing long balls over the defense on the counter. His right foot is his dominant one, but has shown flashes of being able to complete some long or progressive passes with his weaker left as well. Velez likes to use him as a transition playmaker who can both pass and carry the ball successfully. Has a high motor and moves constantly. In buildup he will try to receive the ball between the lines. When the team progresses further up the pitch, he can get both touches and shots around or inside the box. Tall enough to pose a threat from set pieces heading the ball, and has done so in the games that I watched on multiple occasions. My only question is his strength and balance. He is older than most of the players he plays with, but looks overwhelmed in duels at times.

AMR

Name: Jonathan Beron

DOB: 9.6.2002

Club: Velez

Height: 174 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

At times he seems like an Argentine version of Adama Traore. Wide shoulders, broad chest and elite explosiveness. Hard to guard and hard to beat in duels on both sides of the ball. Impressed by his willingness to track back full backs and engage them 1v1. Also gives the impression of a good presser. Had a few really good interceptions in counter press situations which lead to shots from the box in the few games that I watched him. Deadly on the counter running with or without the ball. Gets inside the box regularly both with the ball in his feet or by making timely runs. Much more agile than what you would think, can pass multiple defenders in tight spaces, but a monster in broad space. Decent cross and he takes corners, wish it had a bit more bend and speed, but that can be worked on. His left foot is more than just functional, can both cross and shoot with it very effectively.

AMC

Name: Lucio Falasco

DOB: 13.2.2004

Club: Aldosivi

Height: 175 cm

Dominant Foot: Right

I love an athletic enganche and Falasco is just that. While an Enganche used to just drift outside the box, Falasco is like a modern version, which presses well and never stops moving when his team is in possession. Not only is he well equipped to find spaces between the lines and get touches in the final third, he also knows how to time runs behind the defense. He does so in a variety of ways. His favorite run behind the defense is as a third man, when a striker and winger stretch the defense. But he can also time his run for a deep pass behind the defense when his team wins possession. Another supremely talented technical player. The first touch feels effortless, no matter what sort of state the pitch is in or the amount of opposition pressure you put on him. Can dribble and beat his man with ease. In one of the games I saw, he picked up the ball around the halfway line, turn past his man and dribbled past three more. Had good vision, but the amount of flair sticks out. Sometimes he will do the Modric thing, and let the pass to him go through his legs to a more advanced teammate. Also likes to tunnel opponents when taking them on.

AML

Name: Leandro Mamut

DOB: 31.12.2003

Club: Gimnasia La Plata

Height: 175 cm

Dominant Foot: Left

More of a left sided playmaker or attacking midfielder than a winger or inside forward. But, oh my God, this kid is one of the most technically talented players I have seen in a long, long time. The ball simply sticks to his feet. Teams will try to double or even triple him when he has the ball but he will find these elegant solutions with the ball in his feet, using his outlier combination of technique, first touch and agility to get by guys with effortless ease. It’s like watching a pro player playing futsal against high school kids, hilarious at times what he does to guys. But he isn’t ball stopper who dwells on the ball. The speed of his decision making as well as the quality of the decisions made at his age projects him as a top tier advance creation option. Does a great job moving between the lines and between the central and left half space where he usually receives the ball and gets a lot of final third touches. Creates a lot for others with his one touch passing and through balls. Also, a very accomplished set piece taker, both directly and indirectly. Definitely one to watch.

ST

Name: Agustin Hausch

DOB: 21.5.2003

Club: San Lorenzo

Height: 178 cm

Dominant Foot: Left

This was by far the hardest position to figure out. I really like how Franco Deboli plays for Newell’s. Nicolas Meurio is having a fantastic season for Racing Club, scoring and creating at will. But I think Hausch has more upside.

Has good size and a body that looks like a grown man, athletic footballer. You can really see the combination of balance and strength in the way he wins duels, both on defense and on offense. While he isn’t strictly a traditional number 9, and more of a second striker he does a good job getting touches and shots from the box. Good acceleration, but very impressive top speed, hard to find players who can keep up with him running in space on the break. Has good enough agility and technique to create separation between himself and his marker, which leads to shot attempts, crosses and through ball attempts. If he gets by his defender, which is often the case, he can easily go on a run and get by a few more. Has exceptional vision and anticipation. Both his passes and crosses target players in high xG value areas. Good work rate off ball, constantly moving trying to find space, both on the left flank and inside the box.

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