In our consultancy activity, when our clients request some kind of specific search for a certain profile, it is common for them to ask for a position specifying the profile. For example, “we need a winger with good one-on-one, defensive work, who can finish a lot of plays”. A player is never or almost never needed only for one position, a nomenclature that serves as a guide and support, but is always accompanied by specific characteristics.
The positions serve in Driblab, as in football, as drawers on a bookcase where the players are arranged and positioned, but more important are the functions of the player that each club needs within each position. In the case of the playmaker or ‘number 10’, finding these players from the position, knowing that many systems dispense with this position, is not an easy or immediate task. As in the case of the box-to-box, the number ’10’ is easier to find when you put together a series of events and metrics that detect this type of player, halfway between a midfielder and a striker. What in South America is known as enganche.
For that, we have the Parametric Search tool, with which we can filter by characteristics both those positions where there is no room for error -centres, fullbacks, goalkeepers or forwards- with those types of player that can be placed in specific places on the field but that perform specific functions more typical of less obvious positions, Such is the case of number ’10’, box-to-box midfielders or wingers with dribble and cross into the area, a profile that has fallen into disuse and which has fallen into the hands of full-backs or wing-backs.
For this text we have set out to find midfielders with last pass, great ball control and ability to create chances, filtering the largest number of metrics and events that we have in our database and in all our functionalities. To find and detect such a player who may play as a wide midfielder in a 4-4-2 or as a winger in a 4-3-3, it is best to look at those traits of a playmaker: ball retention in the opposition half, key passes, completed dribbles, passes into the opposition box, passes received in the final third, expected assists in play, xG Chain or turnovers.
Among the U21 players we have found in European leagues, the Lens player David Costa stands out, who statistically and stylistically fulfils the parameters and traits of a playmaker. Although the Lens youth player plays closer to the wing, he meets the requirements of a player who is skilful in short spaces, with the ability to control, hold and put in key passes or generate threat near the front.
We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 180,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.