tall strikers. There is something fascinating about them. Watching them tear up the field with their runs, leap over the defense to unleash a powerful header, and duel with equally tall defenders is a sight to behold. Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba and Cristiano Ronaldo are some of the famous names. And then there is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede has been one of the best players of this century and is still going strong at 40 years old. So when the Swede lavished praise on a certain 17-year-old, the world took notice.
“I’ve seen him in action and he’s fantastic,” Ibrahimovic had said and now Alexander Isak has taken over for Sweden from Ibra.
The 21-year-old is now up for grabs to become his heir to the Sweden national football team. Alexander Isak, dubbing the “new Zlatan Ibrahimovic“, is one of the hottest properties in Europe and will almost certainly move to a big club in the summer transfer window.
The former Borussia Dortmund player, who made a name for himself in the 2020-21 season and then in the European Championship, is being pursued by Arsenal, who want him to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
At 1.90 meters tall, Alexander Isak bears many similarities to Ibrahimovic. Both are tall, technically gifted, extremely dangerous in the box and love to find the back of the net.
So what do the numbers say about the bright young man?
Isak is a brilliant goalscorer and gets involved in preparing the team’s attack. smartest Explorer, which rates players between 0 and 99 on different attributes, has given him 98 and 95 on dribbling and shooting, respectively.
This is a rare quality for a true centre-forward. He also has a respectable 60 rating when it comes to defending quality.
And these ratings come in a season in which he has struggled with just four goals and one assist under his belt.
Even in the Europa League, he was rated 99 shooting and 82 dribbling, which is respectable for potential young talent.
statistics of fbref confirm this too. Isak has taken 3.6 dribbles per 90 minutes over the last 365 days, ranking in the top eight percentile compared to other forwards. In addition, his dribble completion rate of 1.61 per 90 minutes is much better than 85 per cent of strikers.
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Alexander Isak is also quite good when exploiting the space between defenders to upset his pace.
However, it is in the opposite area where he works all his magic. The shot map of him from underestimate it gives us a better understanding of his ultimate attack talent. Since the 2017-18 season, Iska has scored 29 goals; 18 have been from the penalty area, while seven and four goals have come from the small area and outside the area.
Another essential fact to highlight is that he scored 17 goals with his right foot and nine with his left foot. And it is in his goals from the left where he has shown his performance, scoring 2.22 goals more than expected.
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The great 2020-21 season and the neglected 2021-22
It’s no secret that Isak has seen a massive drop in form this season, but it happens to a lot of players, and his past season shows why he’s so highly rated.
The previous season he proved to be a complete striker, scoring 17 goals, accounting for 28 per cent of the team’s goals.
He also ranked fifth in expected goals (xG) in the league, according to Soccer
He was also ranked as the fourth best player in La Liga in Offensive Added Value (OVA).
His 0.65 goals per 90 minutes was the 10th best in the league, better than Antoine Griezman, Joao Felix and Iago Aspas.
His stat was even better when it came to goals without penalties, where he ranked fourth in the entire league ahead of the likes of Luis Suarez, Vinicius Jr, Joselu and Santi Mina.
However, this season, his stats have plummeted as have his performances. Compared to the previous season, he scored lower in non-penalty goals, box touches and his stats were down in terms of goals per 90 minutes, assists and accurate passes.
But as a 22-year-old, you can make a Returns. Also, looking at his shot map this season, we can make some important observations. This season, Isak has taken 28 shots from inside the box and has scored three goals.
However, the goalkeeper has only missed four shots while the rest have been blocked or saved. Of course, it’s still alarming that he can’t find the back of the net, but his shooting accuracy is still high, which means he can recapture or even surpass the highs of the previous season with a bit of luck. .
Why should teams sign Alexander Isak?
It’s no secret that many teams will compete for a center forward in the summer. These teams include Barcelona, Real Madrid (based on the transfer of Kylian Mbappe), Paris Saint Germain, Arsenal, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, etc. Even teams like Bayern Munich can consider him a quality backup for Robert Lewandowski.
– OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 21, 2021
And in Alexander Isak, they have a player who, with the right training, can become the next big thing. The Swede is not only a goalscoring striker, but he can also be deeply involved in the team’s game preparation. Also, he is a natural dribbler and therefore will offer more flexibility to a team’s front row.
His heat map, both from the previous and current seasons, shows that he loves to roam the pitch, looking to conjure up the perfect attack.
For a player of his height, Isak is highly mobile, putting him in a rare breed of tall players blessed with abilities typically seen in players of smaller stature.
And he is still only 21 years old and he can improve a lot in the next two or three years with the right training.
Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland they are the main superstars to lead the next generation. But several others will be looking to join them as the best of their age, and Alexander Isak should expect him to be one of the first to do so.