Alex Ibaceta takes a look around some of the biggest clubs in Europe to find the up-and-coming talents on their books.
The word visibility has been circulated a lot in women’s football these past couple of weeks. In that time, we’ve seen a record-breaking FA WSL deal with Sky Sports and BBC, record viewership for the knockout stages of UEFA Women’s Champions League, and the announcement of a Club World Cup for the women.
But when it comes to scouting, invisibility is the watchword. Looking to capitalise on market inefficiencies, clubs are now casting their nets ever wider in a bid to find that next big star who is currently going under the radar. Using TransferLab, we’re able to discover and compare players from other less-visible leagues around the world.
However, sometimes talent can be hidden in plain sight. Here are four young players who are making regular appearances at some of the bigger clubs around Europe.
Patricia Guijarro (FC Barcelona and Spain)
22-year-old Spanish midfielder Patricia Guijarro has been a key player for both Barcelona and Spain this season. She has started 13 of Barcelona’s 17 Primera Iberdrola matches and has four goals to her name so far.
Guijarro is a versatile player and has played in both the defensive midfield position in a midfield three as well as the more advanced position. She’s also helped out in the back line where needed from time to time.
Understandably, she shows up strongly across the Midfield profiles in TransferLab:
Defensive Midfield – All Round: 95
Defensive Midfield – Deep Playmaker: 95
Defensive Midfield – Holding: 92
Centre Midfield – Box to box: 95
Centre Midfield – Ball winner: 92
Here she is on the Defensive Midfield – Deep Playmaker profile:
As you can see, Guijarro is a good ballplayer, putting up excellent passing numbers. Playing as part of a Barcelona side that prioritises build-up, it is entirely understandable why she is being fielded in this position.
These on-the-ball skills would explain why she is so versatile across the midfield. Using TransferLab’s ‘Similar Player’ tool, Guijarro compares favourably to a mix of players in the Women’s Super League:
Using TransferLab’s ‘Compare’ tool, we can actually break down each player per metric to see how they match up across the profile:
Another name on that list is Amandine Henry, one of the best players in the world in recent years. Looking at Henry’s profile, you can see how similar it is to Guijarro’s:
A bright future beckons for Patricia Guijarro, then, the La Masia graduate in a high-flying Barcelona and Spanish team who seem to have hit their best form in the past few years.
Sydney Lohmann (Bayern Munich and Germany)
In Germany, Sydney Lohmann has tallied 9 goals and 5 assists in 15 Frauen Bundesliga matches, averaging 0.75 goals per match.
The 20-year-old has stamped herself as a pivotal player in a high-flying Bayern Munich side who have won 17 of 17 league matches this season. They sit comfortably at the top of the table, five points clear of the rest of the pack. Recently, they installed themselves in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals.
Lohmann is ranked very highly for most metrics within the ‘Box to Box’ template for Centre Midfield across the Frauen Bundesliga:
As you can see, her weaknesses are on the defensive side. On the ball, though, she is in the 90th percentile for almost every metric, with the exception of her long passing.
Unsurprisingly, this puts her amongst the best players in the world in the ‘Centre Midfield – Box to Box’ profile, ahead of players like Sam Mewis and Caroline Weir:
Comparing Lohmann and Mewis over the last twelve months, you can see that Lohmann outperforms Mewis in many metrics in the ‘Box to Box’ profile, and in those she doesn’t, she isn’t far behind:
After Melanie Leupolz left Bayern Munich for Chelsea, the German side had a big hole in their team. A young player like Sidney Lohmann ended up being the perfect solution.
Lena Oberdorf (VfL Wolfsburg and Germany)
Another versatile midfielder who is turning heads in Europe is Lena Oderborf, who ranks first in TransferLab in the ‘Defensive Midfield – All Round’ profile ahead of Jess Fishlock, Formiga, Lia Wälti and teammate Alexandra Popp:
Just like for Patricia Guijarro, Oberdorf’s versatility is reflected in her profile scores:
Defensive Midfield – All Round: 99
Defensive Midfield – Deep Playmaker: 94
Defensive Midfield – Holding: 89
Centre Midfield – Box to box: 99
Centre Midfield – Ball winner: 89
In the ‘All Round’ profile, her numbers would be remarkable for a player in their prime let alone a 19-year-old:
Having played across the backline during her career, Oberdorf is understandably strong at the defensive side of the game. However, there are no real weaknesses to her skillset.
Like Lohmann, Oberdorf is another young German player promising her nation a bright future along with players like Giulia Gwinn, Klara Bühl and Lena Lattwein.
Bursting onto the scene at only 16 years of age, there are many who already view Lena Oberdorf as a player who could go on to be one of the game’s greats.
Analytics FC provides software and data services to entities within football looking to realise the gains possible from analytical thinking. We provide cutting-edge software solutions such as TransferLab, which helps improve and simplify recruitment decisions. To find out more about TransferLab and our other data services, or to find out more about us, visit our website.