• Richard Becker

Scout Report RB: Hugo Ekitike - Reims



Hugo Ekitike (19) is the next exciting prospect coming out of France, with a reported move to Newcastle reaching the final stages I have detailed a scout report t to guide fans on what to expect from their new signing. This report will investigate the English FA’s four-corner model to provide a complete observational analysis looking at all aspects of player performance with a blend of statistical analysis to provide context.



Player Profile

Last season was Ekitike’s break out season, this is the first season he has recorded over 1000 mins and has given a good indication of his current ability and the wealth of potential he possesses. He currently plays for Reims a team that finished 12th in Ligue 1. He commonly plays as the left-handed striker in a 3-5-2 or as a left wide forward in a 4-3-3. His favoured foot is his right. Finally, he scored 14 goals and got 4 assists in 24 appearances (14.1 90’s).

TECHNICAL (9/10)

Ekitike has excellent hold-up play due to his great off the ball movement, awareness of where his teammates are, and a good first touch. This alongside his great agility means he can quickly find space to receive the ball and then once this has happened, he will often play a quick one-touch pass to a teammate and his first thought is then how can I get in the best position to score. Due to his physical profile, he sometimes gets the ball stuck under himself and finds himself in awkward positions.


His ball-striking is exceptional, another real strength of Ekitike’s. He can shoot with a good variety mixing it up with controlled, power and finesse shots using which he deems the situation requires. His shooting is consistently good out of the dribble, as well as first-time finishes and from outside the box.



His Aerial ability is something that is presently lacking in Ekitike’s game. He is often beaten in aerial duels and his heading accuracy needs improvement to fulfil his massive potential.


Another real strength in Ekitike’s game is his 1 vs 1 attacking. He has great dribbling ability and in combination with his turn of pace, he can beat defenders with ease. He is also able to dribble off either foot which adds to the variability of the player.


TACTICAL (8/10)

He operates as an in behind forward. He often operates in the left channel as that will often get him in situations where he is 1 vs 1 with defenders he usually beats with ease.


His decision making can sometimes let him down. He sometimes chooses to dribble when passing is the best option.


His off the ball movement for his age is incredible. He moves like some of the best strikers in the game constantly finding himself in great positions for the build-up and for tap ins. He is never static constantly moving and being a nuisance.


He offers a lot to the team defensively also using his pace to unsettle defenders and prompt unforced errors. He is not afraid to get back into deeper areas to help defensively as he knows he has the pace to get back into threatening areas once they regain possession.


MENTAL (6/10)

He works hard in all phases of the game. He is as diligent in his defensive responsibilities as he is in his offensive play. This can sometimes be affected by the game state but that is to be expected for a younger player.


He can also sometimes lack a bit of composure when he has a long time to think about his actions. This is the opposite under time pressure however he is incredibly composed.

He lacks any notable leadership qualities at this stage in his career and doesn’t show any standout qualities as a communicator.


He lacks aggression in duels and as a result, loses them often. He shows some level of bravery when attacking crosses, but this is an area he should look to improve.



PHYSICAL (8/10)

He is tall but he isn’t physically imposing and is quite lightweight. This means he loses most of his duels and can be pushed off the ball easily.


He shows great agility and balance being able to turn easily and move through tight spaces quickly.


He has a great turn of pace being able to go from standing to top speed incredibly quickly. He is also able to stop and balance himself astutely.


He has great raw athleticism and plenty of growth to do in this area he will only get even better in this area of his game.



CONCLUSION


Overall, Ekitike is an incredibly exciting talent with the raw minerals to be a superstar. His incredible turn of pace, exceptional off the ball movement, elite 1vs 1 dribbling and, crisp ball-striking results in a player that could score goals for fun with the right guidance. That alongside the fact he is incredibly diligent in his defensive responsibilities offers so much to a team and would be a coach's dream to mould.


There are elements of Ekitike’s game that he needs to work on if he is to reach his massive potential. He needs to now show consistency and produce the quality he has in abundance on the regular. He also needs to bulk up physically if he is to play the lone striker role and I would suggest whilst he adapts to the league he should be played as wide forward on the left. He is also a player that needs confidence and support, so he needs that from teammates, coaches, and fans.


This piece of business for me has a lot to like. He is coming in for a price I would consider fair for his current quality alone and this comes with the caveat that he has so much growth to do as a player that could see him have a real impact. I would suggest caution though however taking the time to bed him into the squad and not to expect the finished article straight away…



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