Recently elected for the best 11 born after 1997 by the italian periodic “Gazzetta dello Sport”, Amadou Diawara, 19 years old, plays an important role in the Napoli midfield. Coming from Bologna, the African born in Guinea Conakry has already 19 games this season in Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League.
Usually plays as defensive midfielder, placing himself in front of the defensive line, covering for the 2 offensive midfielders, considering the 1-4-3-3 tactical system used by his coach Maurizio Sarri.
After recovering the ball he has the ability to search for the vertical pass at the offensive transition. In this case is Gabbiadini that shows up in the central lane giving support.
Making the defensive cover at the side lane, he choses to play safely to the central defender, although the vertical pass to Hamsik or Gabbiadini is also an option.
From an offensive organization point of view, he´s a key element in the 2nd phase of construction, being the first element of connection between the defensive and the medium lines, trying to verticalize for the Hamsik move.
In the creation phase he makes the offensive cover, supporting the offensive team mates and allowing the team to keep working with the ball. The support movement to Insigne is clear.
Once again supporting the offensive team mates, he is able to verticalize and explore Callejón movement in between Inter lines.
At the defensive transition, due to his supporting skills in the construction phase he is consistently near the ball, allowing him to press the game center when the ball is lost. His positioning allows him to intercept or disarm, as we can see in the next image, and if possible verticalize, in this case to Hamsik in the side lane.
Generally speaking, he’s a very complete defensive midfielder, taking into account the skills that this position requires today. He fits perfectly into a more offensive gameplay, in possession, short construction with direct and indirect combinations. With the ability to play in short spaces and under pressure, he knows how to withdraw the ball from the pressure or recovery zone, providing security or verticalizing the game,with one or two touches. Very good first touch, oriented reception, execution and decision speed, as well as positioning to hold high pressure and maintain compact lines. He shortens the distance to the ball carrier, pressing and taking space, with a good play reading and defensive positioning to anticipate and intercept passes. All this skills are important for this game model.
Skills to improve in the future are agility, direction shifts and speed. Also getting stronger in aerial duels and assists to goal.
By Miguel Palma