Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Scouting Report

Abraham Marcus

Position: Attacking Winger/Forward
Current Club: CD Feirense (Portugal)
DOB: 2 January 2000
Birthplace: Lagos, Nigeria
Height: 178 cm (5’10)
Weight: 74 kg (163 lbs)

Statistics

Club (Years)LeagueAppearancesGoals
CD Feirense U-23 (2018-2020)Liga Revelecao U-23287
CD Feirense (2020-)Liga Portugal 22611

Player Description

Abraham Marcus is a pacey, natural goalscorer who can either play as a wide attacker or up top as a striker. Moving to Nigerian owned Portuguese second division side CD Feirense in 2018, the 20-year-old was promoted to the first team for the 2020-21 season and has immediately established himself as a key player and one of the top attacking players in the league. Marcus is typically used as a withdrawn forward or an attack-minded winger so he can run at defenders, preferring to be as direct as possible by attacking the goal in order to shoot with his favored left foot as opposed to crossing the ball.

Abraham makes excellent runs and is able to stretch the defense with his speed, possessing a knack for showing up at opportune times to provide finishes. At this point the most important focus for the young attacker is figuring out how to contribute more to his team’s buildup and how to be most effective over the course of the entire match as a wide forward/midfielder.

General Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Possesses very good goalscoring instincts. Has a tendency to pop up in the right spot and to get on the end of loose balls to provide the finishing touch. Opportunistic.

+ Excellent quick burst of speed to put himself beyond defenders and run onto through balls.

+ Thrives at being direct and is always looking to put pressure on the defense whether by dribbling at defenders or when providing the final ball.

Cons

– Has much work to do on his decision making regarding when to dribble at defenders and his service in the final third.

– Contributes little to his team’s buildup and is very limited when he does not have space to utilize his speed.

– Drifts in and out of matches and at this point is inconsistent from match to match and over the course of 90 minutes.

Physical

+ Elite level acceleration allows him to burst into spaces and sneak into goal scoring positions. Good speed over distance but a bit slower compared to his shorter sprints.

+ Good agility for executing 1v1 moves on the dribble.

– Easily outmuscled in physical duels, particularly when defending and covering for full-backs.

Technical

+ Very good finishing instincts inside the penalty area and does well to finish when running at full speed.

◊ Adequate dribbler with a variety of moves in his arsenal. However, needs to be more efficient in his attempts to dribble at defenders and at understanding when to utilize his dribbling ability.

– Poor crosser of the ball with either foot.

– Lacks touch on through balls and needs to be more efficient at linking up with teammates in the final third.

– Needs to work on his shooting from outside the box in order to truly excel when cutting inside from the wing as he prefers to do. Lacks technique in his shooting. The video below highlights how he tends to lash at his shots from distance and lacks the ability to pick out a target:

Mental

+ Has shown gradual progression from youth level to first team in finding ways to use his speed to maximum effect.

– Drifts in and out through the 90 minutes. Could be more impactful when not in possession or making runs into channels.

Tactical

+ Stretches defenses and opens play up with quick sprinting runs into channels on either wing. + Always looking to penetrate the defense with his passing and excels at being direct. Unafraid to show ambition with his final ball even if comes at the expense of efficiency which will improve with experience.

◊ Fulfills defensive duties by covering for full-backs when needed and generally maintains defensive responsibilities but is easily muscled off.

– Hinders his team’s ability in possession to play quick combinations by taking up spots too close to his teammates. Needs to be more of a factor when his team is navigating through traffic.

Statistical Analysis

Statistics are from the 2020-21 Liga Portugal 2 season and includes 133 wide midfielders, wide attackers and center forwards who played a minimum of 400 minutes. Here we will start by looking at Marcus’ goalscoring stats compared to the league’s best, taking penalty kick goals out of the equation:

PlayerGoals (excluding PK's)xGShots on Target (%)Goal Conversion (%)
M. Bouldini1313.4643.75%20.31%
M. Abubakari137.2139.13%15.94%
A. Marcus115.2564.71%32.35%
Y. Aziz1011.5654.90%23.53%
Gonçalo Ramos106.6351.43%31.43%

The statistics paint a fascinating picture of Marcus’ contributions and how he has taken the Portuguese second division by storm this season. The forward doesn’t get as involved as frequently as his peers who are at the top of the scoring charts, but it is indisputable that when he gets into the box he creates absolute havoc and his eye for goal is unrivaled. His goals to expected goals rate is astounding and he does excellently to make the most of his opportunities when he gets them. Below is video of some of his strikes from this past season:

Marcus’ passing and dribbling statistics display the promise he has shown but also emphasize how much development he has to do when it comes to contributing in the buildup and as a wing player:

StatisticTotalRanking
Dribbles/904.7838th
Dribble Success (%)53.40%56th
Offensive Duels/9011.5548th
Off. Duels Won (%)36.55%95th
Smart Passes/901.674th
Final Third Pass Acc. (%)51.22%112th
Cross Accuracy (%)34.48%31st

Smart passes reflect passing attempts that intend to penetrate the opposition defense. Marcus’ high rating indicates that he is always trying to push forward and play direct, but the reamining passing statistics indicate how far he has to go in his decision making. His dribbling stats and offensive duels add to the impression that he can be too direct for his team’s approach. Below is a video that highlights how he can end his team’s attacks with poor crossing and service in the final third:

Evaluation: Ready for Portugal’s top division; continued time on the wing will prepare him properly for top-4 league

Abraham Marcus is on an ideal development path and is proof of how a young African talent can find their breakthrough in due time even if they don’t excel immediately following their move to Europe. Being at a European club owned by a Nigerian has allowed Marcus to take his time to move through the youth teams of CD Feirense and this season shows why the Portuguese second-tier can be a perfect proving ground for a player like Marcus. The raw speed and dribbling potential was always there for Abraham, but the evolution of his instincts in the penalty area is remarkable. At the age of 20, Marcus is already excelling in all the right statistical categories for a young striker in one of Europe’s best second divisions, suggesting his future is very bright.

Playing on the wing rather than as an out-and-out striker will only help Marcus improve his contributions when it comes to his technical skill and ability to provide for his teammates. There is no doubt that he is ready for the top division in Portugal to continue his evolution, but he is currently in a very good situation and another year at Feirense should not be seen as a setback. The time will come for Marcus to get his shot at a top level, but as long as he continues to get steady playing time that will continue his technical development, he is in an excellent situation.