Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Scouting Report

Edmund Addo

Position: Central Midfield/Utility Player
Current Club: Sheriff Tiraspol (Moldova)
DOB: 17 May 2000
Birthplace: Accra, Ghana
Height: 180 cm (5’11)
Weight: 76 kg (167 lbs)

Statistics

Club (Years)LeagueAppearancesGoals
FK Senica (2018-2021)Slovak Super Liga492
Sheriff Tiraspol (2021-)Moldovan National Division70

Player Description

Edmund Addo is a versatile and energetic midfielder who is capable of lining up in many positions brings a variety of positive attributes to his team. The 21-year-old made his move to Europe at the age of 18 with FK Senica of the top division in Slovakia, and established himself as a player with great potential who could succeed in any position on the pitch at that level. Addo’s reputation has skyrocketed in recent months due to his performances as a key player in the midfield of Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol, who are in contention to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout round after a stunning upset of Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The Ghanaian only joined in July of 2021, but has already proven his important role in a team that plays direct and is excellent on the counter attack.

Addo’s main strengths lie in his ability to disrupt the attacks of the opposition and his skill at winning the ball and distributing quickly to more technical members of his team. His active nature and advanced anticipation for a player of his age and position allow Sheriff to relentlessly pressure weaker teams in Moldovan football and quickly shift from defense to attack against all sides. At this point, Addo still has plenty of developing to do with his instincts and technical ability, but his ongoing experience with Sheriff in the Champions League will only speed up natural development in the areas of weaknesses highlighted in this report.

General Pros and Cons

Pros

[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Stays active and is always looking to dominate midfield by sweeping in and winning possession.

[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Excellent speed over short distances and jumping ability will aid in transitioning to higher level.

[plus_sign_fusion_icon] Very versatile with experience playing at just about every position.

Cons

[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Lacks confidence in his technical ability when competing at a higher level. Needs to continue improving his passing range.

[minus_sign_fusion_icon] Will need to further develop his strength, especially in his upper body to be an effective ball winning midfielder at the highest level.

– Must always move quickly due to a lack of physical strength. Easily muscled off the ball when defenders collapse on him.

– Lacks composure when he gets into the penalty area. Often frustrates when presented with clear shooting opportunities due to poor finishing.

– Poor when attempting to use his weaker left foot. Quite one-footed at this point.

Physical

+ Very good speed, especially when closing down over short to medium distances.

+ Good jumping ability and athleticism to help transition to higher levels.

– Needs to develop upper body strength further to win more aerial duels where he cannot use his jumping ability.

Technical

+ Good tackling technique and attempts to come out with possession following defensive duels.

– Passing range is a work in process at this point when playing at a higher level. Shows promise at sending long balls when lying deep in the midfield but is less confident against better teams and can be a bit too impulsive when choosing a passing option.

– Struggles when holding onto the ball for an extended period or when attempting to advance the ball on the dribble against higher level competition.

Mental

+ Takes risks to win the ball and when attempting passes. Over time Addo’s ambition will only help to make him a more dynamic player.

– Can be a bit too aggressive and needs to find a way to foul less when engaging in ball winning duties.

Tactical

+ Excellent at moving the ball quickly to more technical players after obtaining possession.

+ Very versatile. Has experience playing in all positions on the defensive line and in midfield.

+ Excellent at disrupting opposition attacks. Always putting in a foot or doing his part to slow down advances and frustrate attackers.

Statistical Analysis

Rankings are from the 2020 Allsvenskan season and includes 39 central defenders with 1000 or more minutes played:

To show just how Addo has contributed to Sheriff continuing to dominate Moldovan football, let us take a look at how he ranks in categories where defensive minded central midfielders feature prominently. Rankings are from the ongoing 2021-22 Moldovan National Division season. Includes all central midfielders who played a minimum of 400 minutes:

StatisticTotalRanking
Successful Def. Actions/9015.002nd
Defensive Duels/9012.081st
Def. Duels Won (%)63.79%4th
Aer. Duels Won (%)72.22%1st
Interceptions/907.08T-2nd
Fouls/902.922nd

It is not even a question how dominant Addo is in Moldovan football. His abilities far exceed the quality of the league, but that is to be expected within the low standard of the Moldovan National League. Now the same statistics in UEFA Champions League competition reveal more about Addo’s weaknesses:

StatisticTotalRanking
Successful Def. Actions/9012.267th
Defensive Duels/9011.293rd
Def. Duels Won (%)46.67%122nd
Aer. Duels Won (%)35.71%96th
Interceptions/905.59T-20th
Fouls/902.85th

There are certainly similarities between the two data sets. There is no question that Addo is very active and always looking to engage the opposition to win the ball back as seen by the amount of defensive duels/90 minutes as well as fouls/90. However, his efficiency drops off in a major way when facing good to elite competition in the UEFA Champions League. The decrease in his interceptions ranking, while still showing he rates decently, indicates that it is not quite as easy for him to anticipate where the ball is going to be played at the increased level of pace seen in UEFA competition.

The following video below shows how Addo’s ball handling can suffer when confronted with the increase of pace in UEFA football. While being a bit nitpicky, the clip shows why when Sheriff plays against teams such as Real Madrid, Inter Milan and even a team like Red Star Belgrade, they operate directly rather than playing possession football:

Evaluation: Ready for a transfer to a major nation such as France or Germany, but not quite at an elite level such as English Premier League yet.

The interest and hype around Addo is at an all-time high, and if Sheriff are able to qualify for the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League, a major transfer is all but certain to happen. There are weaknesses in his game that are masked by the fact that he competes in Moldovan football, and clubs will likely take the level he plays at into account when considering a transfer bid. However, while it is clear that Addo has the mobility and athleticism to compete in central midfield for a club in a major European league, his technical ability and reading of the game is quite advanced for his age and will likely only increase. While this report points out some technical weaknesses, these are based upon a handful of UEFA Champions League games that are his first experience of high level football.

At this point the hype is a bit overblown with Addo’s expression of desiring a dream move to Manchester United, but it is clear that a move to a top-10 team in a league like the Bundesliga, Ligue 1 or Serie A is quite feasible. Addo has proven quite a bit already and his potential is undeniable, but he and his management must find a team that will accept his need to adjust to the weekly demands of competing in a league that is on another planet compared to Moldovan and Slovakian football. If a high level team has a plan to further develop Addo’s game while utilizing the strengths he already possesses, investing in a transfer is an excellent move.