Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Scouting Report

Fashion Sakala

Position: Forward
Current Club: KV Oostende (Belgium)
DOB: 14 March 1997
Birthplace: Chipata, Zambia
Height: 178 cm (5’10)
Weight: 72 kg (159 lbs)

Statistics

Team (Years)LeagueAppearancesGoals
Nchanga Rangers (-2017)Zambia (1st Division)4023
Zanaco (2017)Zambia (1st Division)2311
Spartak-2 Moscow (2017-2018)Russia (2nd Division)3510
Oostende (2018-)Belgium (1st Division)4310
Zambia U-20 (2017)National Team107
Zambia (2017-)National Team81

Player Description

Fashion Sakala is an enthusiastic and explosive striker who is capable of playing on the left flank. Game is modeled after his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, in that he prefers to set up on the left and cut inside to shoot. Excels on the break by exploding into open spaces with quick runs and rapid acceleration. Generates problems for the defense with his energy and 1v1 skills. Creates opportunities without needing much of the ball, making him a classic hitman when at his best.

General Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Extremely quick. Thrives when game is open and is very dangerous on the break.

+ Excellent at creating space for shots when able to dribble 1v1.

+ 90 minute player. Enthusiasm and energy makes him a real pest throughout the game.

Cons

– Very limited vision and passing ability. Lacks ability to properly weight his passes.

– Finishing will be a concern at higher level. Creates many shots but misses often.

– Generally lacking in technique. How impactful can he be when the game isn’t open and end-to-end?

Physical

+ Acceleration is especially impressive. Really zooms into the box with his off-the-ball runs.

+ Impressive agility. Has a real advantage when isolated with defenders.

+ High vertical leap allows him to compete for aerial balls that seem unwinnable. Regularly sneaks in and surprises tall defenders.

– Diminutive build causes him to come off second best in most physical duels.

Technical

+ Very capable with his weaker left foot. Primarily cuts inside from the left wing but can switch it up and drive to the endline for cutbacks. Generates decent power on left-footed shots.

+ Excellent dribbler with plenty of tricks in the bag. Relishes opportunities to run at defenders.

– Struggles with passing. Fails to weight passes well, which limits his ambition and ability as a provider.

– Underwhelming finisher. Tends to lash at shots and hopes for the best. Needs to be more clinical at higher levels.

Mental

+ Work rate stays high throughout the match. Remains a pest to defenses even in the later stages.

+ Has already shown the potential to be a leader. Captain of Zambia’s successful Under-20 side that won the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Tactical

+ Fulfills pressing and defensive duties well. Capable of being a real asset as the first line of defense.

– Vision is significantly lacking. Can get tunnel vision when on the dribble. Passing is limited to close combinations and basic short passes.

– Don’t see much potential for versatility. Has dropped back to left midfield on occasion but skillset is limited to use exclusively in the final third.

Statistical Analysis

Shots: 68 (T-3rd in Belgian Pro League 2019-20)
Goals: 8 (T-14th)
xG: 8.18 (T-10th)
Dribbles: 6.45 (23rd)

Sakala’s offensive statistics show what he brings to the table and what he could improve. In order to get a sense of how clinical he is as a striker, Fashion’s xG count was compared to the top ten goal getters in the 2019-20 Belgian season:

PlayerxGGoals
J. David12.5918
D. Mbokani17.9718
H. Vanaken7.813
K. Rezaei7.6612
M. Vlap8.0111
L. Refaelov9.2711
Y. Boli5.5510
R. Yaremchuk8.8810
I. de Camargo7.3310
F. Sakala8.018

The top ten scorers have a common theme: A higher goal total than xG. Sakala is close to the top in shots attempted, but the xG indicates that many of his shots are hopeful efforts and that he isn’t as efficient with his chances as the best scorers in the league.

Jonathan David, at the top of the list and in a similar age group, is currently drawing interest from elite clubs. His goal to xG rate compared to Sakala’s highlights the main concern prospective buyers will have about Fashion, which is his finishing efficiency.

Deep completions measures when a player completes a pass that is received within 20 meters of the opponent’s goal line. The two players that are ahead of Zorgane are attacking midfielders who spend more time in the opposition half. In fact, the majority of the players on the list are either wide midfielders or sit higher up.

While Zorgane is amongst the best in the league in efficient passing and maintaining possession, he is always aspiring to make an incisive pass to set up attackers. This is why he is the only name to show up on both lists and why he is destined to end up on a club of higher prestige.

Evaluation: Top 6 European League; Midtable to Bottom Half Side

Sakala is a forward who possesses the tools for contributing to a direct style of play and success in 1v1 situations. He is quick and shifty on the dribble, creating separation to generate regular shooting opportunities with ease. In the right system his speed and work rate will be valuable for stretching defenses and being a threat on the counter.

There are several areas that Fashion needs to improve if he moves on from Belgium. His end product disappoints too often, with his shooting and passing often lacking quality. There will be less space to work with at an elite level and the speed of his opponents will be higher. Therefore, he must become more efficient and opportunistic with his chances.

Fashion looks due for a move from Belgium, but success at a team that competes for trophies in a top six league seems questionable at the moment. However, if a higher level manager properly utilizes his speed and trickiness, Fashion Sakala has the potential to help a mid-table or lower-half team boost their status.