Kouakou Hervé Koffi
Current Club: Royal Excel Mouscron (Belgium) on loan from Lille (France)
DOB: 16 October 1996
Birthplace: Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Height: 186 cm (6’1)
Weight: 81 kg (178 lbs)
|RC Bobo-Dioulasso (-2015)
|Burkinabé Premier League
|ASEC Mimosas (2015-2017)
|Ivory Coast Ligue 1
|France Ligue 1
|Belenenses (2019-2020) (Loan)
|Portuguese Primeira Liga
|Royal Excel Mouscron (2020-2021) (Loan)
|Belgian Pro League
|Burkina Faso U-23
|Youth National Team
|Senior National Team
Kouakou Hervé Koffi is a Burkinabé goalkeeper who made his mark at a young age, starting all six games for Burkina Faso as a 20-year-old at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Through his AFCON performances and previous CAF Champions League experience at Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas, Koffi earned a move to French Ligue 1 side Lille following the AFCON.
Over loan stints the past two seasons in Portugal and most recently Belgium, Koffi has shown that he possesses excellent elasticity and soft hands for preventing rebounds from powerful shots. He specializes in reflex saves and shot stopping at this point with an advanced skill at getting down on low shots.
Koffi’s weaknesses come down to the technical aspects of goalkeeping and keeping his nerve when there is a lot happening in front of him. He also has little confidence in his distribution despite showing potential with his long kicks and throws.
General Pros and Cons
+ Very promising shot stopper on shots from distance and in close quarters 1v1. Good at securing shots with soft hands to prevent costly rebounds.
+ Good athleticism allows Koffi to be effective on aerial duels when attacking the ball. Also contributes to his ability to get down well for low shots better than the majority of goalkeepers.
– Loses composure and gets overwhelmed when there is a high amount of traffic on services into the box. Positioning and instincts are negatively impacted in these situations, resulting in many of his goals conceded at club level.
– Distribution capabilities are limited to passing short to defenders and sending the ball long. Not particularly comfortable with the ball at his feet and negatively contributes to team’s possession.
+ Above average to good athleticism. Springs up and to the ball well when pouncing for saves or aerial claims.
– Can be overpowered on corner-kicks and set pieces when he is reacting to aerial balls rather than attacking them. Below average strength and build compared to his peers in Europe.
+ Confident shot stopper, particularly on shots hit with power and from distance. Possesses soft hands to excel at preventing unnecessary rebounds
+ Very good at saving in close quarters and in 1v1 situations. The video below shows how well he gets down to save on low shots:
– Needs to work further on his approach and composure when securing aerial balls coming into the box. Below average at this point when claiming crosses and can make the routine look more difficult than it should.
– Lacks confidence on his distribution and often settles for lumping the ball long when under any pressure. Needs improvement on mid-range distribution and when attempting to pick teammates out.
Gets excellent distance on his kicks and possesses a throw that can reach up to 70 yards. Capable with his weaker left foot including when clearing under stress. With more experience and confidence Koffi possesses the tools to be a respected distributor despite it being a weakness currently.
+ Advanced level of calmness when facing shooters 1v1 and in close quarters. Possesses a knack for stopping breakaway opportunities.
– Concedes too many goals in late game situations when his team is defending leads or ties. Related to when there are more players in his penalty area.
◊ Still working on the decision making and confidence in areas beyond shot stopping that come with young goalkeepers.
+ Doesn’t make any costly errors from trying to do too much or by wandering out of position.
– Contributes negatively to his team’s possession and stability due to lack of confidence in distribution.
– Instincts and positioning suffer when there is more traffic in the box. On corner-kick and aerial services, Koffi is often too hesitant in these situations to attack the ball and stays back to depend on his reactions. In the video below the first two conceded goals cost his team important points:
Rankings are from the 2019-20 Portuguese Primeira Liga season (out of 25 GK’s) and the 2020-2021 Belgian Pro League A seasons (out of 28 GK’s). Includes all goalkeepers who played a minimum of 500 minutes.
First let us get an idea of the amount of shots and attacks Koffi has coming his way the past two seasons:
|Shots Faced/90 Minutes
|Save Rate (%)
Playing on loan spells with teams who are struggling to avoid relegation has given Koffi no shortage of attacks to deal with. His first season on loan with Belenenses saw him face the most shots of any goalkeeper in Portuguese football. The team had the worst defense in the league but Koffi did remarkably well to help his team avoid relegation, playing all games during the final stretch.
The current season in Belgium for Koffi shows that he continues to do quite well considering the club he is at. Playing in a nearly identical situation with Mouscron as in the previous season with Belenenses, the substandard defense in front of Koffi has revealed some inconsistencies that come with young goalkeepers but the numbers are good.
Koffi’s issues are his distribution and composure on the ball. The numbers indicate he concedes possession at an abnormal rate compared to his peers:
|Average Pass Length (m)
|Long Pass Accuracy (%)
Across both seasons on his loans, Koffi plays it very safe when on the ball. The numbers are a bit different between the two seasons, but they indicate he played safely in different ways. In Portugal he mixed long passes up the field with short distribution to defenders, but in Belgium Koffi has been strictly used for his limited ability to send long balls up the pitch. The clear theme is that in both seasons, Koffi’s pass rate indicates distribution skills that are developing on the job.
Evaluation: Is currently playing on loan at an ideal level, but needs a permanent transfer from Lille.
The past two seasons have been excellent experience for Koffi with regular first-team action always unlikely in France. At this point the Burkinabé has proven that he is worthy of a starting spot at a club just beyond the level of Europe’s top-4 leagues. Considering his age as a goalkeeper, Koffi is still a talent for the future who has plenty of room to grow. Being the current Burkina Faso number one will also continue to give Koffi valuable experience in important matches.
However, it is clear that Koffi would find it difficult at a top level. In the six games he started with Lille before going on loan, the Ligue 1 team lost both cup matches and collected only one point from four league ties while conceding fourteen goals in all six. What will be best for Koffi is getting regular games in a league like Belgium or Portugal, but with a club that has him in their future plans and will accept the growing pains seen in areas like distribution and composure.