Kouame Autonne

Scouting Report

Kouame Autonne

Position: Central Defense

Current Club: Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)

DOB: 22 September 2000

Birthplace: Ouragahio, Ivory Coast

Height: 184 cm (6’0)

Weight: 85 kg (187 lbs)

Statistics

Club (Years)LeagueAppearancesGoals
ASEC Mimosas (-2019)Ligue 1 Côte d'IvoireN/AN/A
Khor Fakkan (2019-2021)UAE Pro League311
Al Ain (2021-)UAE Pro League103

Player Description

Kouame Autonne is a quick and aggressive left-footed central defender who covers plenty of ground and offers a ball winning presence as well as very promising technical ability. The ASEC Mimosas youth product goes into challenges with enthusiasm and is excellent when using his lateral quickness to cut out attacks down the flanks, making him an asset for teams with attack-minded full backs. Autonne’s passing ability is excellent at this early stage of his career with his good decision making and increasing accuracy on long passes when picking out runs behind the defense and targets for hold up play.

At this point the most significant weakness for the young center back is a lack of variety on his tackling approach, with over aggression leading him out of position and committing unnecessary fouls. Average upper body strength makes him vulnerable against physically imposing target forwards and he can struggle when defending hold up play when approaching attackers from behind. However, his weaknesses can be improved by experience and good coaching with his positive attributes making him a defender who is promising in the modern game.

General Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Advanced level of passing ability at this stage of his career with very good range. Makes smart decisions on his pass attempts and is only getting better at picking out teammates with his longer passes.

+ Lateral quickness and aggression suit him well when covering for his full backs and in 1v1 situations against quicker and more diminutive attackers.

Cons

Has little variation in his tackling and approach to winning the ball. Tends to tackle first and ask questions later which leads to unnecessary fouls and can take him out of position.

Needs to be more tidy when dealing with aerial balls and clearances. Creates more work for himself due to unconvincing clearing headers and tackles that fail to reach teammates.

Physical

+ Quick acceleration over short distances to track down attackers or escape pressure when on the ball.

+ Good leaping ability and lower body strength. Thrives when approaching physical challenges from the side to engage smaller wing players.

Average to below average upper body strength. Can be outmuscled by larger target forwards on aerial duels and when he approaches from behind.

Technical

+ Very good when in possession at an early stage in his career. Usually makes smart decisions and maintains a high pass completion rate.

+ Distributes well when attempting long passes. Continues to improve at picking out target forwards or when playing over the top into space for quick attackers.

Needs further development on his ability to move forward with the ball. Lacks confidence at this point when dribbling beyond his defensive third.

Mental

+ Makes few mistakes in possession and on his passes. Maintains high pass completion rate because he generally chooses the right pass and knows when to aspire for more.

Needs to know when to tone down his aggression and avoid committing unnecessary fouls. Developing a bit of patience will go a long way to making his style of defending less predictable for opposing attackers.

Tactical

+ Excellent at covering for his full backs. An asset for managers who emphasize attacking play from their wide defenders, who are confident knowing how much ground he can cover if they are caught forward.

Goes to ground far too much on his tackles. Leads the league in fouls among central defenders and his over aggression draws him out of position, requiring teammates to cover for any errors in judgment.

Inconsistent when it comes to clearing the ball into good spots on his tackles or when heading the ball, resulting at times in dangerous situations that require him to scramble and defend desperately.

Statistical Analysis

Rankings are from the 2021-22 UAE Pro League and includes 32 central defenders who played 800 or more minutes through 18 rounds:

First let us take a look at Autonne’s defending numbers and see how he looks compared to his peers:

StatisticTotalRanking
Defending Duels/906.087th
Def. Duels Won55.32%24th
Aerial Duels/904.2T-7th
Aer. Duels Won55.32%18th
Interceptions7.359th
Fouls/901.71st (Most)

Autonne’s role should be considered when judging his numbers. He is charged with the duty of disrupting opposing attacks and stopping them before they gain steam, which leads to him throwing himself into challenges and covering plenty of ground. A high rate of defensive duels per 90 minutes displays his role but his efficiency rate is still underwhelming. On too many occasions Autonne is going to ground and committing fouls rather than winning the ball cleanly, giving the opposition unnecessary set piece opportunities. His aerial duel statistics also show room for improvement and despite his jumping ability, Autonne can find it difficult to win headers against physical forwards when he does not have room to gather himself to jump.

Before joining Al Ain, Autonne drew comparisons to famous compatriot Didier Zokora and his technical ability is shown through his passing numbers and efficiency when looking forward. Here are how he stacks up in several passing statistics:

StatisticTotalRanking
Pass Accuracy92.29%5th
Forward Passes/9020.11T-6th
Forward Pass Acc.91.56%1st
Long Passes/903.9320th
Long Pass Acc.65.91%5th

The numbers are very impressive and along with his speed make Autonne a very appealing prospect for higher levels. In the modern game defenders are required to be comfortable with the ball at their feet and capable of picking out teammates upfield, and the Ivorian clearly excels in Emirati football. His efficiency on forward passes is remarkable and when it comes to picking out teammates with lofted balls up the field, he is only getting better and better. The issue is that there is not as much high pressing in Emirati football as in Europe, but it should not take long for Autonne to get up to speed and adapt to the urgency of a higher level.

Evaluation: Capable of starting in a second tier European league, but another season at Al Ain is best

Autonne has all the physical and technical tools that managers are looking for in a central defender or defensive minded full back. His passing ability is impressive and the statistics back up a growing skill at picking out attackers to hold the ball up as well as playing over the top to find players making runs. Lateral quickness and a quick burst of acceleration make him an asset to cover for attack-minded full backs who can venture forward knowing that Autonne will be able to cover for them.

The tactical side of Autonne’s game will be the area he needs to improve on moving forward. Staying on his feet more must be emphasized and discovering patience and variance in the way he approaches winning the ball will come with experience and good coaching. Autonne is a player who is nearly there when it comes to moving to a higher level, but another season at Al Ain would be best. With the club currently at the top of the UAE Pro League, spending a season playing regularly in the AFC Champions League will give him a challenge that represents a middle ground between Emirati football and the next big leap to top flight European football.