Thursday, July 25, 2024

Scouting Report

Odilon Kossounou

Position: Center Back, Right Back
Current Club: Club Brugge (Belgium)
DOB: 4 January 2001
Birthplace: Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Height: 188 cm (6’2)
Weight: 78 kg (172 lbs)

Statistics

Club (Years)LeagueAppearancesGoals
ASEC Mimosas (-2019)Ivory CoastNANA
Hammarby IF (2019)Sweden (1st Division)90
Club Brugge (2019-)Belgium (1st Division)70

Player Description

Odilon Kossounou is a strong and athletic defender whose stock has risen considerably since moving to Europe. Naturally a center back, but this season has been deployed as a right back with Club Brugge. Still has plenty of developing to do at this stage, physically and technically. However, he already shows the ability to defend pace well and is good when defending 1v1. If Kossounou can continue to get reasonable playing time and improve his ability with the ball at his feet, elite clubs will love his combination of size and speed.

General Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Has the athleticism to compete at the highest level. Long strides.

+ Very good at engaging dribblers and shows no hesitation when going in for challenges.

+ Generally defends pace very well. Knows that he doesn’t need to go to ground. Potential to develop into a shutdown right back who can neutralize wide attackers.

Cons

– Needs to improve ability with the ball at his feet. Noticeably slower on the dribble and generally looks uncomfortable in possession.

– Turnover machine when distributing out of the back. Poor vision when given time and is easily rushed into poor decisions when pressured.

– Positioning will improve with time but gets caught ball watching and needs to be more prepared when possession changes quickly.

Physical

+ Despite his lanky build, can leave a mark on his challenges. Could be a real imposing figure if he fills out his frame more.

+ Adequate speed and ability to keep up with quick dribblers benefits him when playing in the center or at right back.

– Not as formidable in the air as he can be. Should be winning the majority of headers but can be outmuscled by physical forwards on aerial duels. Very average at this stage in his career.

Technical

+ Advanced in his tackling ability. Goes in with conviction and does well to not go to ground.

– Struggles with his passing, short and long. Long passes are hit hopefully and without sophistication. Short passes lack precision and often fail to hit receivers in stride.

– Lacking in dribbling ability. Not very elusive and struggles when pressured by attacking players, leading to turnovers.

Mental

+ Character and footballing intelligence have been praised. Hammarby’s chief scout compared Kossounou favorably to current Celta Vigo and former Hammarby defender, Joseph Aidoo.

+ Keeps emotions in check and a constant work rate for 90 minutes. Yet to receive a red card in Europe and few yellow cards.

Tactical

+ Shows better anticipation and covers the right areas when playing as a center back. Still developing tactical instincts at right back, where his tendency to ball watch gets exposed more.

– Poor vision. Struggles to find targets for passing even when he has time. Tends to go with the safest and easiest passing option.

– Still adjusting to the pace of play. Can get caught off guard and out of position when possession changes quickly.

Statistical Analysis

Recoveries/90 mins: 8.49 (30th in Belgian Pro League 2019-20)
Progressive passes/90 mins: 6.67 (66th)
Defensive duels/90 mins: 11.12 (5th)

Many of Kossounou’s statistics rank in the middle of the pack within the Belgian Pro League. It is important to consider that Odilon has been playing mostly as a right-back, which has been an adjustment and isn’t his favorite position. However, the defensive duels statistic shows how advanced he is at his age in engaging and pestering attackers. Here’s how he stacks up against the best in the league in that category:

PlayerDef. Duels/90 Mins
A. Deuro20.11
Nurio Fortuna12.48
G. Biancone12.18
S. Dewaele11.33
O. Kossounou11.12
M. Busi10.9
I. Kabore10.85
A. Corryn10.66

Defensive duels is a category that tends to highlight full-backs. Kossounou’s numbers show that he excels at the defensive responsibilites of the position. It is established that he has a ways to go technically in order to be able to contribute going forward. However, his defending ability is already at a high level and his defensive statistics show why his potential is so appealing.

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: Needs seasoning, potentially a Champions League level player in a year or two

Kossounou has been a fast riser, moving from Ivorian football to a prominent Belgian league side in the span of a year and a half. His physical attributes are impressive and his raw defending ability is advanced for his age. Scouts should already be excited about his advanced ability to defend speed. However, he needs a steady run of games to gain confidence in his instincts and technical ability.

If Kossounou can continue to get the seasoning he needs, he has the potential to improve astronomically. It is clear that he has the tools to succeed in a top 4 European league one day. However, he is still very young and a period of club stability will do wonders for his development. It will be interesting to keep track of how he plays for club and country over the next season.