Amidst an overwhelming, and in some cases disappointing, international break, we took the time to check up on Aleix Febas. Aleix has been playing first team football for Segunda Division side Real Zaragoza. Real Zaragoza have not started the season as convincingly as hoped, only tallying five points from their first six games. Despite the team’s rocky start, there is much hope for Aleix’s development this season. He has been positioned on both the right and left wing in a 4-2-3-1 system.
On Monday against Real Oviedo, he made his fifth start of the season. Substituted in the 86th minute, Aleix was active on both ends of the pitch but failed to make a significant impact. In the fifth minute, Oviedo converted a free-kick from outside the box, and Zaragoza fell 2-0 down following a poorly-handled cross after a Zaragoza defender looked to head the ball back to his keeper, but instead forced a save where the Oviedo striker was able to tap the ball in. Zaragoza responded just three minutes later from a corner, and levelled the game from another free-kick in the 39th.
Today, Febas put in his best performance of the season. Zaragoza took the lead just minutes into the second half, and in the 82nd minute, Febas supplied a beautiful through-ball to double their lead. Minutes later he was subbed off.
Zaragoza now sit ninth in the table after nine games, with 12 points to their name. Here are some notes regarding Febas from these two games.
Overall: Febas is looking good, but not great... yet.
Dribbling: Febas took on a defender twice in the match… and lost the ball both times. Aleix displayed his strength and close control throughout the game but lacked confidence and pace to beat his defenders in one-on-one positions.
Attacking threat: For an attacking player, it was surprising to see that Aleix didn’t look to goal more often.
Against Oviedo, he rarely got the ball in the final third, and when he did, he’d pass the ball out wide. The one time Aleix did look to goal, he was 25 yards out on the right side of the box and produced an unthreatening shot wide of the goal.
Against Lorca, Febas most notably ended a counter in the second half with a skyed shot from just inside the 18-yard-box.
To earn a spot in the first team in a stacked Madrid midfield, he’ll have to be more threatening.
That cutting edge: Febas put forth an average performance. He left no convincing mark on the game. Aside from a crucial recovery tackle after he lost the ball on the halfway line, he neither helped nor hurt the team.
The right ideas: It should be no surprise that a Real Madrid academy player makes sound, practical decisions all across the pitch. Febas looked to get the ball immediately when his teammates gained possession of the ball and played dangerous through balls from deep positions.
Energy: Febas had the most energy of anyone else on the pitch. He consistently tracked back on defense to help out Julian Delmas on the right flank and did well to quickly close down players on defense. He always looked to be an outlet, made runs to draw out defenders, and showed great work ethic to make a crucial take to stop a counter attack after losing the ball.