Arda Guler (18) joins Real Madrid with a plethora of potential and promise. Yet, it’s critical to recognize that youth also brings uncertainty. The question of Guler’s role and how much playing time we can anticipate from this rising talent will continue to exist as the preseason gets underway. Today, we dive deep into a demonstration of his passing characteristics, progressive carries, and defensive actions to shed some light on his profile.
Former Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil being Arda’s idol and former teammate has resulted in immediate comparisons between them. However, Arda Guler is a player who resides on the right-hand side of the pitch much more than Ozil used to. Arda’s top three passing clusters in the Turkish Super Lig last season were all on the right.
No Fenerbahce player (who played at least 800 minutes) had more key passes per 90 minutes than Arda in the Super Lig last season. He also tops this chart for crosses and through-balls per 90 minutes. He has the tendency and skill to draw defenders to the flank and then whip out a cross on the opposite flank. He is also a very busy man on the right side, combining with teammates and working as an outlet.
Arda Guler’s dribbling territory is probably what should cause intrigue at Real Madrid the most. Madrid has been missing a good dribbling profile on the right side for a long time. Vinicius has been overworked on the left, and the team’s shape remains skewed to the left most of the time due to this. While Arda's eventual role is a mystery currently, he can be useful on the right in the future.
Only 5 players have completed more take-ons (p90) than Arda Güler in the Turkish Super Lig in 2022–23 (among players with apps > avg. apps in the league). pic.twitter.com/N8Db0RZgZU— Mehedi Hassan (@MHassanFootball) July 5, 2023
Güler’s ball progression via carries shows a couple of things. Firstly, his progressive carry zones are consistent with his positioning discussed earlier. He is capable of carrying the ball deep into the box from the right wing. Secondly (in grey), he is agile and moves all around the pitch.
Another impressive part of young Arda’s game — how deep he is willing to drop to engage in defensive actions. This is a very important trait to have in a young attacker that helps the team in and out of possession.