Bart Ogbeche, the former Paris Saint-Germain player, is that one striker any Indian Super League club would die to have, as he’s proven to be a game-changer and a true leader for any team that he plays for. With just 76 appearances in the league, Ogbeche has netted 52 goals for four different clubs, in the process of becoming the all-time highest goalscorer in the league. This season, he has netted 18 goals from 19 matches for Hyderabad FC and has been a very important contributor in their road to the finals.
In this tactical analysis piece in form of a scout report, we’ll be looking at five strikers similar to Ogbeche in terms of data, who could influence and have an impact on their team in a similar way to that which Ogbeche did. I’ll also be writing a short analysis of these players and tactics and will be comparing them to Ogbeche, so we can see where our scouted players stand in respect of our target profile.
Firstly, I took a list of countries and leagues that an ISL club would usually target for players. From them, we filtered the players further by only choosing those who have played a minimum of 500 minutes in the last calendar year and also those who are either currently free agents or will be running out of contract this May/June. I only looked for players aged between 28-33 as I wanted the player to be experienced, as Ogbeche is not only a performer but also a true leader on and off the pitch.
So, now, we use our xGold tool to identify five similar players to Ogbeche that the ISL clubs could go after next season. xGold is a custom-built tool that allows us to find players with similar data to a target player from around the football world.
Ogbeche is a 37-year-old target man who can also play behind a striker to create opportunities. He’s versatile and experienced but performs best as a striker. Having played in top leagues such as La Liga and French Ligue 1, the player is full of knowledge and experience.
Looking at his profile above, we can see that he averages an NpxG of 0.91 per 90 — which is outstanding and a stat any striker would love to have. His finishing abilities are really good and so are his shots. Quite a number of his shots come from outside the box and many of them have been goals. He’s also an aerial threat and is very dangerous at the time of set-pieces. He’s less present inside the penalty box in terms of numbers as he tends to drop deep to combine with the midfielders to create plays.
He’s really good with link-ups and his accuracy is solid; he often creates chances for others in the team. Ogbeche is heavily involved in the team’s defensive phase, as he’s upfront leading the defensive play by guiding the players on when to press and when to hold himself etc. He’s a true leader and doesn’t settle for anything less than three points.
#1 – Elkeson – free agent
Elkeson is a 32-year-old experienced striker who can also switch to play as an attacking midfielder. He’s very experienced and would likely be a good leader both on and off the pitch. He’s twice been the top scorer of the league and has won the AFC Champions League once. He’s currently without a club since January.
Upon looking at his numbers, we can clearly state that he’s a goal-machine as the player averages 0.60 NpxG per 90, while also outperforming his xG per 90 value. He attacks the ball first-time and is always present inside the box. With a lot of experience in his game, he times his runs perfectly to be at the end of crosses to score them. He’s also physically imposing and has great footwork. His close-range finishing is really good and something that would be a concern his shooting ability from long range as they lack accuracy.
His link-up plays are really good and would fit perfectly into a 4-3-3 system. His vision and ability to read the game of play is good which helps him make wise passes. Furthermore, he’s defensively competitive and contributes to the team’s defensive phase of the game.
In the radar comparing these two players, we can see Elkeson has pretty much performed similarly to Ogbeche in all of the metrics except for shots on target% and the reason for that is that the player’s shooting is a concern from long-range, nevertheless, he’s very good in terms of converting chances. He’s the kind of player who takes as many attempts as necessary to find the back of the net which explains why his shots per 90 value is high. He’s also an aerial threat.
Elkeson is currently a free agent and for someone of his experience to play on Indian soil would really help the young players. He’s the player who can probably get closest to recreating Ogbeche in India.
#2 – Dino Ndlovu – Kocaelispor
Dino Ndlovu is a 32-year-old experienced left-footed striker who also can play as an attacking midfielder. He has played in various countries and also has the experience of playing in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. He is currently running out of contract and would be a very good option for clubs looking to scout new centre-forwards.
He’s really a very good finisher and can score long-range goals. He has very good control of the ball and attacks the ball very well once inside the penalty area. He has got very good pace and is a physically imposing player making it hard for defenders to mark him down in the attacking third.
His shooting skills are really good with his left foot while he’s a concern with his right foot. At times, the players’ decision making is poor as he goes for impossible chances despite having better options at his disposal.
His link-up plays are good as he combines well in the attacking third to create moves and has an eye for spaces. His distributions are also very good and he cannot only score goals but also to create goalscoring opportunities.
Ndlovu, as seen on the radar, is excelling in his numbers. Although his shots per 90 is quite low, one can see that their accuracy and xG/shot value is high, indicating the quality of shot the player typically takes. His goal conversion% is also high, representing how productive he is as a striker.
He possesses very good technical abilities, helping him to execute his vision in the game. The left-footed striker is a team player and will be of very good use to any team that he approaches mainly because of the experience the player adds.
#3 – Nigel Hasselbaink – free agent
Nigel Hasselbaink is a 32-year-old striker who made his final appearance in the Israeli Premier League and is a free agent at present. He has played in competitive leagues in both Scotland and in The Netherlands where he started his career.
Hasselbaink is a complete player and an attacking threat to any team he plays against. Being equally comfortable with both feet, Hasselbaink loves to dribble inside the box and take on defenders. He’s very confident and skilful on the ball which has seen him succeed on many occasions. His link-up play is outstanding which could be his greatest asset. He plays in line with the defenders, expects through passes and makes decisive runs, but is also capable of dropping back to link up the play. He stands at 172cm tall and doesn’t have the biggest success in aerial duels, but doesn’t shy away from committing himself in headers.
His shooting ability is also really good and threatening. The player’s distribution ability is impressive, making him a very good asset. Defensively, he doesn’t contribute much in terms of numbers but he compensates with his work rate and off-the-ball movements.
From the radar, we can see Hasselbank has outperformed in the majority of the metrics but his ability to score from headers is a concern. He also attempts a relatively low number of shots per 90 but the ones he attempts are really threatening, explaining why his xG/shot value is very high.
He’s a hardworking player with a very strong mentality on the field. He’s also a team player, making him a very good asset as a whole.
#4 Andrés Carrasco – Real Murcia
Andrés Carrasco is a 33-year-old striker who plays for Real Murcia in the fourth tier of Spanish football. With his contract running out this June, he would be a very good option for teams to look at. He averages a goal per 90 value of 0.36 and is overperforming his xG per 90 by a value of 0.06. He’s a hard-working player who attacks the ball inside the penalty area. His movements are timed well and always makes sure to be at the end of crosses inside the penalty area.
His shots are good and threatening and he possesses the ability to score from outside the box, while also being comfortable with shooting first-time. However, his close-range finishing is a concern. Carrasco has got skills but is not a great dribbler though he has a very good link-up play with the midfielders to create moves and chances. I’d describe him as being defensively present but not heavily involved.
In the radar comparing Ogbeche and Carrasco, we can see that the shape of the radar is similar explaining their similarity in numbers. Although Ogbeche seems to have better percentiles in most of the metrics, it’s important to note Carrasco has better percentiles in metrics corresponding to scoring goals making him a considerable option as a striker.
With Ogbeche being 37, it’s uncertain if he will continue to play next season, and even if he does, only one team can sign him while the remaining might still be on the lookout for strikers similar to him. The above-shortlisted players are quality strikers and could turn out to be the next Ogbeche if given a chance.