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Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Melchie Dumornay: The young Haiti star set to spark a bidding war

The eyes of most women’s football fans in Europe have been glued to Euro 2022 this summer, but it is easy to forget that two other major continental competitions took place in July, with Mexico hosting North America’s CONCACAF W Championship and the best South American countries travelling to Colombia for the Copa América Femenina tournament.

Both provided us with plenty of memorable moments and names to look out for when the new domestic season gets underway, and one who really caught the eye was 19-year-old Haiti international Melchie Dumornay.

The midfielder has regularly topped lists of players to watch, but her reputation escalated this summer after several standout showings for her nation, helping them to third place in their group and keeping their hopes of appearing at next summer’s World Cup alive.

This tactical analysis will focus on Dumornay, who has played her domestic football for French side Stade de Reims Féminines since 2021, looking at the qualities that have led to the likes of Chelsea Women, Manchester United Women, PSG Féminine and Kansas City Current all keeping tabs on her.

The scout report will specifically focus on her awareness of what is happening around the field, the attacking threat that she gives her side, and her versatility. The analysis will also explain how she might fit into the tactics of those reportedly watching her and which might be the best option if she did choose to move on this summer.


The first element of Melchie Dumornay’s game to examine is her awareness, and this doesn’t just refer to her knowledge of where spaces are on the pitch, but also her ability to see where opponents are, which has helped her to make good judgements about where she can have an effect on her team’s play.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Given that her regular position for Reims and Haiti is attacking midfield, it is important for her to have good control of play and know when to make a run and when to hold her position. As this situation demonstrates, this ability to read what is happening is something she regularly displays, with her not moving towards the PSG defenders on this occasion and instead recognising that staying back will give Reims a better chance of scoring.

The other positive of this is that Reims have not made it easy for PSG to shut the attack down, again because Dumornay has stayed out of the way and not moved towards the ball. As a result, she has been largely ignored by the defenders, which increases the time that she has when the ball comes her way from fellow Haiti international Kethna Louis.

Even though her effort on this occasion went wide, it is clear to see how Dumornay’s awareness helps her team to create opportunities in the final third, and that is one way in which she has been a vital player for them.

The fact that she stayed back in these situations is one likely reason for her only averaging 3.58 touches in the penalty area per game last season, and this statistic will not concern potential suitors when they analyse in closer detail her positioning and ability to read the game.

One team who would benefit a lot from having this type of player in their squad are Manchester United, as Dumornay could be used in a playmaker role for Marc Skinner’s side and take up positions between opposing lines, which would then allow England star Ella Toone to stay higher up the pitch and not need to drop back as much as she currently does.

This, in turn, might help Manchester United to be more productive in the final third, scoring more goals and winning matches that they are drawing or losing at the moment, and that could potentially be what helps them to achieve their long-term aim of finishing in the WSL’s top three and claiming a place in the Champions League.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Despite her obvious individual talent, Dumornay is very much a team player and always works hard to help her teammates achieve positive results; that is indicated clearly in this example.

Here, it would be easy for her to continue running into the box and then wait for the ball to come her way. Instead, she notices that PSG have closed her teammate down near the corner flag and they need help to move the ball out of danger. As a result, she alters the direction of her run to occupy the gap between two opponents, as shown by the red arrow, which gives her teammate a shorter passing option and the ability to keep Reims’ attack alive.

Decisiveness and the ability to be proactive are critical here, and this example again highlights how the Haitian is constantly aware of her surroundings and always looking for ways that she can have an effect on her team’s play. When the ball does travel in her direction, she shows calmness under pressure to control it and turn past Élisa de Almeida before finding the bottom of the net, so her selflessness was rewarded.

When managers are looking for players to add to their squads, this is another quality that they value, so it is another aspect of her game that has helped her to catch the eye of some of the leading names in women’s football.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Dumornay’s aforementioned ability to read the game and move into the right positions also helps in this situation, with Reims once again on the offensive but this time in the middle of the pitch.

On this occasion, the focus is on the second phase, with one Reims player making a short run forward to offer the immediate passing option and keep the attack alive, whilst Dumornay makes a significant contribution in this example by running up the wing and outside her two teammates, as the red arrow shows.

This puts her in the perfect position to receive the second pass once Bordeaux Féminines have closed down the player who received the ball first, with Reims now able to maintain their attacking momentum and move into the open space behind their opponents’ defensive line.

Again, this would not have been possible without the young Haiti star reading the game early and looking to affect the game, showing once more why Reims valued her presence last season and why other sides have been keeping a close eye on her development.

Attacking threat

Having an attacking instinct is one thing, but players who operate in those roles need to possess other qualities too, including speed, ball control and the ability to continually change direction at short notice. Melchie Dumornay has shown all three of those at times for Reims and the Haiti national team, with opposing defences often struggling to contain her.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

The first thing to look at is her ability to change direction. Here, Bordeaux have once again come upfield to press the ball, as is a key feature of their tactics, and this has again been noticed by Dumornay as she looks to find a way to exploit the area left open behind them. However, the difference this time is that Bordeaux have not moved out of line and there are therefore no immediate routes through them.

This is where the Haiti international has to be clever, as in order to create a way through, she needs to use the element of surprise to her advantage, which is there because Bordeaux are running towards their own goal and therefore aren’t watching what Dumornay is doing.

As a result, when she runs inside left-back Marine Perea and then new Chelsea player Ève Périsset, neither can react. Another clever change in direction takes her to the other side of this defensive line, where she has space to receive the ball and work out her next move, and this shows again the danger that she poses when allowed to operate in open space and when defenders lose sight of her.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

That last point is just as prominent here because Dumornay has once again been given too much space to receive the ball in and assess her options, with the positions of the Jamaican players indicated.

As was the case in the first situation used in this analysis, Dumornay’s ability to hold her position gives her time to shoot at goal, with Jamaica leaving a gap open for her to send the ball through. Once again, she narrowly misses the target and doesn’t test Tottenham Hotspur Women stopper Rebecca Spencer, but the point still stands that Dumornay is a danger to opponents when they don’t close her down.

This situation also shows her confidence on the ball and desire to have a go if there is an opportunity to do so, as she did have teammates around her who might have been looking for a pass here but they were ignored.

She scored six times and picked up four assists during a productive season for Reims, so she can’t be blamed too harshly for feeling that it was within her capabilities to hit the target on this occasion, and her willingness to try her luck should be commended and will definitely please potential suitors.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Given that she is such a danger in open spaces, it would be fair to assume that closing her down would deal with her threat, but she is just as good when duelling with opponents mainly through her aforementioned speed and ability to constantly change direction.

In this case, Tottenham’s Drew Spence and Tiernny Wiltshire, who plays for Finnish club KuPS, have teamed up to try and prevent the Reims player from shooting at goal, and this, in principle, is the right thing to do as it is always easier to defend against threats from wider positions than from central areas.

However, Dumornay is different to most players, and rather than cutting inside here, she takes the ball around Spence and Wiltshire before shooting at goal from a tight angle, with her effort coming back off the nearside post.

This ability to beat opponents when they come to close her down is highlighted by her winning 41.7% of her offensive duels for Reims last season, and the fact that she is just as strong in tight spaces as she is in open areas is another reason that she has been attracting glances from prestigious clubs looking to sign a player who can add something different to their squads.


Another quality that clubs are particularly attracted to when looking for new signings is versatility, with players who can operate in two or three different positions always likely to attract coaches hoping to develop their squads and gain an edge over their rivals, and Dumornay’s capabilities mean that she could play in a few roles and fit different systems as required.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Structurally, Reims generally used a front three in Division 1 Féminine last season, looking to isolate opposing defenders and utilise the spaces on either side of them in order to build attacks. Dumornay’s pace means that, more often than not, she has been used in one of those roles alongside Kessya Bussy. Both are quick players who like to make forward runs and get on the end of passes, and their partnership in the spaces behind also means that there is always an option available when the ball reaches either one of them.

Focusing specifically on Dumornay, her positioning in this setup is similar to how Chelsea might use her if there was an approach from the Kingsmeadow club and she opted to join them this summer, because they also use a front three in their setup.

Last year, this tactical switch allowed players like Denmark captain Pernille Harder to thrive after initially struggling, so it does allow key players the necessary freedom to impact the game in the final third which would match what Dumornay would be looking for.

If she did move to Chelsea, her pace would also help to unlock defences and create more opportunities for the team, as would her aforementioned ability to read the game and put herself in the right position to receive passes, so she would be a good addition for Emma Hayes’ side as another young player with a lot of promise that she could develop and shape.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

It was mentioned earlier in the scout report that Dumornay has a knack for locating and moving into dangerous positions around the pitch and always looking to make things happen; those qualities are most evident when she is on the shoulder of opposing defenders.

In this case, current world champions the USA (who sealed a third straight Concacaf title in July), have come up the pitch and tried to squeeze Haiti back inside their own half, but they have left space open behind them in the process of doing so and have forgotten about the pace that Dumornay possesses.

There are also gaps left open in the USA ranks for the Reims player to break through, making it easier for her to get forward and invite the pass from her teammate. This ability to see potential chances is why both her club and country give her so much freedom during matches.

It was situations like this, where she once again demonstrated her desire to get up the field and be proactive, putting pressure on opponents, that caught the eye of tournament officials and saw her named Best Young Player and receive a place in the Team of the Tournament — the only player to be named who didn’t make it beyond the group stages.

Melchie Dumornay at Stade de Reims Féminines 2021/2022 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

However, when needed, she can drop right back and act as a deep-lying playmaker, picking up the ball in her own half and then looking to send it up the field towards her teammates. This is another advantage of giving her a free role during games, with Haiti’s attacking structure revolving around Montpellier Féminines’ Nérilia Mondésir and Issy’s Roselord Borgella offering a constant presence at the top of the field and diverting opponents’ attention away from Dumornay, enabling her to get on the ball without being put under too much pressure.

Having a deep-lying playmaker with an excellent passing range has become critical to on-field success, and it is arguably the most important and often the most underrated position on the field.

Only this summer, Euro 2022 champions England had Manchester City Women’s Keira Walsh in that position and she played a key role in their transitions, whilst finalists Germany relied on Wolfsburg Frauen’s Lena Oberdorf to protect the defence and disrupt play. At club level, an obvious example is Patri Guijarro, who has been a key part of Spanish giants Barcelona Femení’s link-up play and has allowed Alexia Putellas and Aitana Bonmatí to focus purely on attacking.

Therefore, for Dumornay to have the same capabilities as these players makes her a very valuable asset to Reims, with her 67.1% passing accuracy last season a clear indication of the quality that she would give any club looking to move for her signature this summer. The French side, meanwhile, would understandably be delighted if she stayed with them beyond the summer, given how crucial she has been to their style of play since joining them.


In conclusion, this tactical analysis has looked at young Haiti midfielder Melchie Dumornay, assessing her individual qualities on the pitch and seeing why she has attracted so much interest from major clubs around the world this summer. Through her awareness, attacking threat and versatility, it is evident that she has all of the necessary skills for a strong career in the game, and there is clear potential for her to go right to the top.

The scout report has already mentioned how the current Reims player could fit in at Chelsea and Manchester United, should she opt to switch to one of those clubs this summer, but they are not the only sides looking at her.

Another, PSG, need a replacement for Germany midfielder Sara Däbritz and are looking for someone who can link play and provide a central attacking threat, whilst the fourth known side interested in her, Kansas City, would benefit from her creative qualities and would likely play her behind their main goal threats of Kristen Hamilton, Elyse Bennett and Cece Kizer as they look to secure a playoff place in only their second season in existence.

However, given her age and the fact she’s still very much in the early stage of her career, it might be best for her to stay at Reims this summer, which may allow her to gain another season’s experience and keep improving the elements of her game that still need tidying up, such as being clinical in front of goal.

There is no doubt that a move will happen if she keeps playing with this level of skill — it just needs to be the right move for her from a career management perspective, coming at the right time and ensuring that her progress is not hindered.