In an effort to assist those affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, FIFA introduced various transfer policies to facilitate the movement of players in those areas. Shakhtar Donetsk, who had a significant number of international players, were one of the most affected teams. With numerous promising players, their squad slowly fell apart throughout the year. As a result of Shakhtar’s regular appearances in the UEFA Champions League each year, the demand for these players was significant.
Some of these deals were loans, such as Vinícius Tobías to La Liga’s Real Madrid and Manor Solomon to Premier League’s Fulham, while others were permanent such as Dodô and Marcos Antônio’s respective moves to Italy’s Serie A. The most notable transfer, however, was in France.
Mateus Cardoso, also known as Tetê, is grabbing all the headlines while on loan with Lyon. The 22-year-old made 108 appearances during his time in Ukraine — 19 of them being in the Champions League. For the French side, the Brazilian has already made 19 appearances.
This scout report, in the form of a combined data and tactical analysis, will examine Tetê’s positioning, strength, and characteristics. Overall, this analysis aims to identify why the Brazilian winger has been so impressive in Ligue 1.
Throughout his career, Tetê’s positioning has been fairly consistent; the left-footed 22-year-old plays on the right wing. In both Lyon and Shakhtat’s tactics, he has been mostly used as an inverted winger, with the role of driving inside after initially providing width. Under Roberto De Zerbi, however, Tetê would also feature as an inside forward, positioning himself in the half-space instead.
Though the Brazilian does not provide much positional versatility, he is extremely adaptable and flexible as it pertains to roles. Through different managers, he has displayed the ability to adapt and perform under distinct tactical setups.
Additionally, his heatmap above highlights his involvement in multiple phases. While he is obviously heavily involved in the final third, Tetê also drops in the middle and initial third to help in progression and build-up. As we will see in this analysis, Tetê is very dynamic and, during his time with Shakhtar, developed into a complete and intelligent player.
This dynamic involvement can be further illustrated by looking at his combinations in OL’s 4-1 win over Troyes. As seen in the image below, Tetê has balanced combinations with multiple teammates. While he is able to link with the right-back, Malo Gusto, he also regularly connects with midfielders and centre-forwards.
While Tetê has notable characteristics that make him an extremely important piece in possession, his output is what stands out the most. In Ligue 1, the 22-year-old has averaged 0.43 goals per 90 along with 0.57 assists per 90. His movement and finishing are excellent, as we will see in the next section. However, his passing is his most notable strength.
Whether in early possession phases or in the final third, the Brazilian is able to get heavily involved through his passing ability. Being developed at clubs that tend to value possession, with Lyon averaging 58.6% this season, Tetê has significantly improved this aspect of his game in recent years.
In the 2020/21 campaign, the former Grêmio player averaged 0.16 assists per 90 and 34.45 passes per 90. Contrastingly, this season, he is averaging 0.36 assists per 90 and 40.24 passes per 90. While multiple factors have also influenced this growth, he has undoubtedly improved his passing ability.
A further dive into his metrics allows us to gain a better understanding of his passing profile. In Ligue 1 alone, he is averaging 41.36 passes per 90 with an 83.45% completion rate. Of these 41.36 passes, 7.27 (78.43%) are forward, 11.41 (96.25%) are back, and 15.55 (76.15%) are lateral. While his completion percentages are not necessarily high, a lot of these passes are creative, taking the risk to progress forward or create chances.
His pass map in the 2022/23 season further illustrates his passing profile. A few are in his own half, demonstrating his ability to drop deep and assist in the build-up. However, the majority are from the right wing, with a balance between the wing channel and the half-space. Overall, the location and range of his passing vary.
In the final third, Tetê demonstrates an impressive awareness and vision of the environment around him. He is able to constantly find his teammates in very dangerous positions, regardless of how difficult it may be. In the instance below, from the half-space just outside the box, he plays a soft chip in between the defenders to leave his teammate in front of the goal.
In another instance, he displays a similar vision. In a transition scenario, where chaos is maximised, Tetê is able to remain composed and conscious. As he enters the final third, Tetê makes a very smart decision. Rather than making a premature pass, he holds on to the ball and dribbles inwards as he penetrates the final third. This drags the defender inside and creates a channel for his teammate to run into. Disguising his intentions, he delivers a perfectly weighted through pass for his teammate to score.
In addition to being able to deliver in chaotic transition scenarios, he has also demonstrated the ability to break down low blocks. With similar creative and intelligent passes, he is able to find teammates in dangerous positions and create high-quality chances. In the instance below, he plays a long ball over the top to find his teammate on the far post. Against teams that tend to sit deep and limit the space, this ability to deliver quality passes to difficult places is extremely valuable.
In addition to creating chances for his teammates, Tetê is also able to create for himself. Through intelligent movement and positioning, he often enjoys high-quality opportunities. His finishing ability is very impressive, but his ability to intelligently position himself and create space in tight areas is what makes him such a threat.
In this season’s Ligue 1, Tetê has scored 0.57 goals per 90. Unsurprisingly, his xG per 90 is not far behind at 0.39. Consequently, this output has a good foundation and should be expected to continue. His seamless transition to French football, where the environment is much more competitive and difficult, is also notable. Overall, in his whole career, Tetê has scored 0.4 goals per 90 from 0.38 xG per 90.
His xG map further illustrates this goalscoring ability. From 73 shots, he has averaged an xG per shot of 0.14. This figure is relatively high and further highlights his ability to find himself in extremely high-quality chances. Despite playing on the right wing, he is able to drift inside and finish chances in optimal areas.
This movement can be further illustrated in the example below. Tetê significantly drifts inside and positions himself in between the centre-backs. As Shakhtar progress into the final third, he moves into the defender’s blind spot and makes an intelligent run into the space behind. Despite being a winger, he is able to not only position himself in central areas but also effectively move throughout the defensive organisation.
In another instance, he similarly creates a high-quality chance for himself through his movement. Shakhtar have three players as they try to create on the right wing. In order to stretch the opposition and create space, he moves into the box. Behind the defenders, he moves into a passing lane and receives the ball before scoring Shakhtar’s second goal.
While his movement and positioning are significant factors in his goalscoring output, his finishing ability cannot be underrated. The 22-year-old is also able to finish much more difficult chances. In the example below, he finds the bottom left corner with a curved shot.
In addition to the weapons identified above, Tetê, as a traditional Brazilian winger, has an incredible dribbling ability. At 175cm, with a low centre of gravity, his quick movement and acceleration enhance his flair and skill. During his career, the Brazilian has averaged 7.66 dribbles per 90 with a 55.1% success rate. In addition to quick dribbles, he also has 3.42 progressive runs, highlighting his ability to burst and drive into large areas of space.
When looking at his winger actions, there is a healthy balance between dribbles and crosses. At any rate, the map below identifies some patterns in his behaviour on the wing.
Though it is a short sample size, we are able to have a further look at his dribbling behaviour in possession. It is not as frequent at Lyon, with him only averaging 5.42 dribbles per 90 this season. Nonetheless, it is still a resource he frequently resorts to. In his own half, he performs more dribbles, especially since the space tends to be smaller. Further up the pitch, he performs progressive runs quite often to drive into space and create opportunities. Additionally, the majority of these are inwards, cutting inside from the wing.
Finally, his penetrating carries map allows us to see how often he is able to enter the box with the ball. It is notable how some of these carries begin deep into the half, highlighting his ability to cover large distances with tight control and great speed.
With a current market value of £25.20M, Tetê is quickly rising to the elite of European football. With an extremely well-rounded profile, he is a dangerous and creative winger. In addition to playing an important role in progression, his output in the final third is excellent. It will be interesting to see how the Lyon deal works out, as he is still on loan. Regardless, it will not be long before Europe’s elite is going all out for the Brazilian star.