Awesome Amoo: The Allsvenskan wonderkid destined for the Premier League – scout report
Akinkunmi Amoo made his Allsvenskan debut last season and managed to play 64 minutes in six matches. However, it was clear that he has high potential and it was a matter of time till he gets more minutes. Amoo was first noticed while playing for Nigeria U17 national team in the U17 World Cup 2019. Since then he was often scouted by top clubs, some of the clubs mentioned in the media are Premier League clubs: Manchester City and Leicester City.
Akinkunmi Amoo is 18-year-old and Transfermarkt values him at €100k. Amoo is listed at 163 cm and he is predominantly left-footed. In Hammarby’s tactics, he is used as a right-winger in 4-3-3 formation. When talking about wingers of African origin we know that they have pace, however, Amoo is much more than just pace because he likes to cut inside and his technical ability is very good, but he still has room to improve in that area.
In the image above we can see how Amoo looks compared to the other wingers in Allsvenskan who played at least 500 minutes in the last calendar year. We can see on his heatmap that he is ordinating on the right side of the pitch most of the time, with a tendency to take actions in the right half-space as well. What this visual shows us based on data is that he is very dangerous for the opponents’ goal. He is averaging 0.24 xG per 90 and overperforming it with 0.38 non-penalty goals per 90. Amoo has 3.76 touches in the box per 90 and attempts 2.44 shots per 90. We see that he knows how to get into the opposition area and he is not hesitating to shoot when he has a chance. It is very interesting to see him as a top winger when it comes to deep completions per 90, however with lower xG and shot assists per 90 it indicates that his passing quality could be something that can be worked on. He likes to dribble and the image above supports that, he is still raw which is a reason for his low percentage in successful dribbles, but over the course of the season we will see him improve in that area. Given the fact that he is left-footed and plays on right-wing, he doesn’t cross often and he is more oriented into cutting inside.
Since there won’t be a section for Amoo defensive qualities we will make a small assessment here. He shows a willingness to track back and shows a very good approach when losing the ball. Amoo is good at counter-pressing and also has a good sense of when to help a teammate in pressing in order to regain possession high up the pitch.
After a quick overview of his profile and looking at his qualities from a data perspective, in the next sections we will make a detailed analysis of his playing style and his strengths.
Off the ball movement
In this section, we will see how Amoo creates space for himself to receive the ball. The first situation shows us Amoo’s ability to receive the ball in the halfspace.
What is impressive about Amoo is that he can quickly arrive into the open space to receive the ball. He rarely makes runs in behind and rather looks to receive the ball into his feet. The example above shows us the very good movement of Amoo into the halfspace between three players. Not only that he has enough space to receive the ball given his position, but also his body posture is what you want from your players. His body posture gives him wide-angle to see the situation and to decide whether he needs to make the first touch and cut on his left foot or to let the ball slide alongside him and go directly into the space between centre-back and left-back. Given his ball control, vision and pace when he receives the ball in this area it is very hard to stop him and it will be even harder in the future if he improves his decision making. About his decision making, we will talk later in this analysis.
The next example will show us how Amoo can use his low centre of gravity and pace to draw defenders on wide space. It can be very efficient in offensive transitions.
Hammarby regained possession and Amoo demanded the ball into his feet by coming toward the central areas. That move triggered centre-back who wanted to close him down instantly if he receives the ball at the spot. However, Amoo made a fake move towards the ball and started drifting wide while letting the ball slide in front of him. His agility allows him this kind of moves because defenders will be in all kind of troubles wondering will he make the first touch and cut inside or will he drift wider and try to beat them with his pace.
Apart from the usual sequence for inverted wingers where they cut inside and shoot, Amoo is also very good at arriving into the penalty area when the ball is on the opposite wing.
What he does good is that he times his run well because coming too early would end up with him being marked or reducing himself an angle to shoot. He has pace and he uses it well in this situations knowing that nobody can stop him from running into unmarked space. Of course in this situations, centre-backs have to cover near post and six-yard box which leaves space around the penalty spot unmarked.
Amoo is very strong on the ball and he likes to receive the ball into his feet before progressing further with the ball. When he receives the ball on the touchline he mostly tends to cut inside and tries to find teammates who are running into the box or to finish the attack by shooting. He is showing good creative potential and over time we can expect him to create a lot of chances and getting assists. Below we will see a situation that often happens when Amoo is on his left foot while moving towards the central areas.
We mentioned that he doesn’t cross the ball often, however, when he crosses it is mostly this type of crosses inswinging them over the defence in an attempt to find the opposite winger or centre-forward. When the defence is positioned higher he looks for runners in behind the defence trying to put them into promising situations. If he decides that it is not a situation to pass the ball towards the penalty area he will look to pass it laterally to the midfielder and continue his run towards the goal.
The example below will show us how Amoo is often surrounded by many players and that is capable of retaining possession even under huge pressure.
In this situation, Amoo progressed with the ball down the flank and he was doubled before additional two opposition players arrived to prevent him from progressing further. Amoo managed to keep the ball with his tight ball control and passing it to his teammate. Amoo has 12 senior appearances and he is already double-teamed by opponents which tells a lot about his qualities. What is also important to mention is that the closest defender is crucial in defending against him. If Amoo manages to go past the first defender he creates chaos because then opponents start jumping out from their position in an attempt to stop him and he often just goes past them because they can’t cope with his pace and change of directions. Amoo is capable of having close ball control even at a high pace which is why he draws so many fouls when progressing towards the opponents’ goal.
What Amoo will have to improve in the future to reach his potential is his decision making, pass quality and use of right-foot. In this section, we will take a look into the two situations which will show us Amoo wrong decisions which happened few times in his short senior career. The first example shows us how Amoo reacted after he received the ball from the left side.
Amoo makes the first touch without even thinking of going to his right where he has a lot of space. Two defenders are positioned centrally and the midfielder arrives at pace to prevent Amoo from adjusting to his left foot. In this situation, Amoo could exploit the situation where one defender lost his balance and stumbles while changing direction if he went right it would be hard for a defender to stop him which would end with him getting into a 1v1 situation or drawing a free kick/penalty. It will be tough for him to find space to shoot with his left foot as time progresses because opponents will get the know him and will see that he is limited on his left foot. Working on dribbling to his right and improving his shot with his right foot will make him a nightmare for defenders.
The example above shows us a situation where Amoo tried to play a horizontal ground pass to his teammate. Even though Amoo wanted to switch side quickly it is a very bad choice to go with a ground pass which is something that coaches don’t like to see from their players in these situations. It ended with an interception by the opponents’ right-back. It seems like Amoo in this sequence already decided to pass the ball towards his teammate on the left, but since he got past the opponent he could easily progress through the middle and create an overload. Judging by the result and the minute of this sequence we can assume that Amoo wanted to get the ball into the open space quickly, but didn’t choose the right type of pass. He still needs to work on his pass quality and he adds too much or too little weight into passes when he improves that in especially when trying to create a chance he could be a very good creator.
This analysis gave us information on Amoo abilities and how he makes an impact on the pitch. His ability to get past opponents at high speed while managing to keep close control of the ball is impressive. This is his first senior season as a starter and he has a lot of room to improve, but based on his performances so far we can conclude that he is a top talent. His small frame could be an issue for some teams, but all of his weaknesses are improvable and some of those weaknesses will be gone at the end of this season given the progress Amoo is showing with each game.