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Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 – scout report

There have been quite a lot of managerial changes in the Serie A prior to the 2019/2020 season and the clubs have also been active in the transfer market. One of the teams that have done both are Roma. With their new manager Paulo Fonseca, the Giallorossi are looking to a brighter future after finishing sixth in the league last season.

One of the attributes that they are going to use in order to perform better is the 22-year-old midfielder Amadou Diawara. The Guinean joins after spells at Bologna and Napoli and despite his young age is no stranger to the Serie A ventures.

The player has a lot of qualities that could be useful on the road to Roma’s improvement, but his most outstanding one is his passing.

“We have been following Amadou for a while now” Roma’s chief executive Guido Fienga said, “We are pleased to welcome him to Roma, with the confidence that he can become an important player for the club.”

In this scout report, we’re going to use tactical analysis to show why he could turn out as a perfect fit.

The double P – passing and positioning

Diawara’s versatility is key for his overall performance. As a holding midfielder, his role is often split between defensive and offensive responsibilities. He would contribute to the defensive actions by releasing the press using his movement, but also use a series of passes to retain possession and help with the build-up.

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Amadou Diawara’s 2018/19 heatmap.

His control and work under pressure are very important in terms of advancing the pitch and providing a smoother transition. Covering the whole central midfield is his speciality as he helps not only with his passing abilities but also with his off the ball movement. He makes it easier for the team to play out from the back since his movement drags players towards him and opens the passing lanes. This results in faster forming of the attacks and reaching the opposition’s half where he would serve as a support for escaping the pressure applied by the defensive line.

His movement on and off the ball is perfect for forming counter-attacks. His positioning would allow him to win back the possession and immediately start a counter. Then, with his passing, he could easily deliver the ball further. At times when he doesn’t have the support of his teammates, he would showcase strong decision-making and shoot from distance.

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Napoli were already in possession when Ruiz passed the ball to Diawara in order to escape the pressure.
Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Diawara then immediately used his control and send a long ball to Mertens so he could proceed the ball further. He demonstrated strong decision-making and vision and helped the team to build-up quickly.

His average passing accuracy of 92% is crucial in all phases of the game. He is mostly responsible for distributing the ball all over and retaining possession as seen in the image below:

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
The 22-years-old’s passing map against Sassuolo. He reached 92% accuracy and helped his team retain possession throughout the game.

Defensive support

His physicality is useful when it comes to contributing defensively. His two main positions are either in the central midfield or a bit deeper in the defensive midfield. Once he is allocated to a more defensive role, he is used for covering the opposition’s attacking midfielders and release the press. Putting pressure on the ball carrier would be a great support for the back-line, especially in a moment of quick defensive transition. His movement would allow the defenders to get back in position and structure without the risk of leaving gaps.

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Diawara gained back the possession with sending the long ball.
Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Then the team had to slow down the tempo in order to create smoother build-up. In that split second, Diawara was already moving off the ball so he could be of help in the midfield too.

As his team loses position, he is determined to win the ball back. He has performed 9.88 recoveries on average per game last season. Half of these happened in the opposition’s half which is proof of his pressing abilities.

His awareness of his teammates’ positioning is also among his best abilities. He often covers depth should the others be caught out of position.

How he could fit?

Roma were positioned fourth in Serie A when it comes to goals scored. And that is a result of his attack-minded approach. The team was using lots of through balls and that’s where the 22-years-old’s positioning could come in place. Moving between the opposition’s lines and attracting players towards him would allow his teammates to perform through balls more frequently due to the newly opened spaces.

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
The midfielder used his dribbling abilities to escape his markers.
Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
He then had a few options to continue the attack. But noticing the well structured defensive line in front of Milik, he saw a better opportunity in passing to Insigne in the uncovered area.

The team relies on the players’ individual skills and Diawara would be a nice addition to the squad. Roma often create chances using strong ball control and work under pressure of their players. The Guinean might not contribute in the final stages of the attack frequently, but he could be the perfect link between all lines.

He often tends to send long balls, which would be extremely useful against teams applying high press and with highly positioned defensive lines. In moments when Roma could not break the press and all passing lanes are blocked, he could use his vision and provide a nicely measured long ball behind the defence.

Amadou Diawara 2018/19 - scout report - tactical analysis tactics
Amadou is strong in sending long balls. In the case above he made the perfect pass behind the defensive line, enough for his team to advance the pitch and create a scoring opportunity.

Diawara’s positioning would be key for the Giallorossi as they tend to counter-attack often. As already mentioned, he is keen to gain back the possession and proceed to the more advanced areas. Not only he could help for creating counters, but also for defending such. As already mentioned, half of his recoveries were made in the opposition’s half which helps for stopping eventual counter-attacks. That’s something that Roma have been struggling with lately.

The team’s defensive actions have been too inconsistent, which results in their opponents creating lots of opportunities which would eventually be converted into goals. What Diawara might help with is support the defensive line with his movement. He is not the type of player to dive into tackles but applying pressure and moving all around is usually enough to disturb the ball carrier and block their chances for a pass.


This analysis of the tactics shows that Amadou Diawara will be part of the team’s renovation. With expected tactical changes combined with some squad rotations, he could be a perfect fit if his strengths are rightly recognised by the new coach Paulo Fonseca.

He could help in achieving a balance between the defensive and the forward line, by simply using his passing abilities. His movement could be crucial, especially when stopping counter-attacks, which would immediately improve Roma’s performance.

Total Football Analysis Magazine #11: July 2019 - tactical analysis tactics
Artwork by @chapulana

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