Dor David Turgeman: Why Robbie Keane’s star striker is ready to be tested at a higher level – scout report
In this scout report, we’ll analyse Dor David Turgeman, a lesser-known player who has been essential to the promising Israeli youth teams (U20 and U21). The 19-year-old is currently under contract for Maccabi Tel Aviv and last season, accumulated some minutes in the first team.
Some European clubs are already expressing interest in the Israeli, yet Roger Schimdt‘s SL Benfica were the nearest to completing the deal. Such interest was generated among scouting teams mainly due to his performances in the final phases of the U20 World Cup and the U21 Euro, with Israel reaching the semi-finals of both competitions.
With that said, it’s noticeable that Israeli football is increasing its level, and as it continues, it’s important to follow such talents capable of performing in more competitive scenarios.
In an eventual continuity in Maccabi Tel Aviv, it will be interesting to see Turgeman’s development under the recently appointed coach Robbie Keane. The Israeli has here an excellent opportunity to learn new tactics and grow with the former striker.
In this tactical analysis, we’ll try to disclose what type of player Dor is, as well as highlight his strengths and weaknesses. We’ll see him playing in different scenarios, such as in his club and national teams. On the one hand, we will see what he needs to work on to have more minutes for Maccabi; on the other, we’ll look at his role in the outstanding national team campaigns.
Dissecting Dor Turgeman as a player
To help us understand what type of player Dor Turgeman really is, we used Wyscout and this radar (although it’s from the 2021/22 season, it’s still helpful to understand some essential features).
Turgeman has a significant competitive advantage in his physical attributes due to his height (approximately 1.86 meters) and his coordination in such terms. Furthermore, he has shown quite a decent pace, especially in his sprint (10-30 meters).
As we will see further, the Israeli is quite mobile and agile in his actions on the ball. Such physical attributes are uncommon, where most of the attackers with his stature are slow and static and use aerial duels to hurt the opposition.
Such mobility, combined with his pace and quick feet, makes him a decent dribbler who feels comfortable penetrating the opposition’s back-line. According to Wyscout, in 22 games, he made around 90 dribbles, half of which were successful. Besides, in the radar above, we can see that he ranked in the 86.5th percentile on dribbles per 90 minutes, which is a pretty exciting stat for a striker.
However, there is a fundamental technical feature that Dor needs to work on; we’re talking about his shooting accuracy. As we will see further in the piece, in different scenarios, the centre-forward showed ineffective in some clear goal opportunities.
Before a deeper game analysis to understand why this happens, let’s use the data to confirm such offensive weakness.
Firstly, according to the radar, he ranked in the 68.6th percentile in shots per 90 minutes, yet, his goal contribution percentile is lower than such value (61.15). Besides that, again resorting to Wyscout, it was possible to reveal that in this season’s shots (52), he only hit the target 19th times, which gives approximately 40% of shooting accuracy. In this way, in 1365 minutes played this season, he only scored four times, which is something to work on in the future.
In terms of his positioning, as we are going to develop, he seems to have a better understanding inside the box than in a lower zone on the pitch. He is also a persistent player in his actions off the ball, where even though the pass does not reach him often, he recurrent attacks a specific space in depth.
Besides that, he is a combative and high-working-rate player when the opposition has possession of 1.95 recoveries per game. He is also predominant in aerial duels, where he ranked in the 97th percentile according to the radar.
Turgeman is an exciting player for Maccabi’s future
As we can see, Maccabi Tel Aviv split their initial formation into 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2. This can be explained by the fact that Vladimir Ivić, who preferred a three-centre-back system, left the club in January and gave his spot to Aitor Karanka.
In both cases, they played with two attackers, in which Eran Zahavi played lower to make the midfield-attack connection. Đorđe Jovanović usually occupied the further offensive position in the first place, and by Dor Turgeman as a second choice.
Let’s now focus on the different phases of Turgeman’s positioning. Initially, during the build-up, he positions right on the defensive line of the offender, giving space, as we said, for Zahavi to explore.
Alternatively, the 19-year-old Israeli commonly attacks the depth, especially when the ball is uncovered. He seems to understand the ideal timings to attack that space. Both his strength and pace help him succeed in this kind of movement. This move is typically vertically from an inside zone, which can turn is game somehow predictable.
In this way, his positioning in organisation is something Dor can improve on in order to create a wide range of alternatives for his game. Even though we saw him playing wider or making inside-out and outside-in movements, Turgeman must understand better when and where to position himself during the game.
To exemplify, we pick a game situation where he chooses to attack the space inside, while he could have been a lot more successful if he explored the area by his right.
Furthermore, he has the necessary technical and physical qualities to succeed in playing by the flank, as it is shown below.
He feels comfortable dribbling by the flank, and more importantly, he seems an objective type of player who shapes his decision in advance. In this case, he spills the opponent and cuts back near the end line.
When Maccabi opt for a direct game, they often look for Dor, who has a physical advantage at that stage of the match. In fact, the above radar verifies such an assumption where he ranked in the 97.0 percentile (%) in successful aerial duels played, as we previously mentioned.
Here we can see an example of what direct gameplay looks like for Maccabi, and besides that, we see Dor clearly winning an aerial duel against a lot more experienced opponent.
Near the box and when playing with his back turned to the opposition, Turgeman can be a serious threat. His ability to, through his strength, handle the defender with his back allows him to maintain the ball in good zones to hurt the opposition.
Suddenly he can half-turn and shoot, surprising everybody, especially the goalkeeper, who has serious difficulties seeing the ball go.
Finally, the attacker seems to position himself quite well in potential crosses to the box, and more importantly, again, good timing when attacking such space.
Turgeman as an essential piece in the success of his national team
Like Maccabi, both Israel youth national teams play with two centre-forwards, and again Turgeman is the most advanced element of his team.
They were a team that preferred to build up from the back, and with preferentially short passes, they successfully found their way to the attack. To protect such a strategy, Turgeman often descended past the halfway line to give a solution to the centre-back, as we can see below.
At the national team, Turgeman seems more mobile concerning his positioning and is seen more often by the flank or even by attacking the space between the full-back and the centre-back.
We also noticed more convergence and harmony between the attacker and the other national team elements on and off the ball.
For example, in the sequence below, we can see that an approximation by the midfielder, in this case, Oscar Gloukh, opened a big gap on the defenders’ backs. Dor quickly saw it and took advantage of such movement, attacking the depth with his decent pace.
Still concerning his positioning, when out of possession, the Israeli likes to be positioned relatively deep in the field to have an advantage in an eventual counterattack. Such positioning aligned with his pace can make Turgeman severely threaten these transitions.
Yet, we think the Israeli improved significantly compared to his performances at Maccabi Tel Aviv concerning and ability with the ball. This could be due to his confidence levels, which in Israel’s national team seemed considerably higher. Such improvement could be visible in small skilful details or, more obviously, in dribbles and goals.
As it goes, Turgeman was decisive for Israel in the U20 World Cup by scoring this outstanding goal against Brazil in overtime, which sent them to the tournament’s semi-finals. This goal translates the ability and the technicity inherent in the Israeli, which is infrequent in players with his physical stature.
Another goal with a high level of complexity was in the U21 European against Germany, where again Turgeman successfully dribbles the opponent and finishes it in the low corner with his left foot.
As we see it, Turgeman is one of the biggest promises of Israeli football. Seeing him competing in a more competitive European league would be fascinating.
The Portuguese league would fit him well because it’s tactically demanding. We believe he could grow immensely in that feature, especially under good coaches like Roger or Sérgio Conceição. Besides, he also has double nationality, Israeli and Portuguese, and with that said, a move to Portugal would make sense.
There are other interesting leagues where this player can improve and compete in the first stage of his career, such as the Dutch League (Eredivisie), the Belgium League (Belgium Pro League), or even the second tier of English football (Championship).
Turgeman is an exciting player mainly due to the positive relation between his physical stature and technicity. He is a player that feels comfortable not only by using his height to threaten the other team in a more aerial approach but also in dribbling and adding skilful details to his game.
He’s a player that after adding some more confidence to his game, showed that he could be a decisive element, just like we saw in the U20 World Cup and the U21 European tournaments.
Yet, if he aspires to play in Maccabi’s initial lineup or a higher-ranked league, he still needs to improve his finishing and in one or another tactical detail.