Here’s why Fenna Kalma can become Wolfsburg’s next top striker – scout report
Fenna Kalma is a striker who has just agreed a deal with Wolfsburg Women and will be part of the team very soon, moving from Twente and Eredivisie to Germany. This will represent a very good opportunity for the 23-year-old Dutch international since it will give her a chance to play for the first time at a big team competing for UWCL and challenging Bayern Munich for trophies each year. And the proof of this is that Wolfsburg reached the UWCL final this season and have the opportunity to lift the title if they beat Barcelona after they excluded Arsenal and PSG as well.
Joining such a team is really an important and positive step for Kalma but at the same time, it can be considered as a tricky event. In other words, Kalma will have to pay a lot of attention to how she integrates into her new team and how to approach the training and her first games because chances in such teams are not aplenty and the challenge for starting spots is huge.
Even though Kalma is a two-time Eredivisie top-scorer, she should work very hard in order to showcase her abilities, convince her coach and get some playing time opportunities more often. It should also be said that this will not really be a simple mission mainly because Wolfsburg have strikers like Ewa Pajor and Alex Popp who are reliable and essential for the attacking phase of the team. In this tactical analysis scout report, our focus will be centred on Kalma’s attacking abilities and will also be an analysis of how she can fit Wolfsburg’s tactics.
Fitting Wolfsburg’s tactics
In order to be a key player at a team like Wolfsburg, Kalma will need to perform at her best, mainly in the striker role when given the opportunity. In fact, she has got excellent physical abilities that allow her to beat defenders and represent a source of danger inside the box no matter who is marking her. If she succeeds in being as dangerous with Wolfsburg as when she was at Twente then she will surely get more playing time.
The following heatmap shows that she doesn’t only move inside the box but leans towards the right and the left wing to get the ball and retreats to defend in her team’s own half when needed as well. This also means that Wolfsburg can deploy Kalma as a left winger at times too since they did this previously with Popp.
Moreover, playing with two strikers upfront (Pajor and Kalma or Popp and Kalma) could be a very impressive and effective idea since having such strikers and goalscorers at the same time would surely work from an attacking perspective, especially if there is chemistry between those two strikers.
In order to assess her goalscoring traits, we looked at episodes of Kalma’s goals and what was impressive about her is her ability to deal with complex situations and difficult passes and convert them to goals without necessarily looking frustrated or forcing her actions. This means that it all comes naturally for Kalma and having some great physical strength facilitates things for her.
Yet, that is not sufficient because speed, decision-making and agility are also needed for this role especially when trying to overcome strong defenders. Kalma has got all of these traits as well and she confirmed it on numerous occasions including in the following image where she was escaping from marking while pointing to her teammate for a spot to pass the ball to. As soon as her teammate saw her, Kalma accelerated and met the ball at the adequate spot, anticipating all defenders and even the goalkeeper, to score the goal.
Kalma is also capable of shooting from distance with unexpected timing to confuse goalkeepers and score beautiful goals. She has a powerful shooting ability and usually tries to use it whenever she gets the slightest opportunity to do it. In the following example, we see her shooting from a near-impossible angle while being marked and yet she succeeds in confusing the goalkeeper and scores a magnificent goal from outside the box.
Moreover, it should be said that Kalma’s playing style resembles that of Zlatan Ibrahimović in terms of using physicality and acrobatic moves as well as using her body to protect the ball and being aggressive when needed, even though the comparison shouldn’t necessarily be made given the differences men’s and women’s football.
In the next image, Kalma completely blocks her direct marker from moving or from marking her and stands in front of her in order to receive the ball without issues and succeeds in putting the impact she wants on it. This shows Kalma’s tactical maturity and more importantly her ability to deal well with complicated marking situations. If she succeeds in doing the same in UWCL or against tough teams in Germany, Kalma would surely be impactful with Wolfsburg.
In addition to shooting from distance, Kalma is very good in the air and can score headers most of the time, relying on her physical abilities and precision as well. Also, she has no problems when being put in situations that need dribbling since she has some very good dribbling skills and can surpass opponents using agility, strength and technique.
Passing and playmaking
Kalma has got a 74% average in terms of passing accuracy and therefore we can consider her a very good passer. Although she plays mainly using her right foot, she showed on numerous occasions that she can pass accurately using her left foot as well and in the following example, we see her providing a key pass at the back of defence using her left foot. In fact, Kalma has got good vision and doesn’t really try to get rid of the ball when being in such situations. Unlike some strikers, she thinks deeply before passing and tries to not lose the ball, and this can be very important for the whole team.
Here is another situation in which Kalma shows her creativity and her passing skills. She receives a pass while being in a playmaker position and notices two teammates asking for the ball. Without too much thinking, she chips the ball accurately over everyone to meet her teammate and allow her to be in front of goal. This means that Kalma doesn’t have issues when retreating to play the advanced playmaker role since she can be useful even in this position during the game.
Fenna Kalma has been at her best at Twente and when playing with the Netherlands. Nevertheless, having an experience at a big team like Wolfsburg would surely benefit the player and Wolfsburg as well. If Kalma adapts well at Wolfsburg, she is more likely to become a very essential part of the team and contribute a lot in the attacking phase, especially if she gets regular playing time with Pajor.