Analysing Ghoutia Karchouni’s offensive impact at Inter Milan – scout report
Ghoutia Karchouni is a French player who is actually having a great season at Serie A Women’s Inter Milan and she has been helping her team in terms of goalscoring, playmaking and defending as well. She is becoming a fundamental player at Inter Milan and she is confirming the performances she put on last season and during her period at Bordeaux.
In fact, Karchouni started her professional senior career at Paris Saint-Germain from 2013 to 2016 before moving to the Boston Breakers and then to Bordeaux from 2017 to 2021.
Karchouni is actually one of the best-performing midfielders in Serie A Women and what she is doing at the moment in terms of tactics and in terms of contribution to her team’s excellent run of form warrants a call-up to the French national team during the upcoming period since she can be very useful in France’s midfield especially ahead of the 2023 World Cup.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will be analysing Karchouni’s footballing characteristics and her role at Inter Milan while exploring her goalscoring and playmaking skills. And we will begin by discovering the positions she can occupy and her general strengths and weaknesses.
Positions and roles
As you can understand from the heat map below, Karchouni is naturally a central midfielder with excellent offensive skills. She can also interpret the advanced playmaker role very well too since she has a mixture of playmaking skills, creativity, shooting abilities and defensive characteristics as well.
At Inter, she is often used as a right or left midfielder in their 4-3-3 formation. And at the same time, she plays frequently as an advanced playmaker, especially when the team is lined up according to the 4-2-3-1 formation. This explains why Rita Guarino relies on Karchouni mainly as a central or an advanced midfielder and not really as a defensive midfielder in a double pivot.
Karchouni’s roles on the pitch are various and they include mainly playmaking, providing passes to the final third and the box, taking set pieces and creating dangerous opportunities through crossing from set pieces, shooting from distance when creating suitable opportunities, and closing passing lines inside her team’s own half.
Not all midfielders are capable of being regular goalscorers since scoring goals is not the principal task of midfielders. Nevertheless, some midfielders have got the goalscoring instinct in them as well as the abilities needed to be useful in this regard. Karchouni can be considered as one of these players since she is an excellent goalscorer and she excels mainly when shooting from distance.
This ability allows her to be dangerous from different positions and receiving the ball in any spot inside the final third represents a possible shooting opportunity for her. That’s why it is difficult for goalkeepers and defenders to predict when she will go for shooting and when she will pass the ball to a teammate.
The following example from a match against Soyaux shows clearly how every wrong pass made close to Karchouni inside the final third can represent a real threat to the opposing team. Soyaux players made a passing mistake when clearing the ball out of their box and Karchouni seized the opportunity perfectly by opting for a powerful shot from distance without overthinking it or hesitating. And the result was a very beautiful goal that the goalkeeper couldn’t save because the ball was getting higher progressively until it touched the crossbar and went down inside the net.
As we mentioned above, Karchouni is also a set-piece specialist and she is continuously proving that she needs to keep taking free-kicks by scoring important ones, especially the one she scored lately against Milan in the Derby. Being able to use her shooting skills in a great way when shooting from distance and when taking set-pieces surely makes Karchouni a very useful midfield player who not only has what is needed from a midfielder but also provides some much-needed extra attacking support and efficiency.
This type of player adds a lot to the team’s attacking performances since they are creative and they come up with unpredicted episodes most of the time. For this reason, Guarino will have to keep exploiting Karchouni in the best possible way in order to use her skills in an efficient way, especially from an attacking perspective.
Karchouni can also score from closer distances and she is also a fast dribbler who knows how to get rid of marking in an impressive way. Moreover, she is a player who has a lot of confidence in her abilities and always appears like a player who knows exactly what she is doing. This confidence and mastery allow her to perform even better and take decisions in an easier and more efficient way.
The following example highlights this decision-making ability and clearly shows how confident is Karchouni in front of goal. She was advancing with the ball after dribbling past two defenders and when she was on the edge of the box, she saw two of her teammates giving her passing options while being completely unmarked. Nevertheless, Karchouni opted for the solo option and scored the goal by herself using one of her powerful shots. She had the possibility to advance before shooting or passing the ball to one of her teammates, yet she was very confident in her ability to score using a long shot, and she did so successfully.
In terms of playmaking, Karchouni is considered as one of the best in her position in Serie A Women this season since she has proved her ability to provide key passes and assists to her teammates in a regular fashion and without complicating things.
Her passing mastery and accuracy allow her to deal with pressing very well and still be able to provide accurate passes to her teammates without impacting the quality of the pass. The next picture shows Karchouni running between the lines of the opponent prior to providing an accurate assist to the striker who moved well to meet the ball at the right place.
With such key passes, Karchouni is capable of always being dangerous inside the final third and that explains the reliance of Guarino on the French player in this advanced midfield position. Moreover, resisting the pressing and having the necessary physical strength to still execute the pass despite the disturbance is key to becoming a successful playmaker and staying at a high level.
In addition to her short passing efficiency, Karchouni is also excellent in terms of crosses and long passes. She is actually the team’s corner taker and free-kick taker as well. In fact, she executes these set-pieces very well as we saw in the previous section. But this does not only concern direct free-kicks from relatively short distances. We are talking about assist-making from free-kicks executed in the middle of the pitch.
She is able to not only create danger or throw crosses towards the box but also to launch accurate crosses to a precise target. In this case, she made a beautiful assist to her teammate who scored a header thanks to a well-executed cross.
Another characteristic that differentiates Karchouni from other players and makes her stand out as a creative and useful midfielder is her ability to read the game quickly and have the necessary vision to do so with accuracy, especially in terms of passes using her head.
She showed on more than one occasion that she is capable of orienting crosses with accurate headers in order to create a goalscoring opportunity for a teammate. This might sound normal but it is actually very complicated to succeed in executing such headers with accuracy and especially in making the decision in a very brief period of time. Yet, Karchouni has often made assists using unexpected headers in complicated situations such as the one you can see below.
Ghoutia Karchouni is definitely a very useful midfielder for Inter Milan and she deserves to be selected for the French national team very soon since it is certain that her defensive and especially her offensive skills can help the team a lot during the upcoming competitions, as she is helping Inter Milan battle against Serie A Women’s Juventus, Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and the rest, as this analysis has shown.
If Guarino keeps exploiting Karchouni’s shooting and playmaking skills in the way we are witnessing this season, Karchouni will surely shine even further in Serie A Women and perhaps at a bigger team soon.