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Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

Iván Fresneda 2022/23: Why he is the next star fullback to emerge from Spain – scout report

At just 18, Iván Fresneda has emerged as one of Europe’s most sought-after young talents thanks to his breakout season in La Liga. After tonnes of rumours linking to Premier League sides such as Arsenal and Newcastle, he potentially has it all to climb through as the next big Spanish full-back, competing with Alejandro Balde for the spot.

The competition that La Liga holds and creates every decade is madly astounding. Fresneda has the legs to climb the big ladders, mainly in a highly competitive and high-intensity league.

His breakthrough season with Real Valladolid will be the focus of this tactical analysis. This analysis will also provide how nicely he fits into Pacheta’s tactics. Despite widespread speculation from top sides across the world, this scout report is solely focused on providing more perspective on the player.

Player profile

Iván Fresneda, a right defender for Real Valladolid, made his professional debut in the Segunda Division last season at the young age of 18. Fresneda stands at a sturdy 182 centimetres and has a sturdy, wide physique. He has an impressively mature frame for his age and uses it to good effect. 

After graduating from Real Madrid’s youth programme, the 18-year-old has established himself as a first-team player for Real Valladolid and seems to be on the verge of a lucrative transfer.

Pacheta was still relatively new to his position after just a few months on the job, the Valladolid first team suffered a succession of full-back injuries, prompting Pacheta to request Fresneda to join the senior squad in training.

Soon after, he was promoted to the first team and featured 79 minutes in a losing effort against Real Betis in the Copa del Rey.

As a result of an injury to a more experienced player in his position, he has been allowed to shine in the league this season despite his lack of experience.

His athleticism is above average for a La Liga player, and he has good speed and the ability to change directions. Fresneda’s strength is impressive considering his young age.

Defensive strides

This youthful full-back commands the defence with his size and aggressive play. His instincts may be his greatest strength, as he can use his speed to make cover-level interceptions that greatly reduce the chances of the other team scoring. 

When Iván presses, his athleticism often causes his opponents to foul out of fear. His tackles are cool and accurate, yet they still pack a punch. His toughness complements his already-impressive talent in the air, making him an unusually effective fullback. 

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

When he played Lille in a friendly, his awareness of marking tight went above and beyond his commitment and desire. What he exhibits as vitality is as intense as the midday sun. He slid through his opponent’s defences and stole the ball on horseback.

His attention to detail and ability to make well-considered decisions were both noteworthy. Although his struggles were acknowledged, Real benefited most from his ambitious performance.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

In a league match against Rayo Vallecano, his man could not find a way to kill him off. Above, you can see that Fresneda’s speed was more than a match for the winger, who is pacing off and attacking the deep area but is having a hard time because of Fresneda’s awareness of depth runs.

Fresneda put on a masterful performance against one of the finest in the world, making Vinicius seem like an unknown for the whole game. Every scout must have witnessed one of the most glittering performances by a teenager. He gave the guys on the flank a tough time, really, Vinicius and Ferland Mendy.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

Fresneda’s name became known all over the world after this game. He was thrust into the limelight after putting on an impressive performance against Real Madrid.

Even though Vinicius’s smooth technique got beyond him, Iván’s physique was unmatched, and Vinicius eventually lost control of his instincts. Iván applied so much pressure on the Brazilian skiller that he couldn’t cope anymore.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

After approximately 800 minutes of playing time for Valladolid, his performance has justified the transfer rumours. His defensive duties and multiple interceptions have filled the right side of the pitch on the above graphic.

Having gained success with a lower-tier La Liga club, his skills are innovative. His potential in the hands of a top club in the league is thrilling and almost unimaginable. Fresneda can do it all on the wing in terms of defence, but one has to keep improving since speedier wingers have discovered ways to exploit his weaknesses.

On the ball ability

When it comes to technique, he has a good handle on the ball and can effectively position his body off of it, and he can also flip his hips while keeping his head up. Fresneda attacks with his dominant right foot, which has excellent passing range and sometimes employs his left foot. He can whip in a nice cross and is dangerous in the penalty area. 

His defenders are adept at closing the gap between them and the opposing player fast and by using sharp, constant angles to break up passes and secure blocks. 

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

He patiently carries the ball against Deportivo Alavés in the Copa del Rey, planning a move for a cross inside the box. Even though he has to work on his crossing if he ever hopes to be a goal-contributing component, performing in front of a large opposing crowd may serve as a source of inspiration.

He manages to slip through the blockade of three men and makes an effort to cross. Despite the cross being prevented, his guts were commendable.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

While being pressed by three defenders, Fresneda calms himself to make the changeover for Real, real simple. After gaining possession, he is met with a strong press from the opposition, but he makes it clear that he intends to break through it. His quick feet allow him to place himself right in the gaps and face up. In the above image, the pursuer is seen being chased away by him.

His astute passes helped break up a defensive stalemate with Madrid, and two pinpoint passes up front helped clear the block. When the Los Blancos weren’t sure whether to push or not, he was caught in the bottom left shot against a pressing opponent. Fresneda made smart use of it by launching high passes to advance the game.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

After a dangerous run that posed more problems for Madrid’s defence, he is given the green light in the top-right frame. It was just the young man who showed any initiative on the wing.

In addition, his 3.46 progressive passes per 90 are indicative of his passing range and line-breaking prowess. Fresneda is not just a reliable passer, but also an impressive ball carrier. He’s a fearless ball handler who can outrun his defender with ease. It’s hardly surprising that Fresneda averages 2.7 shot-creating actions per 90 knowing his vision and ability to create scoring opportunities.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

In the top left photo, Fresneda sprints up front against Vallecano after easily defeating the winger. He has his sights set on cutting inside. When playing against an inferior team, his dribbling skills shone. After seven seconds in the right picture, he has finished his underlap and is in the centre of the passing triangle.

Ivan uses The Pirates’ weakness along the sides to his advantage, providing the team’s striker with a precise cross. Below is a picture of him effortlessly overcoming his opponent.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

To sum it up, Fresneda’s power on the ball extends beyond his distribution abilities to his ball-carrying. He’s an accomplished ball handler who can use his speed to go by his defender. As a result, his talents would be put to great use by teams attempting to counterattack.

Attacking positioning

Fresneda excels as a right-wing stretcher off the ball and as a support runner in general. As he has piled up more starts, he has become an integral element of the quick set-up thanks to his commanding presence over the top and his ability to think on his feet in space. 

Below is a shot taken while one of the central defenders’ passes was in the air; it was intended for the pursuing teenager. Because of his speed, practically all of his runs can be made in a diagonal direction, which always finds him in the penalty area.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

The opponents who have to deal with his charismatic attacking have noted his propensity to dash into open areas. His blazing speed and no-frills attitude to his sprints provide him with the freedom to cut across the field at a diagonal.

While the team is in the short build-up, he moves to the right side of the midfield to provide a connection to the inverted wingers. As can be seen in the above image, the rotation that takes place requires the highest level of coordination and cooperation. Fresneda, on the right, can’t be outnumbered since he just needs to worry about the left back.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

By pulling the centre back out of position, the above image depicts the ideal circumstance for Fresneda, who would be in a one-on-one matchup with the opponent’s number 18. Using his speed and talent in a one-on-one contest near the opponent’s box? Yes, but that’s just one of several concerns for his opponents.

His runs were perfect in the game against Real Mallorca. What he brought to the table in terms of enthusiasm and commitment to the team’s attack was key to Valladolid’s progress in every game.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

Despite Valladolid’s struggles, Fresneda has swiftly emerged as one of the team’s best players because of his high work rate defensive approach and offensive potential as a creator and ball handler. 

Fresneda in the below image threatens a counterattack against Ernesto Valverde‘s Athletic Club. Real benefits from his timely assistance because of the ample room and rapid tempo of his help.

Ivan Fresneda at Real Valladolid 2022/23

Even at the young age of 18, we saw his fierce mentality and big guts, and we knew he belonged in the Premier League. If Arsenal were to get him, it would be the finest move for the team and the signing of the decade.

Iván’s balanced play and impressive positioning in the attack have contributed to his rapid ascent, and he is more than deserving of a spot in the starting lineup. His strong tactical background will put him in high demand.


Fresneda is an established starter right back in La Liga and still has plenty of opportunity to develop. Valladolid is a terrific spot for him to continue developing, but given how well he’s done so far, a local powerhouse will likely want to steal him away. 

Real Valladolid is ready to face the loss of its greatest asset, as a release clause of about a few million pounds is most likely to be triggered this month. 

Iván Fresneda is being eyed by both Arsenal and Newcastle as a potential replacement for Cedric Soares should the latter leave the club this month. Growing behind Takehiro Tomiyasu, the Asian monster would be an amazing opportunity for Iván. Newcastle is also hoping to acquire a young right-back to develop behind Kieran Trippier.

Mikel Arteta, with his enviable Arsenal, could provide the squad with some much-needed muscle with his rock-solid defence and ruthless destruction up front.

After all, Valladolid will have a hard time retaining Fresneda given his skill and potential. For his growth, though, consistent playing time at this level is crucial, and this is something a bigger club just cannot provide. If he had to go, it should ideally be somewhere where he’d get regular playing time and could unwind and perform at his best.