Jann-Fiete Arp is a German striker born on the 6th of January 2000. The young complete-forward had made 21 appearances, with 17 of those being in the German second division. The young forward is old fashioned, and could be likened to Jurgen Klinsmann, he has a strong overall game and is able to dictate play and the press from a lone position role. He has also shown his tactical versatility as he has played as a striker, winger, attacking midfielder, and even as deep as a defensive midfielder. Such positional and tactical versatility has awarded him with many talents, and with these talents, he could be the best – let’s find out why in this tactical analysis scout report.
A master of space
Jann is capable of receiving the ball in the air due to his height of six-foot but is equally as capable receiving the ball deep, running in behind to open up the defence or dribbling past a number of players himself. This makes the young striker so unique, the ability to have such a complete set of options when attempting to penetrate a defensive backline allows him to be unpredictable, akin to Spurs & England star Harry Kane.
Arp’s investigation of space allows him to prop up in various locations. In a 3-0 win over Duisburg, Arp scored a goal and received a 9.37/10 rating from WhoScored. This is arguably the key aspect of his game alongside his perfect dribbling ability.
We can see in the image above that Arp has found space for himself and his teammates. He has dropped deep from right-wing (where he played as a wide target-man) into the right half-space. By doing this, he has opened space for his sides number 10, number nine, and wingers to play into. Whilst it didn’t create a positional overload, it exposed large channels, inviting them to be exploited. Such ability at 19 years old is incredible, it took Harry Kane to get to the age of 22 before having such ability.
With Duisburg having a high number of players in the attacking and defensive lines, they see themselves open to exploitation within the midfield. Arp, a complete-forward, has a tactical understanding to spot & exploit this. With his right-winger high and wide, he is in the perfect tactical scenario to drop into the midfield line to overload the opposition. After dropping deep and creating an overload, we see his sides attacking midfielder break free of his marker as he is forced to press Arp. We see this often from top forwards like Harry Kane and his new fellow clubsman Robert Lewandowski – but it’s incredibly rare to see such a tactically intelligent trait possessed by a player of just 19 years of age.
Above, we see Arp purposely ‘running into traffic’ against FC Bayern Munich. With five Bayern players surrounding just three Hamburg players, there has to be an opening somewhere. We see that in the Hamburg player who is underlapping centrally between the Bayern defence. Arp feints his body weight to create a glimpse of space before laying a beautiful left-footed pass breaking the lines of his opponents, he performed this killer pass to perfection – something incredibly promising for a player of 19, and of just 18 when this game commenced.
Something that Jann-Fiete Arp has that comparable players such as Harry Kane and Robert Lewandowski don’t possess, is the ability to glide through players with the ball seemingly glued to his laces.
In terms of complete-forwards, Arp is the better of the three real complete-forwards. His technical, yet direct dribbling is somewhat similar to Kane – though Arp is much more agile due to being 10kg lighter. His dribbling is more adventurous and more penetrating than his two comparative forwards, he looks to break lines and to be a direct threat to his opposition by dribbling at the face of goal – and with his size, he is able to outmuscle midfielders and defenders to do so.
Arp has shown brilliance in the above image. He has produced a run that sliced open Duisburg’s defence, he has outmuscled his opposing defender, he now has a task of a goalkeeper desperately sweeping his lines.
Jann-Fiete Arp shows a sign of brilliance and technical excellence in the above image. To the naked eye, you may just see a keeper off-balance, or poorly positioned. But, in reality, Arp has shown serious class and ability.
As we see above, Arp’s size, technique and technical dribbling ability set him apart from other complete-forwards. As we can see above from the visualisation at the start of this dribbling chapter, Arp likes to dribble more than Kane & Lewandowski, allowing him to transition his side not only through dropping into space to link-up play – but by dropping deep to create play as an individual.
With six goals and two assists in the German Bundesliga 2, finishing is an element of Fiete-Arp’s game that requires steep improvement. With a season total of just 5.92 xG, it’s safe to say he’s finishing his chances when he’s expected to do so, but it’s Jann’s decision making and indecisiveness in front of goal that makes him finish less than he should do.
With 1.4 shots per game, but only 0.2 goals a game, the youngster’s finishing is something that must be raised to a much higher standard. At the time being, he has every key component of a complete-forward to a high standard, his hold-up play, ability to drop deep, passing and pressing from the front is superb – but his finishing is lagging behind.
As we can see from above, Whilst Arp’s xG is comparable to Josh Maja, he’s far behind Fluminese’s Joao Pedro and Juventus‘ Moise Kean. All four strikers have played 10+ games as a striker, making this visualisation accurate in terms of measuring finishing ability. Joao Pedro, Josh Maja, Moise Kean, and Jann-Fiete Arp are the four top young strikers in world football. Whilst all four are individually different in terms of playing style, their goal as a striker is to score, and Arp is lagging behind in this aspect.
Above we see Jann-Fiete Arp through on goal in a last-minute attack. His decision making and composure are at question here as he lashes the ball straight at the goalkeeper. As we can see, there is a large space to shoot into marked red. Arp has the space to fire the ball home into the left side of the goal. This is an area where he must improve, his decision making & technique in front of goal is the only thing stopping him from reaching the heights of a 20 goal a season striker at a top level. In theory, he should side foot the ball with power hard across the ground to guarantee a goal, instead, he goes for a laces approach to finishing. All in all, the stats don’t lie, finishing is a pivotal downfall to Arp’s general game, and if he can improve on this aspect – he will become an elite striker.
Jann-Fiete Arp deserves to be labelled as one of the most exciting strikers in the world. The German U19 international has sealed his big move to German behemoth’s Bayern Munich for a rumoured 2.5 million euro deal. Whilst it’s obvious the youngster won’t be a starter with the Bundesliga side with Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, there is a bright future ahead of him considering the Pole is 30 years old, and may only have two to three years left in the tank at a high level.
With 18-year-old Joshua Zirkzee scoring five goals in 12 games for Bayern’s reserve side, Arp sees some strong competition for the coming years. This is superb for Bayern and German football alike. The two are just 18 & 19 years old, both are complete-forwards capable of playing elsewhere on the pitch. With Bayern playing variations of 4-4-2 & 4-3-3 (as well as 4-2-3-1), Niko Kovac has some tough decisions to make regarding his striking future.
All this competition aside, it’s safe to say you must keep tabs on Jann-Fiete Arp, his overall completeness at such a young age of 19 is incredible, and under the right mentorship at Bayern Munich – he could become one of the best for the years to come.
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