Joel Mugisha at Bodø/Glimt: The exciting teenager making waves in Norway – scout report
After dominating the league for the last few seasons, Bodo/Glimt are finally beaten to the crown by Molde who have dominated the 2022 Eliteserien. Although they have had a disappointing season where they were eliminated from the Champions League as well as from the Europa League, they have found and unearthed a gem of talent in the form of the 19-year-old, Joel Mugisha.
The teenager has featured well for the former champions this season and has been one of the bright sparks for them in a disappointing title defence. This scout report in the form of a tactical analysis focuses on the strengths and weakness of Mugisha as a player and provides a tactical overview of him and how he contributes to Bodo/Glimt’s tactics. Let’s begin the analysis.
Joel Mugisha is a 19-year-old winger who plays on the right wing for Bodo/Glimt in their 4-3-3 system. He has also featured as a left-winger for his side but has predominantly been deployed on the right wing. This is due to his ability to use both of his feet to a good extent which we will look into in detail in this analysis. We can see his action map in the image below which shows more activity on the right flank.
In Bodo/Glimt’s system, he likes to receive the ball very wide which can be seen in the image below which shows the location where he generally receives the ball from his teammates.
Although recently he has been featuring sporadically, overall he has managed to score 4 goals and provide 9 assists in all competitions this season which is pretty average for a teenager who is in a very early stage in his career.
Creativity and Passing
Since he predominantly plays and starts at the right wing, Mugisha is often played as a creative winger who is tasked to enter the box and create chances for his teammates. Mugisha has a stupendous technique on the ball and can play passes with either of his foot very well. He has a good knack for releasing the ball at the right time without over-delaying the moment to play the pass to his teammates.
He has averaged 0.18 xA per 90 in the league this season which is a very good value for a teenager. He also averages 1.13 shot-assists per 90 in all competitions this season.
The above image shows an example of him looking to play a cross into the box from the wing when he finds that he has been double-teamed on the wing, a situation which is not that easy to overcome without any support from his teammates. He plays an inch-perfect cross into the box that meets the runner who is near the tip of the arrow in the image and he takes a shot from that situation.
Mugisha’s crosses have very good bend and trajectory on them, making it pretty difficult for the defenders to read and correctly position themselves to intercept them. This is mainly due to the technique that he uses when looking to deliver the crosses into the box. He is also a high-volume crosser and plays 4.65 crosses per 90 which is amongst the highest in the league.
We can see another similar example in the image above where he carries the ball along the right flank to reach the final third. When he finds opposition players looking to defend him, he decides to play a perfect cross for his teammate inside the box which results in a goal. He has a very good passing range and variety with his passes where he is capable of playing the most expansive passes with great precision.
As mentioned before, Mugisha possesses good technique not only with his stronger right foot but also with his weaker left foot. He can spring good passes and can play a variety of passes with his weaker foot as well. We can see that in the above image where Bodo/Glimt are in a counterattacking situation and he plays a brilliant cross-field pass to one of his teammates with his weaker left foot to perfectly set up a scoring chance for him.
He does attempt some outrageous passes when he plays and he has the knack of playing it often. We can see an example of that in the image below where he attempts a rabona pass with his weaker foot to create a goal-scoring chance for his teammate.
Often when he cuts inside from the flank and arrives into these central zones, he looks to slide a through pass for his teammates or switch the ball to the other flank. Especially during counterattacking situations, these kinds of actions are very valuable for his team especially when the opposition’s defence is already disjointed.
In the example above, we can see him moving into the central zone, Zone-14, and playing a pass to his teammate that would help his teammate to receive the ball in a very good position to both play a decent cross and take a shot as well.
In another example in the image below, we can see him coming into these central zones from the flank, and initially playing good one-twos with his teammate which helps him to skip past two defenders on the flank to occupy the space in the central region. Then he plays a nice through pass for his striker who makes a well-timed run in behind the defence.
Overall, his passing and creativity are at a very good level for someone of his age and experience. We can even say that there is elite-level potential in him when it comes to creativity. He does often misplace some passes or attempt some over-the-top passes in unnecessary situations which is something due to his age and can be corrected with the right set of coaching.
One of the major attributes which a winger is judged upon and is expected to be very good at is his dribbling ability. Mugisha is one of the high volume-dribblers in his league where he has averaged 9.78 dribbles per 90 with an accuracy of 50.3% and generally looks to beat his man in 1v1 situations. Usually, he starts from wide regions and receives passes from his teammates in these positions. The touch he takes on the ball is very neat and also is of the right weight which helps him to maintain the ball at very close proximity.
In the example above, he initially receives the ball when positioned on the right flank. Then he starts accelerating and beats the first defender with pace. After that, he stops and turns the direction of his run which helps him to beat the other defender as well. He then goes to play a low cut-back for his teammate to create a chance inside the box for him.
Mugisha has a very good burst of speed and is very explosive in his runs. This makes his acceleration very strong and with a very good touch, where he also uses his left foot to control. He is pretty fast even when carrying the ball as well. This is especially useful in transitions when he sprints past the opponents and goes on to score goals for his side.
His running style, especially when he takes his strides which are very long. resembles Kylian Mbappe a lot. This usually can come a lot handier during counter-attacking situations where he could ghost past his opponents with his speed. The below image shows an example of that where he is able to sprint past the opposition defence during the counterattack.
He is also pretty good in terms of using the feint and dummy to confuse his opponents where usually he would show them one side but would immediately move in the opposite direction. This is one of the most difficult things to deal with for a defender and a player who is capable of beating defenders using this consistently, it can be said that he is a talented dribbler. We can see an example of that in the image below where he beats Kieran Tierney, who is very good in 1v1 situations, to attack the opposition’s goal.
He also shows variety in terms of moving with the ball where he is capable of going to the inside as well as to the outside comfortably. His ability to wrongfoot the opposition with his body orientation helps him to go either way. When he goes outside, he looks to move to the byline and play a cut-back to create a chance for his teammates and when he comes inside, he either slides a pass through to one of his teammates or takes a shot with his weaker foot.
We can see an example of him moving to the outside where he has completely wrong-footed the defender which can be seen from the posture of the defender directly defending him.
He also uses his weaker foot really well to move the ball and dribble past opponents. The usage of two feet means that he doesn’t have to adjust his body orientation to dribble and that gives him much more options and comfort to go in different directions. We can see that in the image below where he is able to beat Tierney again and this time he uses his weaker foot to nutmeg him and move the ball in the other direction.
He has averaged 5.13 progressive runs per 90 in all competitions this season which is a very high value and is amongst the highest of all players playing in the Norway regions. Overall, he is a very strong dribbler with a good ability to beat his man consistently.
Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the responsibility for the winger to score goals and many famous teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Liverpool have seen their wingers outsourcing their centre-forwards consistently over a season. So shot taking ability is another important attribute that is required and expected from a winger.
Playing on the right wing and being naturally right-footed, he cannot naturally cut inside from the wing and score a goal. He also cannot score from the inside of his foot due to the angle issues from the right side when he strikes the ball. We can see an example of him taking a shot which is mostly the only type of goal he can score from his stronger foot that also doesn’t have a lot of curve in it.
Due to his strong weak foot, Mugisha also has the tendency to shoot with his left foot from distance. He does that quite often by taking a lot of shots with his weaker foot from outside the box. His shot has very good swerve in it, especially the ones that he takes with the inside of his left foot. If placed well, he could score a lot of goals with his weaker foot. We can see an example of him taking a shot with his weaker foot in the image below.
Mugisha is more of a ball-to-feet player which means that he does not make a lot of runs in behind the defence or off-ball movements as he likes to receive the ball to his feet and he is someone who makes things tick with the ball. He does not regularly get into good scoring zones a lot, especially against settled low blocks of opposition. This can be seen in the image below which shows the locations of his shots and we can see a lot of them have occurred from the right side and have very little xG value.
Joel Mugisha is a top talent who has a very high ceiling in terms of his potential and has already played in the Champions League. If he can be developed into a proper goal-scoring winger then he would become one of the best young wingers in Europe and could soon earn a move to top leagues like the Premier League or La Liga.