How Kaoru Mitoma and Crysencio Summerville both reignited their clubs’ form – scout report
Kaoru Mitoma and Crysencio Summerville both are very new to their clubs. Mitoma arrived at Brighton in the summer, after a year out on loan with Union SG, for a relatively small fee of £3 million. The Japanese winger has earned a call-up to the World Cup due to his recent superb performances and fine form for Japan.
On the other side, Summerville was signed for a similar fee of £1.5 million from Feyenoord as a promising 18-year-old and joining the Leeds under 21’s. The Dutchman earned 6 appearances for the main squad but has only properly broken into the team this season.
While these players have different backgrounds, there are many similarities to their current situation. The pair have both benefitted from a period of time to settle in with the squad and get used to the intensity of the Premier League, as well as a change in management. Roberto De Zerbi’s arrival at Brighton and a recent change to a 4-2-3-1 has meant that Mitoma has a slot at his favoured position on the left wing. On the other hand, Jesse Marsch has brought in young dynamic players in the front line, for a quick and direct attacking approach, which suits Summerville perfectly.
Mitoma earned his first Premier League start in the 4-1 demolition of Chelsea on the 29th of October, while Summerville made his first start at left wing on the very same day, where he scored a last-minute winner against Liverpool at Anfield. Both impressive performances carried over to the next week, where both players scored during their team’s wins, and this could be the start of a continued run in the starting eleven for their sides.
This tactical analysis will come in the form of a scout report which will summarise the skills both Kaoru Mitoma and Crysencio Summerville share. The analysis will highlight how they both have been important to the winning runs of both teams, and the different ways in which they have done so. The tactics of both teams will be analysed to show how each player has contributed to the positive results, and why this will last throughout the season.
As stated above, both of these players prefer to stay wide on the left flank, from where they can carry the ball into the box and drive at the full-back. Mitoma and Summerville are both extremely dynamic ball carriers, whose explosive nature and low centre of gravity allow them to dribble past defenders with ease.
The map below shows us just how often Mitoma carries the ball into the box, with the data only looking at his 2 starts in the Premier League this season. Most of these penalty box entries come from the left side, showing just how wide Mitoma was positioned during settled attacks.
The 25-year-old winger is extremely agile on the ball, making him extremely unpredictable for opposing players. It is impossible to press Mitoma, as he has the ability to receive under pressure and spin out of danger in any circumstance. Mitoma has been very consistent with his dribbling and control of the ball, which has made him very reliable for De Zerbi.
The image below shows how Mitoma receives with his back to goal and evades the pressure to begin an attack for Brighton. Mitoma drops his shoulder to make Nelson Semedo unbalanced and drives with the ball into the space he had created for himself. The Japanese wide man can use his agility, and ball manipulation to create space for himself to drive into frequently each game.
He only needs to create a yard of space, as he can utilise his explosive sprint from a starting position to breeze past his opponents. This allows him to beat his defenders on the outside with pace, and on the inside by baiting his defenders every game, and a longer run in the team will make this clear to everyone.
Crysencio Summerville has also shown excellent ball-carrying skills in the past two weeks for Leeds. The map shows a large amount of ball carries deep in the opposition half although it is slightly more varied in and around the box. In the opposition half, Summerville has achieved 22 ball carries in 2 games, showing just how strong he is at carrying the ball. The varied entries around the box can be attributed to the more direct nature of Leeds’ style where Summerville has attacked unorganised defences more often, and these openings can differ every time.
The young Dutchman’s direct dribbling has been extremely important to how Leeds can move up the pitch and begin attacks. His ability to drive with the ball past opponents has allowed him to consistently begin counterattacks for his side. The image below shows the winger picking up a loose ball and knocking it into the open space where he wins the sprint race against Robertson. Summerville’s running speed makes him difficult to catch and is an important outlet for Leeds.
Summerville has also shown the ability to come inside like Mitoma. His agility allows him to weave in and out of challenges, where his drop of the shoulder and explosive sprint start like Mitoma makes him extremely difficult to stop. The image below shows Summerville cutting inside, attacking the goal more centrally, from where he could either shoot or pass, rather than being limited from a wider position.
Summerville is yet to display these sorts of abilities consistently and has also shown a hesitance to move onto his left foot, where we haven’t seen much of his left foot in action. In this image below, he could’ve attacked the open space, but was hesitant to take on Van Dijk in a sprint race, where he’d have to use his left foot.
Another similarity between the two wingers is their willingness to consistently run in behind opposition back lines, acting as outlets for their sides. Both are extremely fast and have the desire to get onto the end of long balls rather than always wanting the ball to feet. The variety helps make the pair unpredictable as defenders have to be aware to be ready to track back and press higher.
In the image below, Mitoma runs onto the ball over the top, and excellently controls the ball into his path where he is ready to attack the goal. He gets pulled down after he controls the ball, which leads to Semedo getting sent off, and helps Brighton have an extra man for the entirety of the second half.
Summerville also willingly attacks the space in behind when there is space. He attacks the space in behind more frequently, although this is also due to Leeds’s direct attacking style. In the image below, Summerville makes a run into the box after Aaronson plays the ball over the top, and uses his chest to bring the ball down into his path. He ends up winning a penalty for his side after the control allowed him to end up in a dangerous shooting position, which forced the defender to commit to a challenge.
Kaoru Mitoma’s creative passing and vision from wide areas is a key area which makes him stand out among other players in the Premier League. The 25-year-old has amazing awareness which allows him to pick out great passes into the box frequently. The image below shows how Mitoma has played 5 passes into the box for a shot to be taken in only 2 games.
In wide areas, Mitoma uses his dribbling skills to lure defenders out of position by turning their back to them. With his back to goal, defenders think they can close him down, but the winger’s speed when turning allows him to evade the pressure and beat his opponent.
In this image below, Mitoma baits the defender, and attacks the by-line, from where he has the vision to cut the ball back to the edge of the six-yard box. Mitoma can create these sorts of chances regularly through his elite dribbling, and vision to spot free teammates in the box. This dribble led to a late game-winning goal for his side.
Mitoma also makes use of his vision from slightly deeper areas, where he is willing to take risks by playing passes into open teammates inside the box. While there are two defenders delaying the winger, Mitoma is able to use different parts of his body to come up with solutions to break down low blocks. In the example below, Mitoma uses the outside of his right boot to find Trossard which leads to the opening goal. Mitoma has regularly shown creative ways of breaking down a low block, with excellent accuracy on both feet.
Another way in which Mitoma is a creative force from wide is his ability to play defence-splitting passes, with the correct amount of pace to allow his teammates to be in through on goal. Mitoma has the timing in his passes to hold onto the ball until the forward is in the optimal position to get onto the end of the pass and release it before the runner moves offside. Mitoma also displays the desire to attack the box and offer a passing option after releasing the ball, rather than admiring his pass.
The Japanese winger has also shown the ability to cross the ball from the half-space. Mitoma has the perfect ability to weight the ball and the vision to play these balls into the open corridor between the defence and the goalkeeper. As shown below, Mitoma plays the cross into Solly March who has a free unopposed header from six yards out. Should defenders back off Mitoma, he will play a dangerous pass and so will attract more defenders in future matches as opponents become more aware of his threat.
Mitoma has also displayed a very unselfish nature in his game style. He always looks to produce the best goalscoring opportunity, whether it is for himself or a teammate. The 25-year-old will play the extra pass, should it be appropriate. His composure and vision on the ball allow him to do so, and it is no surprise that he got an assist five minutes into his Premier League debut. Mitoma’s great decision-making has made him a threat in the final third on almost every occasion he had the ball there.
In the example below, Mitoma has made a good chance for himself by dribbling into the box, and when he moved into a dangerous goalscoring position, Thiago Silva had to close the shot down. Mitoma’s amazing awareness allows him to notice Trossard, whose marker just left him and he plays the pass with his weak foot between the two defenders. Trossard goes on to score the goal by rounding the keeper and gifts Mitoma his first Premier League assist.
Summerville’s threat in the box
Where Mitoma and Summerville differ in style, is in the difference with one being a creative wide player, in comparison to the other being a box threat through direct runs into the box and narrower movements. Summerville has consistently found himself in very dangerous goalscoring situations through his ability to position himself well and his desire to attack the box.
The xG shot map below shows how efficient he has been in front of the goal, although there have been a limited number of opportunities. With both goals in the last two games, Summerville has displayed composure in front of goal by placing both shots near the post.
In transitional situations, Summerville has the speed and the intelligence to get into the optimal goalscoring positions. In the counterattack against Bournemouth, Summerville starts in a wider position, but when the defenders move wide and leave the central channel open, the Dutchman notices the open space and attacks it.
After being played through on goal, he blasts the ball into the back of the net, which is a positive sign for his ball striking although we need to see more to properly distinguish whether the shot was hit hard due to his ball striking or because of his momentum.
Another key skill which makes Summerville effective in the box is his ability to create separation for himself to set him up for a shot. The young wide player is able to quickly knock the ball into an open space, from where the shot can be taken with no interference. This image below shows Summerville making use of his agile body where he moves the ball quickly onto his left foot from where he pokes the ball into the bottom corner.
This tactical analysis has shown the similarities that both Mitoma and Summerville share, which makes them extremely difficult to defend against. Furthermore, Mitoma’s playmaking and Summerville’s box threat have given their respective clubs a new method of creating chances which have allowed them to go on strong runs of form.
Mitoma has earned a starting spot under the new manager almost instantly and will become a key player for a Brighton side that will aim for a top-half finish. He will hope to carry on this strong run of form into the World Cup, where he will definitely attract attention from fans watching around the world.
Meanwhile, Summerville’s threat in front of goal will give Jesse Marsch selection headaches when Luis Sinisterra returns from injury. The young winger has shown his value, by stepping up in certain situations when the game is in the balance, earning crucial points for his side. While he may not be a guaranteed starter, due to the competition and lesser levels of technical consistency, the young man will look to build on these impressive performances and iron out such deficiencies under a top coach like Marsch.