Mounir Chouiar 2019/20 – Scout report
The attacker has developed a reputation as one of Ligue 1’s most potent dribblers this season. It’s easy to see why that reputation has developed looking at Chouiar’s dribbling statistics for the 2019/20 campaign. Chouiar has attempted a total of 7.85 dribbles per game this season, with 54% of them proving successful.
The 21-year-old’s development has provided a glimmer of light to an otherwise dull season for Dijon, who currently sit in 17th place in the Ligue 1 table, with only a slightly more positive goal difference than 18th placed Nîmes Olympique keeping them out of Ligue 1’s relegation playoff place at the moment.
Dijon have played with a variety of different systems over the course of the season, however, more often than not, they have lined up in a 4-2-3-1 shape. Within this system, Chouiar generally occupies either the left-wing position or the ‘10’ position, depending on Dijon’s specific plan with regard to tactics in that particular game.
In this tactical analysis piece, we will examine the key elements of Chouiar’s style of play. We will examine some of the reoccurring traits of Chouiar’s style of dribbling and we will discuss some of the important components of the 21-year-old’s game that help to make him an effective dribbler. This scout report will also detail how the Dijon attacker utilises his key attributes to make a positive contribution for his team.
Chouiar’s tendency to cut inside from the left-wing
One noticeable reoccurring trait of Chouiar’s game is his tendency to cut inside from the left-wing onto his favoured right foot frequently. As mentioned above, Chouiar often features on the left side of Dijon’s attack. However, the 21-year-old attacker is not a player who generally tends to drive down the byline or attack the final third from a wider area.
Chouiar does often receive possession of the ball in wider areas, however, upon receiving possession of the ball, he usually tends to try and cut inside, subsequently attacking the left half-space or even a more central position as he probes into the final third.
This image shows us an example of how Chouiar often positions himself in wider areas prior to receiving possession. Here, we can see the winger occupying a wider position on the left-wing as the ball is being played out to him from the midfield.
As Chouiar positions himself wide prior to receiving possession, he allows himself to create distance between himself and the nearest opposition defender prior to receiving the ball. As the ball is subsequently played to the winger, the opposition defender is forced to push out wide to close him down. Chouiar is then able to attempt to use his dribbling ability to beat the charging defender and subsequently proceed to move into the more central areas that he likes to attack in the final third.
This second image shows us how Chouiar proceeded to cut inside onto his right foot and attack from a more central area, as opposed to continuing to advance play from out wide.
It’s difficult to defend against Chouiar one on one due to the winger’s skillful dribbling ability. As we can see here, the attacker managed to utilise his dribbling ability to quickly advance past the initial challenge from the charging Nantes defender who we saw moving towards Chouiar on the wing in the first image.
As he beat the first opposition challenger, Chouiar subsequently attracts the attention of more Nantes defenders towards him as they look to try and prevent the winger from causing them too many problems. As more defenders shift towards Chouiar’s threatening run, space is created elsewhere for Dijon and Chouiar to attempt to exploit.
We can see two Dijon attackers positioning themselves in the box to compete with the two remaining Nantes defenders in the hopes of getting onto the end of a Chouiar cross in this image. As Chouiar is probing into the left half-space, we can see him getting his head up, readying himself to attempt to play a cross to the dangerously positioned attacker calling for the ball at the back post in this image.
As this passage of play unfolds, we see Chouiar attempt to pick out the Dijon attacker positioned at the far post, however, the winger’s final ball ultimately wasn’t good enough. A criticism one might make of Chouiar is that his final ball often lets him down after he manages to get himself into a dangerous playmaking position thanks to his effective dribbling quality. The lack of quality in Chouiar’s final ball is evident in that the winger is yet to make a single assist for Dijon in Ligue 1 this season, despite being a frequent crosser of the ball.
While the 21-year-old can forge out excellent crossing and playmaking opportunities for himself, there may be room for improvement with regard to his final ball and decision making in the final third. If he successfully improves on his crossing ability and decision making quality when making that final pass, Chouiar may become a more complete playmaker.
However, this passage of play does show us how the 21-year-old uses his positioning and dribbling quality to take opposition defenders out of the game and create playmaking opportunities for himself from more central positions than where he initially receives the ball.
This next image shows us Chouiar attacking the opposition box from a more central area again. Just prior to this image, Dijon managed to spring a counter-attack on their opponents Bordeaux. Dijon ultimately found Chouiar with the ball on the counter-attack at about the halfway line. The 21-year-old subsequently carried the ball on into the final third, which is what this image shows us.
Chouiar’s threatening dribbling quality attracts two Bordeaux defenders towards him here. However, the attacker manages to unbalance the two defenders thanks to his dribbling ability and increased balance and agility on the ball. By threatening to carry the ball on the outside and subsequently shifting his weight and the ball back onto the inside, Chouiar successfully kept the defenders guessing and forged an opening for himself in the box by unbalancing the opposition defence with his dribbling.
This next image shows us how Chouiar’s dribbling paid off for him as he eventually manages to shift the ball onto the inside on his right foot. As a result of his quick and agile movement on the ball, which also moved about the opposition defenders, he successfully creates a shooting angle for himself as the Bordeaux defenders leave some space on their left for Chouiar to exploit after the tricky winger moved them from side to side when creating his shooting opportunity.
This attack ultimately results in a goal as Chouiar manages to plant the ball into the far corner of the net. In addition to his impressive shooting quality, this passage of play shows us how Chouiar uses his dribbling ability to forge opportunities for himself to cut inside onto his dangerous right foot, which he can use to punish the opposition effectively. It’s clear that Chouiar can create opportunities for others as well as himself when cutting in from the left-wing onto his right foot.
Effectiveness in tight spaces
One key factor in Chouiar’s dribbling quality is his effectiveness when operating in tight spaces. As we saw in a couple of the previous images, Chouiar’s dribbling ability often attracts multiple defenders towards him in an attempt to thwart his attempts to carry the ball through the opposition defence. However, the 21-year-old can often be seen thriving in situations where multiple opposition defenders close in on him, creating a tight space for him to attempt to play through.
When in possession of the ball, Chouiar can often be seen biding his time on the ball, almost waiting for opposition players to close in on him. He often draws the opposition towards him before quickly making his move to skip past their challenge at the last moment. Chouiar is capable of doing this effectively due to his quickness and agility on the ball that makes him difficult for opposition defenders to stop.
This image above shows us an example of Chouiar having just received possession of the ball. Once again, we can see the attacker positioned in a wide area upon receiving possession, subsequently drawing the movement of opposition defenders towards him.
Rather than attempting to dribble past the first opposition defender who is positioned between Chouiar and the opposition goal, the attacker is aware of the movement of two other opposition players towards him from more advanced positions who we can see tracking back towards Chouiar in the image above. With the knowledge that these other two players were also approaching him, Chouiar bides his time to wait for them to close in on him, creating a tight space in which the attacker thrives.
In this second image, we can see how tight the three opposition defenders ultimately ended up making the space around Chouiar as they closed in on him. As soon as the three opposition defenders got tight to Chouiar, that is when the attacker ultimately ended up beginning to carve through them with his quick and agile dribbling quality.
In the image above, we can see Chouiar beginning his dribble by knocking the ball in between the two nearest opposition defenders and into the direction of the further opposition defender. Chouiar subsequently follows in pursuit of the ball as he begins to cut inside.
This third image shows us the final portion of this dribble in action. As we can see, Chouiar successfully got onto the end of the ball following his movement in the previous image. His initial movement ultimately left one of the opposition defenders in his tracks, who we can now see positioned in his team’s right-back position.
Chouiar’s initial movement attracted the third opposition defender who we had seen him knock the ball towards as he began his dribble in the previous image. Meanwhile, one of the original two opposition defenders who Chouiar had attempted to beat can also be seen continuing to track the attacker’s run in this final image.
As he gets back onto the ball, Chouiar subsequently weaves back towards the goal, evading the challenge of the two defenders and continuing his dribble towards the opposition goal. However, the attacker is ultimately fouled before he can continue his run into the opposition penalty area. This results in the winger successfully winning a free kick for Dijon.
This passage of play shows us an example of how effective Chouiar can be at carving through tight spaces in the opposition defence. The tricky attacker can often be seen biding his time for the opposition defenders to close in on him before quickly taking off on his dribble. This is effective due to the quick and agile movements that the 21-year-old is capable of making, which makes him difficult for the opposition to defend against.
Effective use of his body in holding off opponents when receiving possession
As we mentioned earlier on in this tactical analysis piece, Chouiar likes to receive possession of the ball in wider areas than he ultimately ends up attacking upon probing into the final third. In addition to that, more often than not, the 21-year-old also likes to come deep to receive possession of the ball to feet, as opposed to being played in behind the opposition backline.
As he receives possession of the ball to feet in deeper areas, Chouiar is often able to take on opposition defenders using his dribbling ability to take them out of play. One notable element of the 21-year-old’s game that helps him to quickly take opposition defenders out of play, is his effectiveness at using his body to protect the ball upon receiving it under pressure in a deep position.
We can see an example of how Chouiar effectively uses his body to protect the ball under pressure in this manner in the image above. Just prior to this image, Dijon’s left-back played the ball up the pitch to Chouiar who, as we can see, dropped deep in order to receive the pass.
As Chouiar received the pass from the left-back, he was immediately put under pressure from an opposition player. As we can see, this pressure prevented Chouiar from turning, upon receiving the ball. However, we can see that the 21-year-old attacker intelligently uses his body to hold off the challenge from the opposition player, protecting the ball while doing so.
This next image shows us how Chouiar’s use of his body in this manner can be effective at helping him to beat opposition players upon receiving possession. As we can see, Chouiar’s use of his body was effective at drawing the challenge of the opposition player, however, his agility and balance in addition to the intelligent use of his body help him to ride the challenge and subsequently skip past the opposition player, continuing Dijon’s attack.
This shows us, once again, how effective Chouiar can be when put under pressure and challenged at close quarters by the opposition. The winger can often be seen utilising his body effectively to protect the ball when receiving it under pressure and subsequently drawing a challenge from the opposition which he can often skip past due to his impressive agility and balance, as we saw an example of in the passage of play discussed above.
To conclude this tactical analysis piece, it’s clear that there are a number of elements to Chouiar’s dribbling ability that go into making him one of the most dangerous dribblers in Ligue 1 at the moment. The positions that the Dijon attacker takes up prior to receiving possession are important for setting him up optimally to threaten the opposition defence upon receiving the ball.
Furthermore, Chouiar exhibits intelligence and quickness, in addition to a good level of balance and agility, when actively dribbling the ball. All of these key attributes combine to make Chouiar a threat for opposition defences on the ball.
Chouiar’s tendency to cut inside, in addition to his high number of dribbles and relatively frequent crosses may make him comparable in style to Willian, of Chelsea.
The 21-year-old’s dribbling ability is his biggest asset. However, he is also capable of producing a dangerous shot at goal when he forges the opportunities for himself through his dribbling ability. Should he improve the quality of his decision making in the final third, as well as the quality of his final ball, Chouiar could be a very complete playmaker.