How Paloma Lázaro’s move to Parma can help her compete with the best Serie A Women strikers – scout report
Paloma Lázaro Torres del Molino is one of Serie A Women’s best-performing strikers and she is confirming her worth with an excellent run of form during this period of the season.
Lázaro is a Spanish player aged 29 and started her career at Rayo Vallecano in 2010 before playing for Madrid CFF and Granadilla before flying to Italy and joining Pink Bari, Fiorentina and finally staying at Roma since 2020. During this winter transfer window, Lázaro joined Parma and this opportunity represents another chance for the Spanish to shine and prove her worth in Serie A Women.
She had some fruitful experiences overall and was usually impactful for every team she played at. And at the moment, she is trying to prove to everyone that she is one of the best in Serie A Women and that she deserves a chance with the Spanish national team especially when knowing that the World Cup is knocking on the door.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will be focusing on Lázaro’s footballing characteristics and specifically her attacking traits before comparing them to some of the most in-form Serie A Women strikers in order to assess Lázaro’s statistics and see what she has in common with these forwards and what she needs to improve in order to become better than the strikers who have got higher rates.
Position, roles and statistics
Lázaro is an attacking player who is used to interpreting different roles on the pitch and on holding various positions. She is a player who can suit any team’s tactics since she has the tactical awareness and the intelligence needed to execute what is asked from her efficiently. Lázaro plays as a striker most of the time according to Roma’s 3-5-2 and she proved very useful when playing alongside a second striker such as Valentina Giacinti. She can also be used as a forward in the 3-4-3 formation with two advanced playmakers playing just behind her.
When the team uses the 4-3-3 formation, Lázaro does well when playing as a striker and can be used on the left wing too as left striker and she has already proved that she can be dangerous even when playing on that part of the final third, knowing that the roles differ when playing as a left striker since this would require more assist making and crossing than when playing as a central striker. Lázaro however was able to do well and interpret this different mission successfully on more than one occasion. At the same time, Lázaro can also play as an advanced midfielder especially on the left side since she did play in this position a few times. Nevertheless, her main position is upfront, as a striker. In terms of statistics and characteristics, Lázaro is a striker with outstanding positioning rates, very good passing numbers and fairly good dribbling rates. She shoots a lot per match however her actual goal contribution numbers are quite low compared to her expected goal contribution.
Therefore, what she needs to improve is mainly her goal contribution numbers but also her ability to win aerial duels, her passing accuracy and her defensive support, even though this last one is not a very necessary trait for strikers yet a very useful one to help the team when out of possession.
In terms of goalscoring, Lázaro is a very skilled finisher who can score goals via numerous methods and from different situations. Her finishing techniques can vary according to the situation she is put in and what is special with Lázaro is that she is able to quickly react and find the most suitable finishing way to almost every situation. The following example clearly shows how she makes the most adequate decision at the right time by jumping in the air and executing a back-heel shot following an accurate cross from the right-wing.
Her ability to make the decision in a very short time as well as the accuracy of her shot confuse the goalkeeper and the defenders marking her too and allow her to score goals so often, such as in this case. Moreover, this was not the first she scores goals using her back heel. She did this multiple times and was able to score using this technique, which proves that this not just a “lucky” action but rather a well-planned and executed finishing skill.
Lázaro also knows exactly when to escape from marking and when to move without the ball in order to receive it in the perfect way. As the excellent positioning statistics suggest, Lázaro is a striker who spots the right timing to move for the ball and finish the action, and that’s one of the striker’s most important traits. The next example of a goal against Parma in a match that witnessed two goals from Lázaro in her first match with the team clearly highlights her excellent sense of positioning inside the box since she waited until her teammate provided the through pass before initiating her run towards the ball.
In addition to the mentioned finishing abilities, Lázaro has also proved capable of scoring using lobs, headers, volleys, half-volleys and left-footed shots. This makes her an all-around finisher who knows how to deal with complicated situations without overthinking. Moreover, Lázaro often retreats to serve her teammates and leave the space for them to advance and score goals. Although she needs to do this more often in order to increase her number of assists, Lázaro usually executes her key passes with great accuracy and creates a lot of danger whenever she has the ball inside the final third. In this example, she provides an accurate assist to her teammate at the back of the defensive line after she attracted some of the defenders towards her.
Comparison with Cristiana Girelli, Kosovare Asllani and Elisa Polli
In order to compare Lázaro to these three excellent forwards, we need to identify their strengths and weaknesses and compare the statistics of these players to Lázaro’s stats. To do that accurately, we collected these pizza maps in one picture to make things clearer and more straightforward. One remarkable aspect that characterises Lázaro and makes her a very dangerous player inside the box is the fact that she surpasses all of these three strikers in terms of positioning rates.
Moreover, Lázaro provides more dangerous passes per match than all of Juventus’ Girelli, Milan’s Asllani and Inter Milan’s Polli. Therefore, Parma should exploit this trait further and instruct Lázaro to retreat and pass more often to get the best out of her outstanding passing quality. At the same time, Lázaro will have to work harder in order to reach the goal contribution rates of Girelli and Polli while also improving her numbers in terms of aerial duels if she would like to compete with these two players regarding goalscoring. Being more dangerous in the air would certainly and automatically improve Lázaro’s goalscoring numbers and therefore make her a more clinical striker.
Paloma Lázaro has been putting on some very convincing performances at Roma and started her new journey at Parma in the best possible way. If she continues with the same determination and efficiency in attack, she can improve her numbers and be among the best in the league, especially when considering that she is actually during her peak years and that she has the experience needed to excel at Parma.