Terem Moffi 2019/20 – scout report
Terem Moffi has burst onto the scene in only a handful of matches for Kortrijk in the Belgium Division A. The 20-year-old striker has scored four goals in nine games since moving across Europe from Lithuanian side FK Riteriai, where the Nigerian scored 20 goals in 29 appearances.
This tactical analysis scout report aims to shed some light on the young striker. An analysis of his playing style, strengths, the tactics utilised to integrate the player and a data review will be provided to shed light on what fans of the Belgian league could see as Moffi prepares for his first full season at Kortrijk.
Given he is only a 20-year-old, Terem Moffi has just come into the spotlight in Belgium, and there is not a large amount of information on the young Nigerian. However, what we do know is Moffi stands at 1.85m, with a strong athletic build. This highlights that he has the capacity to fit the mould of an all-round striker, with height and strength to compete aerially as a target man, but short and light enough to be quick off the mark and play as a poacher on the shoulder of the last defender. Additionally, his balance of size and speed means he could also play as a second striker and get involved with play, run the channels or even be deployed in a wide position when needed.
His career in numbers
As highlighted, in Terem Moffi’s short career thus far, he has proved himself as a goalscorer. The only time he has failed to have a significant impact for a club was for Lithuanian side FK Kauno Žalgiris, where the striker scored just one goal in eight games. However, as a 17-year-old in his first senior season, it would be harsh to judge him based on these performances alone, not forgetting that such playing time offers large sample size variability.
In addition to this, FK Kauno Žalgiris finished last and were relegated from the division, emphasising the difficulty for a 17-year-old striker to thrive. For full clarity, his stats during this period are shown below. The player was positioned as a centre-forward in all but one match, demonstrating his positional tendencies going forward.
Upon leaving FK Kauno Žalgiris, Moffi joined FK Riteriai, also based in Lithuania. It was within the 2019 season where Terem Moffi announced himself, scoring 20 goals in 29 appearances. Again, he was utilised as a centre-forward, this time in all matches.
Another keynote to add is that the Nigerian averaged 90 minutes per game, highlighting his fitness, resilience and performance levels to start the majority of matches and play the full 90 minutes in nearly all contests. His stats for his time at FK Riteriai are below.
As highlighted by the stats above, Moffi averaged 0.62 goals per game within his 20 goal season. The most impressive thing about this is that his xG was 0.65 per game, suggesting that Moffi was slightly underachieving based on the shots he was taking, but he was close to meeting the expected finishing rate. This is interesting because occasionally when players go on a goalscoring spell, they overachieve based on xG. The elite players in the world are able to consistently outperform their xG due to above-average finishing ability and composure, like Lionel Messi from Barcelona or Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo. However, lower-level attackers generally regress towards or below the expected rate of finishing. The fact that Moffi is performing at the expected rate to produce a 20 goal season suggests he is able to sustain this form if he keeps receiving the same quality chances at the same rate of course.
Terem Moffi chipped in with a few assists in the 2019 season, but his stats outline his game is based around one thing, goals. His shot rate could be higher compared to Europe’s top strikers but his finishing rate is good, as discussed. His dribbling stats suggest his ability to carry the ball using his athleticism and he gets involved in aerial duels and wins his fair share, again, emphasising the point of his well-rounded physique.
When we take a look at the 2019/20 season, again a small sample size is present, reducing the capacity to make definitive conclusions on Terem Moffi’s performance. But, what is clear is he has hit form for Kortrijk, scoring four goals in nine appearances so far. By taking a quick look at his numbers, we can see that his goals per 90 have decreased slightly, but he is still maintaining an effective goal rate, after moving to a new team in what is commonly known as a tougher league. His xG has decreased, likely due to a combination of taking slightly fewer shots per 90 and receiving less service, most likely due to the enhanced defences in Belgium in comparison to Lithuania.
His xG decrease suggests the Nigerian’s goal scoring form is likely to regress to the expectation, meaning his goal rate would drop from 0.58 to around 0.44, should all factors remain the same. However, there is also the impact of further familiarisation with teammates, tactics and individual or squad development which could cause the quality of chances created to increase to match Moffi’s scoring rate, and as seen, Moffi tends to finish as expected or above the mean in his short career thus far. Again, it must be stated that these nine matches are a very small sample size in isolation, with the striker often used as a substitute. Nonetheless, the data produced so far suggests that Moffi can play as an all-round striker, engaging in ball carrying and competing in aerial duels centrally. However, his focus and production still lie in goals rather than creativity.
His style of play
Terem Moffi appears to be predominantly left-footed, with 18 of his 25 career goals scored with his left. Four goals were scored with his head, suggesting his ability to compete aerially, while the remaining three goals were scored with his right foot, highlighting his tendency to shoot and rely on his dominant foot. Two of his four-headed goals came from corner kicks, suggesting his physical presence and aerial ability once again to score in a congested penalty area, rather than been picked out with a pinpoint cross.
Six of his goals have been from the penalty spot, highlighting the confidence and composure to step up from 12 yards and find the net at such a young age. His confidence appears to be a strong part of his character, playing senior football at 17 years old in a foreign country before making the step up to the Belgian league look seamless at age 20. Examples of his well rounded physical, technical and psychological ability will now be presented and described.
In the image above, Moffi scores a headed goal and whilst he reached the header relatively unopposed, he displayed great awareness and intelligence regarding his teammates, the opposition defenders and predicted the flight of the ball by dropping off the defenders and holding his run before heading low and hard past the goalkeeper.
Again, playing centrally, as Moffi tends to do, the Nigerian striker can play on the shoulder of the last defender. In the instance above, a ball is clipped over the top of the defenders and Moffi, positioning himself between the two defenders, is able to use his intelligence to stay onside, read the play and then use his acceleration over a few yards to reach the ball first. He takes a couple of touches before showing composure to finish under pressure with his favoured left foot.
Finally, as stated using the descriptions and data above, Moffi has the physical and technical capability to dribble, matched with the willingness to run with the ball should the opportunity present itself. In the example above, Moffi finds himself in a 1v1 position on the left-wing. He is played the ball near the halfway line and he let the ball run and accelerated after it. Taking a few touches he was able to get in front of the defender and divert the ball closer to the goal. The speed of the attack and run meant Moffi reached the corner of the penalty area ahead of more central, retreating defenders. The striker once again showed his composure and finished from a tight angle.
Overall, Terem Moffi is an exciting young talent. After a slow start to his early career in Lithuania, Moffi produced an impressive season of 20 goals in 29 appearances, notifying clubs around Europe of his ability and earning himself a move to Kortrijk in Belgium. Since the move, he has announced himself in Belgium with four goals in nine appearances.
The player appears to have all the makings of a great goalscorer. His physical attributes mean he is strong and quick and when combined with his technical ability and the intelligence he presents, it appears Moffi can score different types of goals and fulfil different tactical roles by design or through scenarios presented in the dynamic nature of matches. As it stands, the young Nigerian passes the eye test and produces data which highlights his impressive start to his career, whilst also suggesting that his level of performances are sustainable. Only the future can decide if Terem Moffi will keep progressing to become one of the best strikers in Belgium, or possibly one of the more revered leagues in Europe such as the Premier League.