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Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero: Assessing Atlético Madrid and Manchester United’s exchange deal – scout report

Atlético Madrid Women and Manchester United Women recently agreed to exchange Vilde Bøe Risa with Irene Guerrero in a transfer deal that might benefit all parties. The good thing about this double transfer is that both teams are acquiring players in the same position yet with different characteristics and abilities. 

In this tactical analysis and scout report, the analysis will be divided into three parts: one section exploring Bøe Risa’s traits and how she can fit Atlético Madrid’s tactics, a second section dealing with Guerrero’s transfer, studying her abilities and identifying what she can add to the Red Devils, and a final section comparing between the two players and assessing which of the two teams is more likely going to benefit more from this exchange. 

Vilde Bøe Risa’s traits and possible addition to Atlético Madrid

Bøe Risa is actually 28 years old and had already played for several teams before joining Atlético Madrid, including Arna-Bjørnar, Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, Sandviken, and Manchester United. Having played for these teams since 2012, she acquired the experience needed to be a solid midfield option for any of the big teams, and choosing to try a new challenge in a different Spanish league represents a motive for Bøe Risa to showcase what she can achieve and how she can upgrade Atlético Madrid’s performances to help them battle Real Madrid and Barcelona and why not lead them to better UWCL results soon, knowing that the team’s best ever result in the competition was reaching the Quarter-finals. 

Bøe Risa is characterised mainly by her intelligent passing abilities and her vision that allows her to break defensive lines in an impressive and direct way. This would help Atlético Madrid a lot during transitions or when building up from the back, as players like Bøe Risa can always be impactful even when they are not physically fit. This action shows a glimpse of Bøe Risa’s tactical awareness of her surroundings and her ability to break defensive lines with excellent and accurate key passes.

She provided a very intelligent pass into space to her teammate between two opposing players, making the action more dangerous and allowing her teammate to provide an assist or aim for a cross. Delivering the final pass or the pass that paves the way for an assist is one of the skills and duties that Bøe Risa masters and can execute more often at Atlético Madrid.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Moreover, Bøe Risa can be instrumental in terms of first-time passes. Why? Simply because it is always complicated to expect and anticipate such passes, and at times, opponents get surprised and fail to react quickly because they were expecting a different action from the player. And since Bøe Risa often executes these first-time passes accurately, thanks to her ability to scan the pitch and make a decision before receiving the ball, defenders usually can’t react and fail to limit the danger of her passes.

This example shows one of Bøe Risa’s first-time passes and highlights how crucial these passes can be. She spotted her teammate’s run on the right wing and immediately provided a through pass in her running direction as soon as she received the ball and without controlling it. Such actions also prove that Bøe Risa is a very technical player who can use her passing skills however she wants. Also, not overcomplicating things and playing simply yet intelligently and quickly makes Bøe Risa a unique and influential midfielder.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

With a 77.8% passing accuracy average and 62.8% regarding passes toward the final third, Bøe Risa can be classified among the best passers in Europe. In addition to that, her ability to use quick dribbling and protect the ball in midfield makes her an all-round midfielder. Nevertheless, the only aspect that Bøe Risa might work on and improve is the physical one because playing in Spain might require more physical strength as duels can get more aggressive. But simultaneously, a player like Bøe Risa can always get away from pressure and complicated situations in midfield using her feints and dribbling abilities. Adding a bit of physical strength can always be helpful for her to win more duels, though, and be more impactful from a defensive perspective.

From an attacking perspective, Bøe Risa can become an even more impactful player, especially in goalscoring. Her roles at Manchester United and Norway include advancing during crosses and counter-attacks to provide passing options and playing between the lines as if she were an advanced playmaker to provide critical passes. Indeed, Bøe Risa doesn’t really score many goals per season, yet her excellent positioning during attacks can help her score more goals at Atlético Madrid and with Norway, too. Working on this aspect and instructing Bøe Risa to attempt more shots on goal per match can make her an even more dangerous player upfront.

This being said, Bøe Risa proved that she can score using headers and become a set-piece taker alongside Estefanía Banini, knowing that she has already scored a free-kick recently and showed an impressive set-piece shooting technique. Developing this skill and working on it even harder at Atlético Madrid would be beneficial for the player and her teams.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Irene Guerrero’s possible addition to Manchester United

Manchester United have just acquired the services of Guerrero coming from Atlético Madrid, and the player is more likely going to help the Red Devils a lot in upgrading their midfield quality in different aspects. Guerrero is a 26-year-old international player who started her footballing career in 2015 at Real Betis before moving to Levante and then to Atlético Madrid last season. She is a midfielder who can provide different additions to Manchester United’s midfield, whether in a midfield duo or trio, knowing that her presence adds a significant defensive addition. In addition to her remarkable physical strength, Guerrero’s international experiences with Spain helped her develop quickly, especially from a tactical perspective and allowed her to become a better passer with reasonably good vision.

Guerrero is not just a defensive midfielder but also provides key passes that contribute to scoring goals. Being able to serve such key passes like the one shown below usually would certainly upgrade Manchester United’s midfield contribution to attacks, and why not make their attacks more frequent and dangerous? We have picked this particular example to show that Guerrero masters passing and can use different techniques according to each situation. In this action, she preferred to use the exterior part of her foot to pass the ball (while looking elsewhere) between the opposing players and allow her teammate to have a crossing opportunity.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

Being a consistently accurate set-piece taker can also represent a reliable weapon for the Red Devils since Guerrero’s corners have often created danger and sometimes goals. Working even further on her crossing and set-piece taking would be beneficial for the team as Guerrero has the potential to become an even more dangerous and accurate set-piece taker, especially when it comes to free-kicks where she only lacks confidence and more training.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

When she advances between the lines inside the final third, Guerrero can always be beneficial for Manchester United as she can provide key passes in tight areas using quick chipped passes like the one shown below, key simple passes crosses from the wing, and more. Nevertheless, she is less likely to aim for shooting from distance and prefers passing most of the time. Working on this aspect is never a bad idea. However, the results are not necessarily going to be positive in terms of shooting accuracy/success.

Vilde Bøe Risa and Irene Guerrero at Atlético Madrid and Manchester United 2023/24 - scout report tactical analysis tactics

One of Guerrero’s key traits is her defensive prowess and ability to read the game well. This includes her ability to intercept passes, win defensive and aerial duels, make successful sliding tackles, and cover for the defenders whenever needed, especially during counter-attacks. Having a player like Guerrero can help Manchester United have a more solid midfield and contribute to conceding fewer goals per game. Guerrero’s statistics confirm that she is a reliable defensive midfielder, as she wins 65.5% of duels per match and makes an average of 85.7% successful sliding tackles.

This being said, Guerrero should be attentive to the way she reads the game and to her defensive approach because things can be different in the WSL in comparison with the Liga F, as teams tend to use various tactical strategies that are distinct from those used by Spanish teams.

Comparing Bøe Risa to Guerrero and assessing the exchange deal

We can argue that the differences between Bøe Risa and Guerrero are remarkable but not massive. Both players are excellent passers and midfielders who can break defensive lines using essential passing and contribute with assists, set-piece taking, and sometimes goalscoring. Bøe Risa can be considered a slightly more impactful player in attack than Guerrero. However, the latter is a more useful defensive midfielder thanks to her physical strength, ability to win more duels and mastery of sliding tackles. Therefore, Guerrero can provide a massive defensive addition to Manchester United, knowing they already have reliable midfielders with more attacking characteristics, such as Hinata Miyazawa and Ella Toone. 

For Atlético Madrid, Bøe Risa will represent a midfield upgrade, especially from a playmaking and tactical point of view, because the team lacks this type of player with consistent key passing ability and playmaking skills. Bøe Risa can also help remove high pressing as she is used to dealing with such situations and using feints and quick dribbles to avoid marking smoothly. Bøe Risa’s profile can be useful for Atlético Madrid, especially if the player adapts well to her new environment and finds the necessary chemistry with players like Banini and Leicy Santos. Therefore, both sides are expected to benefit significantly from this exchange as Manchester United needs an all-round midfield like Guerrero with outstanding defensive attributes. In contrast, Atlético Madrid are expected to become more dangerous and organised from a playmaking point of view following the addition of Bøe Risa.


Irene Guerrero and Vilde Bøe Risa are facing new challenges. They will have to make up for each other’s absence in their respective teams and provide the needed additions to succeed in their missions, which can surely be complicated, especially in the beginning. Succeeding in starting the season well and smoothly integrating their teams will surely help both players greatly. Also, both head coaches will have to be attentive enough not to use these two players in a way that does not suit their characteristics. Head coaches must also improve both players’ performances by giving them suitable duties and working on their weaknesses.