André Frank Zambo Anguissa : Scouting Report
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Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa currently plays for Napoli after making the move from Fulham during the 2021 summer transfer window. Napoli will finally have their replacement for Allan who has been badly missed since his transfer to Everton last summer. Anguissa will slot right in as the defensive midfielder who’ll provide cover and break up attacks for the defense, but also start the counterattacks and distribute the ball to the attackers like Allan used to do for Napoli. Anguissa will be eager to test himself in a more defensive-minded league and use his offensive skill sets to carve out the defenses.


Anguissa is a unique box-to-box defensive midfielder. Traditionally, defensive midfielders don’t dribble often but instead will distribute the ball quickly to the playmakers on the team to start the attacks. But Anguissa likes to dribble to start the counterattacks himself and that’s a huge asset for Napoli. Of course, there are risks in having a ball-playing defensive midfielder like Anguissa such as if he loses possession then he’s out of position. Thus, the manager will have to plan accordingly so that Anguissa has the freedom to dribble his way out to the attacking third and provide cover when he does. He’s not much of a deep-lying playmaker, as a result, but he does provide that extra body in the attacking third to help out the attack. He still has to work on his finishing abilities to be more of a goal-scoring threat, but that hasn’t stopped Anguissa to push up and help the attack on hand.


And while he dribbles, he has great vision to pick out passes, whether it’s through-balls or cross-field passes to switch the play. As a result, he is able to be an extra playmaker for the team to help alleviate some pressure off of the main playmakers on the team. His passing and vision are very underrated considering he doesn’t rack of the stat sheet and plays a defensive midfield position, but it’s a skill set that he is very comfortable with and excels at.


While he has very unique offensive skill sets, he is still a defensive midfielder first thus, he has great tackling skills. When he does lose possession, he is able to recover quickly using his physicality or his tackling ability. He really likes to tackle to break up play and start the counterattack and that really suits his playstyle. Playing those one-twos or short passes after breaking up play allows the team to quickly attack the opposition before they can get set up.


His style of play is similar to a Fernandinho except for the ability to shoot. Fernandinho was a defensive midfielder who had a box-to-box style of play where he was able to contribute both on the defensive and offensive side of the ball. His ability to read the game and disrupt attacks as well as starting the counterattacks with his passing and vision is very similar to Anguissa. Fernandinho also liked to dribble to start the counterattacks as well and use his passing ability to carve out the defenses, thus providing an extra creative player and a numbers advantage in the attack. If Anguissa is able to improve his shooting ability, he has the potential to be as good as Fernandinho. And he’ll have to improve it in the Serie A because midfielders tend to shoot outside the box with the defensive shape being so compact. Thus, midfielders in Serie A have adapted to shoot from long range in order to be a goal-scoring threat and have the defenders respect their shot.


It’ll be interesting to see how Anguissa adapts to a new league as he has played in Ligue 1, English Premier League, and La Liga. Serie A is a different league, of course, with a very different style of play than the three previous leagues he has played in. So, he’ll have to adapt his game a little bit to be more effective for the team and help Napoli finish with a Champions League spot.


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