Takefusa Kubo - Video & Scouting Report
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 Known as ‘the Japanese Messi’, Takefusa Kubo is a young Japanese attacking midfielder currently playing for Getafe in the Spanish top division. The 19-year-old player was in Barcelona’s youth teams since he was only ten. When he’s 14, he went back to Japan to play with FC Tokyo’s youth team. Although, it didn’t take much time to make his debut in the professional team; becoming the youngest to ever play in a J-League team, only 15 years old at the time. 

Kubo is a left-footed right-winger who has a very good passing and dribbling ability. He can also play on both wings. With Japan, in the last Copa América in Brazil, he played mostly in the left flank but switching the wings constantly. He was always receiving the ball in a different wing, and his best plays came from the left. Furthermore, what most spotlights in his game is his good reading of the game and offensive intelligence. He’s really good at positioning himself without the ball, always attacking any gap that the opponent leaves. With the ball, he always seems to make the right decision; either to find a free teammate, to shoot, or to force a one-versus-one duel. Also, this one-versus- one ability is one of his best traits. That is proven by his incredible average of 72% of this duels won in all his career. 

For an 19-year-old player, Kubo has a superb awareness of the pitch and knows where he needs to be. He has an incredible capacity of knowing what’s happening in the game around him, and capable of finding good spaces in the opponent’s half. He does that either to receive before creating a chance or to find a better-positioned teammate. He often links up for teammates as a good passing option. He likes to play wall-pass combinations, as well as showing up to receive in both flanks. 

Kubo’s ability to win one-versus-one duels is a very strong character in his style of play. Across his career, Kubo has won 72% of this duels. This is a really incredible statistic. 

The ‘Japanese Messi’ thing probably has to do with his way to conduce the ball. Kubo likes the ball to be very close to his left foot, which is very similar to Messi. This particular on-ball style is what makes Kubo wins the majority of his duels, as this makes him have much control of the ball. Besides, what he uses a lot too is a fast touch forward to surprise the marker. In the process, he often knocks the ball and getting away from the defender using his quick speed. 

Kubo averages only 0.85 long passes per 90 minutes. That tell us much about his game, as he prefers to make short and fast passes. He averages 27 simple passes per 90 minutes, most of them in opponent’s half. Of his 1164 total passes, 85% were accurate. Even better, 652 of those were forward passes. This shows that his style of passing is 

very aggressive and sharp; always seeking to approach the opponents’ penalty box. As expected, most of his recipients are the strikers and the attacking midfielders. This is because of his tendency to make forward passes. 

Kubo stands at 173 centimetres and weighs about 67 kilograms. Aerially, he can do well contesting players shorter than him. But if they’re on the same height or when the opponent is taller, he can’t do much. He has just won 19.5% of defensive duels. It shows how his strength is an issue in his game. Kubo definitely needs to build more muscle if he wants to be better in today’s football, which demands a lot of physicality. Even when attacking, having a good upper-body strength is necessary to take a charge from a defender, mainly to keep on going in high speed. 

To conclude, the ‘Japanese Messi’ nickname is not for nothing. The 18-year-old has an outstanding dribbling ability and spatial awareness. However, he’s still need to improve his physicality and defensive ability, mainly if he wants to be a more complete player. We are sure Kubo has a lot to evolve and can do great things in the near future. 


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