The CIES published its weekly newsletter on Wednesday and Belgian football is well represented. Of the best young dribblers in Europe, several come from the Pro League, and one Red Devil is in the top 10.
The European Football Observatory’s weekly newsletter has looked at the best young dribblers in Europe, i.e. those who have not yet celebrated their 23rd birthday, and has created two top lists: one for the 5 main European leagues, the other for all world competitions (65 analyzed competitions).
The ranking recognizes a young Jupiler Pro League talent: Club Brugge sensation Antonio Nusa (18) is by far the best young dribbler in the world with an index of 5.17 (the index calculates the frequency of successful dribbles in the competition, the success rate of dribbling attempts and the sporting level of the matches played), with an average of 10.9 dribbles per 90 minutes.
A crazy figure: the number two, Luis Guilherme (17) from Palmeiras, has an index of 4.04 with an average of 6.6 dribbles per 90 minutes. The podium is completed by another great Brazilian talent, Wesley Gassova (18) from Corinthians, who has an index of “only” 3.72 with 8.7 dribbles per game, but a success rate of only 50%.
Johan Bakayoko, the best Belgian
Further down the table, Johan Bakayoko (20) is the first Red Devil to make an appearance. The PSV Eindhoven winger is 6th with an index of 3.45 with 7.1 dribbles per 90 minutes. Bakayoko has a 63% success rate.
Then you have to go much further down to find a player from the Belgian competition, and a Belgian one at that: Malick Fofana (18) is 17th in the rankings with an index of 2.95 and 6 dribbles per match for a success rate. of 66% at KAA Gent.
Charles De Ketelaere, best devil in Europe’s top 5
The rankings for Europe’s Big 5 (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France) show lower numbers, proving that dribbling becomes more difficult in the big leagues. For example, 16-year-old Barcelona star Lamine Yamal, number 1 in this ranking, has an index of 3.18 for 56% of dribbles per match.
He is ahead of Gabriel Martinelli (22) and his 3.16 at Arsenal, and Luca Koleosho (19) who shines at Vincent Kompany’s Burnley (3.05). You have to go down to 23rd place to find a Belgian: Charles De Ketelaere (22) with his 1.81 at Atalanta Bergamo.
But where is Doku?
Anyone paying close attention will have noticed the surprising absence of Jérémy Doku, often cited as one of the best dribblers in Europe and the world. There is a simple explanation for this: the Manchester City player does not meet the eligibility criteria.
The CIES has taken into account players who have played 450 minutes in the league this season, and no player in the rankings is represented for his figures at two different clubs. Doku has 407 minutes at Manchester City and 111 at Rennes: adding up these minutes he could be included in the analysis, but CIES has only taken minutes at Manchester City into account.