Martin Zubamendi has been a key figure in the Real Sociedad midfield since joining the club. The defensive midfielder has been a crucial part of their success in La Liga this season, helping them climb to third place and a place in the Champions League. The 23–year–old has since become an important part of the first team and has been a mainstay in the side ever since. He is often compared with the likes of Sergio Busquets owing to their similar style of play. Zubamendi is a classic defensive midfielder, renowned for his ability to break up play and protect the defence. His reading of the game is impressive, and he is often the first line of defence for the back four. He is also an excellent passer of the ball, able to pick out a teammate with a well–timed pass. Below, we look at some of the stats for the player in order to understand his contributions on the pitch.
Zubimendi’s performances over the seasons
The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player as compared to other defensive midfielders in La Lisa for the seasons 2022–23 and 2021–22, respectively. He played a total of 36 matches for the team in 2021 and has appeared in 19 matches for Sociedad in La Liga 2022/23 so far.
Martin ranks extremely high in terms of winning aerial and defensive duels as a defensive midfielder. He has shown a decent improvement in winning duels as compared to last season. Zubimendi has also shown an increase in rank when it comes to goal contributions per 90 minutes. He has also gone on to improve his possession stats and passing accuracy. Touches in the penalty area are one of the areas where he has fallen dramatically. This is mainly because he is playing as a defensive midfielder and has reduced going forward too often.
Passing and distribution
Martin usually plays in the centre of the midfield and makes movements all over the pitch in order to create and provide much-needed defensive and possession-based stability on the pitch. He makes 46.28 passes on average per 90, with a completion rate of 87.8%. It can be seen that the player makes many forward passes, averaging 16.06 per match, and makes 7.26 passes to the final third per 90 minutes. Zubimendi is a player who likes to provide control for his team and maintain possession. He shines in a setup where possession is the way to progress and offers good support to the team.
Martin Zubimendi likes to play possession football through the middle of the pitch. He attempts 0.51 dribbles per match, with 80% of them being successful. Most of his action is in the middle and final third of the pitch. His confidence and ability to keep hold of the ball are what make him worth more and are one of the reasons behind his success. The player has an average of 0.31 touches in the penalty area per 90. Additionally, he makes 1.38 progressive runs on average. Overall, he does not prefer to dribble; instead, he is the one who moves the ball around.
Defensive actions on the pitch
The above viz shows the defensive territory of the player for Real Sociedad in La Liga 2022/23. It indicates that Martin is involved in a lot of defensive actions in the defensive third and makes interceptions near the defensive and middle thirds. It can be observed that the player has given up some fouls and has averaged 1.53 fouls in the current season. Overall, he has an average of 15.09 duels per 90 and a 62.7% win rate. Martin averages 4.04 interceptions per 90 minutes and makes a lot of movement in the opposition’s half in order to put high pressure on the opposition’s midfield and final third. He makes 8.95 successful recoveries in the opposition’s half per 90.
Zubimendi vs. one of the best DMs in La Liga
The above radar is a comparison between Martin Zubimendi and Sergio Busquets for Sociedad and Barcelona, respectively. It can be seen that there is an extreme amount of similarity between the two players. The veteran has a better number in most of the departments given the fact that he is one of the pivotal players in Barca’s title challenge this season. Zubemendi is making more goal contributions and making more progressive passes. He is also able to find more success in the air. Both the Spaniards are like-minded on the pitch, and Martin Zubimendi is playing the role of Busquets for Real Sociedad.
Overall, he is an intelligent player and has been praised for his tactical awareness and leadership. He is often seen directing and organising the midfield, making sure he is in the right positions and doing the right things. Martin will be keen on helping his side secure a finish in the top four this season, especially with the likes of Sevilla looking to be out of the picture. There is a real chance for Sociedad to claim dominance in La Liga this time around.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine