La Liga has manufactured many super talents over the years, and some of those talents have gone on to conquer the world. One of the latest names to be put on the same list is the 22-year-old Rodrigo Riquelme.
Riquelme, who plays for Girona, is a dashing young talent full of energy and enthusiasm. The youngster’s dynamic presence in the final third has helped the team immensely. With three goals in La Liga this season and some incredible performances along the way, he has turned some heads in his direction. Therefore, we take a look at some of his stats to understand why Rodrigo Riquelme will be a player to watch out for in the future.
Rodrigo Riquelme has made 13 appearances this season in La Liga, starting nine and coming off the bench in four matches. He has scored three goals in La Liga and a goal in Copa Del Rey as well.
The above visual shows the percentile rank of Rodrigo Riquelme compared to other left-central midfielders in La Liga. The youngster has incredible attacking stats, while his other stats need to improve more. He is ranked in the top 95.6 percentile for shots, dribbles, and entries into the opponent’s penalty area per game. His passing statistics aren’t great, and neither are his defending statistics. But his attacking threat makes him an incredible addition to the team.
Rodrigo Riquelme can play as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder, or even a winger. When he plays as a winger, he makes full use of the width and takes on players 1v1. He participates in an average of 10.14 offensive duels and wins 33% of them. If we observe the visual closely, we can also understand that the 22-year-old plays some crosses into the box. On average, he plays 2.4 crosses into the box with a success rate of 43.5%. His ball control and dribbling make him an ideal candidate to play on the wing.
The above visual shows the xG map of Rodrigo Riquelme. He has scored three goals this season in La Liga and has a goal in the Copa Del Rey as well. Riquelme has attempted a total of 23 shots this season, with nine of them on target. Since he mostly plays those shots away from the post, as we can observe from the visual, his xG per shot is very low. He averages 2.4 shots per game with 39.1% accuracy and has exceeded his expected goal metric.
Dribbling is easily one of Rodrigo’s best qualities. He is fast and decisive with the ball and has good ball control too. The above visual, which shows the penetrating carries made by Rodrigo Riquelme this season, tells us that he likes to cut the ball inside to a more central position and pose a threat from there. He has made an average of 5.44 dribbles per game in his debut season in La Liga and has won 36.5% of those dribbles. In addition, Riquelme also makes around 2.82 progressive runs per game.
Compared to last season, Riquelme’s dribbles per game have gone down. But considering the difference in standards between the Segunda Division and La Liga, it is more than fair to say that he has done pretty well. Last season, he managed to make an average of 9.7 dribbles per game with a success rate of 50.2%. He had 116 penetrating carries last season and made around 4.98 progressive runs per game as well. Even though these numbers have come down a bit, he has shown promise that he can do well in La Liga as well.
Vinicius Jr. has done incredibly well on the left flank and has made himself the template for left-wingers in La Liga. The above visual compares the radars of Rodrigo Riquelme with those of Vinicius Jr. As we can observe, the Brazilian youngster, who has established himself at the highest level, has better stats compared to the Spanish youngster. Riquelme has better stats in shots per game and has done equally well in dribbling as the Brazilian. Vinicius, on the other hand, has better stats in all other parameters. If Rodrigo Riquelme can improve his other stats as well, he can try to catch up with the Brazilian winger in the future.
Rodrigo Riquelme has impressed everyone with his swashbuckling runs and dribbles and has helped Girona immensely as well. His ball control and pace make him an ideal candidate to play on the wing. Riquelme is still young and has a lot of areas where he should improve. But if he manages to do that, it won’t be long before a big club comes in for him.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine