Luis Ezequiel Ávila, the Argentinian player at Osasuna in La Liga who is commonly known as Chimy Ávila, participated extensively in the first half of the season and showcased a great talent, contributing with 12 goals in 20 matches.
Ávila who joined Osasuna last summer from the Argentinian team San Lorenzo for only three million Euros was the important man for coach Jagoba Arrasate’s attacking system before his injury.
Through this tactical analysis, we will try to review what the Argentinian player has provided tactically and some statistical improvement with his team this season.
Ávila is a modern centre forward who can be utilised in any structure on the pitch, and we can notice his positioning in 4-1-4-1 tactics.
The Argentinian man is very intelligent with his position in the last third without the ball, where he leads the team to apply the coach’s instructions.
With teams like Osasuna which leave the ball possession most of the time at the matches, the striker must note the passing channels in the build-up phase from the opponent, as we will see in the next shot.
Here we can notice Ávila’s position in the first line of Osasuna’s shape, and he’s essentially organising the team shape while Villarreal start the play.
With great mobility, we can see Àvila’s horizontal movements around the space of the penalty area of the opponent, where he is usually dangerous and can exploit it very well.
The half-spaces are also the avenues he often explores while moving in the final third.
Here we can see the main place where he moves up to the opponent area and plays horizontally and vertically in the last third.
Ávila is a striker who can play at the top level of European leagues and that’s because of his attacking ability.
Ávila is the most important striker in the Osasuna team in terms of scoring and assisting despite the injury that struck him in the middle of the season.
The Argentine player has an expected goal ratio of 0.43 per match, which puts him ahead of many attackers who played more than him this season, and appeared in the list of most effective ones, even ahead of the likes of Antoine Griezmann with Barcelona.
Ávila has great intelligence in moving and also in controlling the ball, which facilitates the process of scoring or creating the goals, which we will try to explain.
Here and very smartly, he got rid of a Sociedad defender. He was able to move in such a way that he could head the ball in the far corner and it was an unexpected move for the goalkeeper.
Ávila ranked as one of the smartest and most skilled players in the Spanish League this season, as he was the 10th best player in attempts at goal with 65 shots and an expected goal ratio of up to 0.11 (xG/shot).
Ávila’s intelligence was often shown in moving without the ball in the space behind the opposing defensive line, as we shall see.
Here we see his request for the ball in space to bypass the offside trap in front of the dilapidated Deportivo Alavés defence line to cause danger, whether by going directly to the goal of passing the cross.
Here due to his superior vision, we find an excellent pass to the next teammate in space and score.
The Argentine striker has a unique ability to move and request the ball in space and this not only benefits him but also increases the chances of direct play for the Osasuna team.
We can observe his movements in parallel with the movement of the ball in the last third in particular, as he is the most influential player within the team.
Off the ball movement
Ávila was always moving parallel to the movement of the ball and going into the space in-behind the defence of the opposing team to make himself a solution.
This point is part of Ávila’s distinctive offensive capabilities, as he has 28 shots on goal, including 19 from inside the penalty area for the opponents.
As an unconventional striker, he moves horizontally on both sides of the penalty area and inside it, which makes him get a lot of opportunities, some of which translate into goals, as we will see.
Here we see his movement vertically in the space behind Real Sociedad’s defence, who play with a high line, taking advantage of his intelligence and striking the wrong positioning of the left midfielder who put him onside.
Here, his great mobility and communication with his team-mates made Adrián López pass the ball with his heel towards the Argentine striker, even though he saw in front of him two other options for passing.
A distinguished attacker is one who makes his teammates trust him and pass the balls to him even if he is under pressure from the opponent or is standing in an area that seems not dangerous.
Although he does not have much height, he moves in a distinctive way to receive the crosses, in a style similar to Sergio Agüero of Manchester City.
Here Pervis Estupiñán plays across on the far post and Àvila moves diagonally to block the way to the defender and scores the goal.
Ávila is the most important man in the first half of the season with Osasuna, where he contributed to the collection of many points that contributed to the survival of the team in the league.
Apart from his impressive offensive appearances, he also had an effective defensive role with his team system.
Ávila seriously participated in the defence system of Osasuna club, where he is the first defender in the defence system of the team, where he is in the defensive third of the opponent in a 4-2-3-1 manner as the only striker.
Applying pressure on the opposing team’s central defenders in the build-up phase is his first task in a team style that leaves possession for opponents most of the time.
The Argentine player was able to apply pressure on his opponents’ players 343 times during this season, and the largest part of them is in the offensive third of Osasuna, with a score of 149 times, which we will notice.
Here, Ávila puts pressure on Villarreal defender Raúl Albiol to make it difficult to build up the game and force him to play the long ball so Osasuna regain possession.
Also, the constant pressure makes him snatch the balls up from the opponents in a counter-pressing situation, often leading to quick transitions from defence to attack.
Ávila was able to cut the ball from the opponent and switch to the counterattack on 30 occasions, which is a great number for an outspoken striker, including 12 balls in the first and middle third of his team.
Here we see his ability to cut the ball from a Villarreal player in the middle of the field and prevent the continued building of play for the opponent and he did rebound work due to his focus and super speed in reaction.
His great focus on the trajectory of the ball made him a major contributor to the defensive system in various parts of the field.
After losing the ball, he is often the first player to join the defence, even fighting for the second balls, as we will see.
Here in the corner kick for Atletico Madrid, we see that Ávila has returned to watch Thomas Lemar prepare to receive the ball from Koke in space.
Here Ávila intercepts the ball and cuts it from Lemar and returns possession to the Osasuna team after dodging two opponents, and this is due to his great skill.
Chimy Avila is one of the attackers who are distinguished in playing the defensive role. He puts pressure on opponents, whether in the stage of building attacks or in applying pressure in the defensive third of his team.
But the Argentine player’s performance is marred by some things that must be worked on and developed in the future.
His potential issues
The Argentine striker, despite his great abilities, which could make him a player for one of the top teams during the coming seasons, his performance is marred by some problems that must be developed.
One of those problems is that he may lose focus when passing towards his teammates, despite his great abilities to keep the ball, but he loses it when passing at some times.
Avila lost the ball 210 times this season, including a loss of some duels or wrong passes, as we will see in the next picture.
Here we can see that the majority of those balls he lost were in the last third, with a total of 130 balls in that part.
In this analysis, we can note where he has to be more careful, which is his violent interventions and committing fouls at times on opponent players.
Because that often leads to cards, which affects the team through his absence from important matches.
Here, after Brazilian defender Éder Militão passed the ball to Real Madrid, Ávila continued to intervene violently at the feet of the Real Madrid defender.
In this scout report, we tried to showcase Ávila’s great offensive capabilities and his support in the defensive shape of his team, coupled with his weaknesses this season with Osasuna.