William Carvalho was arguably the most important player in Portugal’s 2016 Euro-winning side. Despite the attention from big clubs throughout the years, he only left his beloved Sporting Lisbon last season. He quickly became an integral part of Quique Setién’s Real Betis. However, another manager – former Espanyol coach Rubi – is now in charge, bringing with him a less conservative possession style. In this scout report, we will use tactical analysis to demonstrate Carvalho’s main strengths, and how he will adapt to Rubi’s system.

Style of play

Carvalho mainly plays as a defensive midfielder. He can also play as a centre back or as a central mid – the latter is his main position at the Portugal national team. According to Whoscored, William is a great passer. He is good with through balls and dribbling. In addition, he commits few errors. Like his former teammate Giovani Lo Celso, he is a good team player and loves to do layoffs. 

William Carvalho 2019/20 scout report tactical analysis tactics 1
Carvalho’s Whoscored characteristics

The heatmap below indicates Carvalho’s high work rate. His actions mainly spread around the middle third. His most intense action areas (coloured in red) are the centre circle and the part of the middle third in the opposition half. Setién’s Real Betis were a high pressing team – he liked to win the ball back early.

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Artwork by @chapulana

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