Date of Birth: 8.05.1997 (19 years old)
Position: Left Back
Team: Rosenborg BK
Value: 500.000 €
Contract Until: 30.06.2019
Height: 1.81 m
Alex Gersbach was born in Sutherland, Australia and become one of the youngest players transferred to Europe. Unlike his fellow citizens Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell he moved to Norway. As a youngster he played for many academics but most importantly, between 2012 and 2014 he played for AIS where also Mark Viduka came from. Before AIS, he played for his hometown team Sutherland Sharks as a striker. This experience shaped his career directly. After he left the academy team, his made his first professional contract with Sydney FC. After his move, he played his first game when he was 17 years 3 months old. Later that League Cup game, he played his first league game against Melbourne City and secured his team a draw.
Despite his young age, he managed to become a first team member shortly. Between 2014-2016 he played 32 games and scored 4 goals. Even he hadn’t reached lawful age his first team performance grabbed the attentions of European giants such as Sporting CP. In the winter transfer of 2016, he surprisingly made his move to Norway were he could step up to next level. He is mostly used as a rotation player along with Birger Meling but played 29 games and scored 2 goals for his team. Even though he hasn’t spent much time in Rosenborg his attacking mentality helped his team. In Norway, he managed to combine his dynamic style of play with physique and become an unstoppable left back. After his transfer to Europe, he took his game to another level and shortly doubled the his €500.000 transfer fee.
Most recently, it is being reported that Juventus is interested in his transfer and also he is being shortlisted for some wonderkid lists. He made his debut for Socceroos in 2016 and made his mark for them shortly by dominating the left flank against Greece. He played 19 times and scored a goal for Young Socceroos. In his short career, he has played in different formations such as 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1. Even though he’s a left back, his play-making skills and efficient usage of left flank differs him from an old school left back. He sometimes plays as left winger in the game and this helps his team to attack with more players. He makes a difference for teams playing possession football with his technique and agility.
Strenghts (Crossing, Agility, Playmaking, Tackles, Consistency, Strength)
Alex Gersbach, makes his mark with his strength and speed in a league that players are known with their physical abilities. He is involved in challenges 16 times per game and has 60% success rate. Recalling that most of the powerful players in the league have problems about being agile, this attribute of him makes an elite left back among other left backs in Norway.
Playing as a striker and as a winger back in academy teams directly influenced his game style. He has a dribbling ability of a winger and often drives into penalty area like a inside forward. As a left back, his vision is considerably better than other left backs. He is offensive minded so there are some positions that he harms his team in defense but as time goes by he will be experienced and combine this with his physical attributes. It can be said that he plays like 2 men.
In terms of productivity he is way better than many left wingers as a left back since he delivers 4.41 crosses per game and gives 1.4 key passes to his teammates. Especially when playing 4-5-1 formation this attribute of him makes him more valuable. He plays like an extra playmaker in attack and gives 64 passes in which 7 of them are directly delivered vertically and has a success rate of 81%. In addition with his technique he can strutt his opponents easily.
Even though he seems to be lacking in the defensive of game, his eagerness and fearless game style lets him to intercept many attack before they start. He tackles 3.9 times and intervenes 2.9 times per game. He doesnt’t seem to lose his position as he chooses not to use sliding tackles so often. In addition at this point of his career he can overcome his opponents with his speed.
He proved that consistency is not about age. He came to Norway right after the season ended in Australia and played 29 games without any complains. At first he struggled to some point but managed to stay 1795 minutes through the games.
Weaknesses ( Positioning, Inexperience, Headers )
In games against similar level it is seen that his ability to positioning lacks. Being a young player and not having much game experience leads to this but he can compensate this weakness by his physique. In addition his tackles and marking abilities give him a nice stats sheet but he damages his teams defensive plan and this ends in dangerous positions for his team. In addition, it has an insufficient performance in terms of entering the reverse positions.
Despite his height he has problems in headers and he is hesitant in heading duels. He’s only involving in 3.8 heading attempts and failing almost the half of it. Regarding the Norwegian League and struggle there this low ratio affects his team badly.
Similar Players: Caner Erkin, Alex Sandro
Gersbach has the potential of being a one of the elite left backs of the Europe and also 2013-2014 Turkish League champions key player Caner Erkin. In the offensive end he plays like Erkin and also has playmaking abilities which makes him a perfect fit in modern football. His playing style is aggressive and avid but he’s not familiar to booking unlike Erkin. With his contribution to attacking side of the play, he can play as a left back in 4 defender formations and also play as a left flank player in 3-5-2 formations like Juventus’ Alex Sandro