Date of Birth: 01.10.1996 (20 years old)
Position: Central Midfielder
Team: FK Rostov
Value: 1.200.000 €
Contract Until: 30.06.2019
Height: 1.90 m
Saeid Ezatolahi, the young talent from Iran, he has record of youngest player playing for Iran Top league and youngest player who scored a first goal for national team, with 19 years old and 42 days. Saeid started his career on Bandar Anzali (Iran) from there he moved to Malavan(Iran), where he made this debut with 16 years old on First league. After a great performance during U17 World cup, many teams were interesting on his services, such as Besiktas (Turkey), Lausanne (Switzerland), Atletico Paranense (Brazil), however he moved to Atletico de Madrid (Spain) on 2014, he was playing for youth team, but many troubles relative to bureaucracy made him to stay 3 months out of the pitch, at least he has chance to play Youth Champions league with Atletico. He decided to changed and go to Russia to play for Rostov last season he just played 10 games for them, due to this lack of chances he went to Anzhi (Russia) during winter market in order to have more opportunities to play.
The Iranian talent plays normally as a central midfield; during this season he took part as a central midfield on Rostov in this solid counter attach system 1-3-5-2 using for Russians. He was playing as well as, midfield in a double pivot midfield on 1-4-4-2 for Anzhi ,when he was playing this role his mate on this double pivot it was more defensive player for example Guliev, Bryzgalov in Anzhi.
Since he made his official debut for the first national team of Iran, on 11/06/2015 he has been playing 20 games with 2 goals on his pocket already.
Key player for Carlos Queiroz in this Asia qualification games for Russian World cup on 2018. Saeid has been played 8 games on this qualification group in all of them; he played on the line up. Depend on tactic set for national coach, usually 1-4-2-3-1, Saeid played as central midfield for National team beside another more defensive central midfield as Safi, Ebrahimi and Teymourian. When Queiroz decided to change to 1-4-3-3 , Saeid plays in a diamond formation beside one defensive midfield and another more offensive midfield as him on one side and he occupied the another side.
Strengths (Well positioned on the pitch, Pace, Long balls, Interceptions, Counter attack launcher)
The main characteristics of Saeid where his strongest points can be highlighted are his good position on the pitch, he is able to read games which allow him to control de pace of the game and recover many balls during games. Due to this good positioning on the pitch his height 1.90 cm helps him to recover many balls on the middle in aerial duels and using his long legs to take ball from the opponent he has 2.8 interceptions per game on Russian league.
His brilliant skill is his long pass looking to open to the wings behind full backs defenders, he has an average of 72% of success passes on 20 game in Russian league plus 2 on Champions league for and average 45.4 passes per game.
He likes combination game so once he recover ball or ball come to him , he normally received the ball and open to one of the side of the pitch with a short pass with around 25.9 accurate short pass per game or he is looking for a long pass with quite good success 7.2 accurate long pass per game. Due to these skills he is a perfect player for launching counter attacks, because once he got this ball after interceptions and opponent is going to attack situation, he has the ability of shooting a long ball in order to overcome defenders back or he is the one who launch this counter attack, driving the ball directly to the opponents, since in spite of its height he has a fast conduction and not bad skills for dribbling.
Weaknesses (Youth, First control, Defensive reliability and Consistency, Using of the body)
The points that Saeid needs to improve, are according his young age, just 20 years and his lack of continuity. He just played last season 20 games in Russian league and just few of these game were completed 90 minutes, it was in 4 games, the other games he was substituted or he started on the bench.
He needs to consider improving his first control, in many actions he is having problems with this first touch with the ball and it is making him looks like a player who needs few touches on the ball in order to have a total control, one bad control per game almost 1.5 according to the statistics for his games with Rostov make this something to improve take into consideration his role in the midfield, this first touch mistakes are putting his team on risk when the team is building up from the back having the possibility of losing the ball in a sensitive area.
He is not a player with a big spirit of sacrifice, Iranian young talent is doing many interceptions per game due to his good orientation on the pitch however when he is not locate properly on the pitch, he is not having this sacrifice of recovering ball following opponents, for this reason when he is playing in a double central midfield pivot, he is matching with another more defensive player, this lack of defensive reliability and consistency is making him a player who cannot play as individual midfield if this team request this variation, and doing his complement on this central midfield will have to make a bit more of sacrifice.
Like it was underline his awesome long pass looking for space behind defenders it cannot be comparable with his short pass this one is pretty good with a large accurate per game however Iranian footballer could make a bit more the different improving this point on his game, this aspect is affecting the offensive balance on his team during the build-up and when the squad wants to keep the ball and when they want to set the pace of the game, keeping the ball.
The last three points that he should keep in consideration to use more often are coming to the reception of the ball, he has technical skills to distribute the ball with sense and get clean initiation of the game. His shoot from distance outside the penalty box he has conditions to hit the ball he just need to try more often. And last one the using of his body and even more with his 190 cm
Similar Players: Paul Pogba, Loftus-Cheek, Mike Merino
If his physical conditions are bear in mind, Paul Pogba and Loftus –Cheek are players with a similar role on the pitch, all of them are 190 cm and can control the pace of game from the central midfield, and due to this weight they hold a big step with their legs to cover long spaces on the pitch. Saeid is less aggressive that these two players in order to recover the ball and Pogba and Loftus have more presence in the opponent pitch, they are more dangerous next to penalty box.
Spanish midfield/central defender, Mikel Merino is a player with similar strong points as Saied, hard players to beat in aerial duels, really good anticipation on the pitch because of his positioning, and great vision when they have to look for a long ball behind defenders backs line. At that point Mikel possess more technical skills in term of dribbling however his 20 years old, and a lot of time to improve he has the ground to develop his skills.