- Nationality: Venezuelan
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 30/03/2001
- Current Club: Caracas FC
- Career: Caracas FC (Y)
- Position: central midfielder
- Preferred foot: left
Positioning and defensive abilities
Anderson Contreras mostly plays as a right central midfielder in a 4-2-2-2 formation, or a 4-2-3-1 formation. In both formations, he often is tasked to drop deeper to support the first phase of the build-up. He swaps this role with his partner in midfield during the match. When Caracas have possession in the final third, Anderson Contreras positions himself around the box, able to recover possession when the opponents clear the ball.
Anderson Contreras positions himself well in the first phase of putting pressure. When Caracas are close to losing the ball, Anderson Contreras often closes the gap as quickly as possible which means that he can recover possession if Caracas lose the ball. In the image down below, you can see that Caracas lose the ball and that Contreras has closed the gap and will be able to recover possession.
However, Anderson Contreras comes into difficulties when he is slightly out of position, especially when his opponent already is in full speed and Contreras needs to start sprinting still. The Venezuelan midfielder often solves this problem by making a foul. This is something that has happened only twice in the matches I watched. Also, he does not need to tackle often. Contreras reads the game well and this can be seen in these aspects.
When the opponents try to build up patiently, Contreras cuts the passing lanes and is disciplined in doing so. He does well to keep checking his shoulder, a bit more in attack than in defence, which means that he is always aware of what happens in his back and next to him. The 19-year-old manages to intercept passes and recover possession a few times per match.
In physical duels, Anderson Contreras performs slightly above average. He is good in the 1-on-1 duels. The 19-year-old loses the most aerial duels as he only stands at 1,77m and does not stand out in jumping and timing his jump. He can keep his balance well and seems very disciplined. His pace in the long distance is good. His acceleration is also above average, but less good than his pace.
Looking at Anderson Contreras his stats and it can be seen that he has 8,21 successful defensive actions per 90 minutes and that he wins 50,91% of his 8,16 defensive duels per 90 minutes.
Ability on the ball
As mentioned before, Anderson Contreras either drops deeper to support the first phase of the build-up or he plays in a more advanced role, supporting the attack in the final third. The midfielder has a very good kicking technique and he has the vision to exploit this quality. He often looks to play a cross pass and these are accurate most of the time, as in the image down below.
Before the Venezuelan receives the ball, he scans nearly every time and by doing this, he is always one step ahead of his opponent. He sporadically does not check his shoulders before receiving the ball. When he receives the ball, he most of the times passes it back to where the ball came from or he turns towards goal.
This is an improvement he needs to make, as he does not turn towards goal enough, despite having the space to do so. It is not that he never turns towards goal, but like in the images down below, he could do it more often. Anderson Contreras likes to coach his teammates and is very active in doing so, showing some leadership qualities. His right foot is average and he tries to only use his left foot.
As mentioned above, the 19-year-old has a good kicking technique. Against Academia Puerto Cabello, Contreras scored an amazing free-kick. However, he can be sloppy sometimes in his passing. This can be explained because he likes to play risky passes that break lines or play difficult long passes. Because he has good vision and a good technique, I think that this will improve a lot in the coming years.
Speaking about vision, the Venezuelan midfielder is able to create chances in the final third as well. He is not the player that will create you lots of chances, but both defensively and attacking-wise he is above average. In both aspects he has room for improvement, but all these improvements are things that can be learned by gaining more experience.
When he creates chances, he often likes to use a cross or long pass to do so. In the images down below, you can see that Contreras spots the run of the right-back (Eduardo Fereira) and that he looks to cross it to the far post. The cross manages to get over the left-back of Zulia FC and reaches Fereira, just a few metres in front of goal. Unfortunately, he missed this chance.
Anderson Contreras can play in the tight spaces well, because he scans before he receives the ball and he has good acceleration on the ball. In these situations, he is able to use his body to hold off the opponent and he uses his acceleration to get past his opponent. Sometimes, he would be better off to cut back when under pressure rather than moving towards a busy area.
His dribbling ability is above average. Contreras wins 51,11% of his 2,23 dribbles per 90 minutes. When Contreras receives the ball in the defensive or midfield third, he often looks to take a touch and either play a short pass sideways or playing a cross pass. This can be seen in his lack of progressive runs as well, only averaging 0,89 progressive runs per 90 minutes.
He looks for vertical options, but he also plays it sideways often. Contreras plays 7,62 progressive passes per 90 minutes. Also, he has 8,11 final third passes per 90 minutes. Once, Anderson Contreras made the wrong decision on his own half as he tried to get past his opponent using his skills, but he didn’t get past his opponent and needed to make a foul to recover.
Anderson Contreras does not often get into the box (0,79 per 90 minutes), as he normally stays in the position you can see below. However, as he scans often, he is able to spot gaps in the oppositions defence. In general, he shows great awareness and game intelligence to get into these positions to break down the opposition’s defence and attract them to get out of position.
In the images down below, you can see that Contreras scans the pitch and decides to make a run into space, receiving the ball in the box after. This ended up in a corner kick for Caracas FC, because the pass of the right winger was not great and he just managed to get to the ball without being able to do more with it.
At the age of just 19, I think that Anderson Contreras is ready to make a step up in South America, or to move to the MLS. He fits well in a team that plays with 3 midfielders, where he can play in a more advanced role on the right or the left, supporting the attacking midfielder and the defensive line. He can fulfill both the more defensive role in midfield and the more advanced role in midfield.
He should play in a team that likes to dominate the play, where he can use his creativity and vision to create threatening situations in front of goal. I think he has the level to play for a midtable team in the Eredivisie, because it’s a technical league and he could learn a lot in this league. This is very unlikely to happen though, because of the wage regulations in The Netherlands.