Real Valladolid – Match Report vs Levante 01/07/20

Real Valladolid set up in a 4-2-3-1 which dropped into a 4-4-2 out of possession, and at times a back five is the winger tracked the opposition full back. In a game which was fairly slow paced, neither side were able to create any good chances, however Real Valladolid did miss a penalty in the final minutes of the game which would have gotten them the win. It ended 0-0 is a fairly standard bottom half clash. Valladolid looked to counter using the width and build from the back, rarely going long but were fairly direct with their play, wanting to progress the ball and play forwards.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Mohammed Salisu

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Ghanian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 17/04/1999
  • Current Club: Real Valladolid
  • Career: Real Valladolid
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Keeping a clean sheet, Salisu had a fairly good game. He hardly put a foot wrong against an attack which didn’t threaten much. At 6’3″ he has a big frame with broad shoulders, he used his physicality well with his instinct being to get tight to his man and pressure them by using his body. He was excellent in the air, cutting our crosses with strong clearances as well as in midfield. He has good aggression in these aerial challenges, but did foul once or twice going for headers in midfield. He was quick to read play and press out to challenge for headers but didn’t tend to press out of the line. He did drop the line very quickly, their line would retreat quickly when Levante began to attack and he would drop a little too deep at times. He scanned the pitch fairly well but when the ball was in more dangerous areas and crossing positions, he could have been more aware of the attackers around him.

He has decent pace with solid defensive footwork and an excellent vertical jump. He isn’t the most explosive and his changing of direction and acceleration to react to play could have been better. His top speed is fairly good though and kept up with attackers well with good recovery runs. His lateral pace was good also due to his footwork but his turning on the ball was awkward and slow.

On the ball he only went long once with a nice lifted ball down the wide channel. Otherwise he kept it simple but grew into the match. He largely shifted the ball to his centre back partner but as the game progressed he progressed the ball into midfield more. His pass was accurate mostly with good speed and power, with okay technique. He tries to get top spin but his technique could be refined and he can come across as quite stiff, improving his mobility and comfort on the ball would improve his technique and confidence to try more expansive passing, he could also open his hips more in possession. His first pass of the game though was misplaced sideways pass which gave the ball away and gave Levante a good opportunity straight away.

Rating – A2

Salisu is still a fairly inexperienced player and centre back is a position to learn by playing more than most, but having a full season under his belt is massive. With his cheap release clause he’s being closely linked with Southampton which is a system I think could suit him but would need time to adapt and develop. He has some areas he needs to work on but has a high ceiling to be a top defender.

Enes Ünal

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Turkish
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 10/05/1997
  • Current Club: Real Valladolid, on loan from Villareal
  • Career: Bursaport (Y), Manchester City, Genk (L), NAC Breda (L), Twente (L), Villareal, Real Valladolid (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ünal had a quiet game and had similar performances to the last times I watched him for Real Valladolid. Less long balls were played into him than before but he still struggled to put himself about and win these challenges. His work rate was mixed, pressing at times but when he wasn’t directly involved in play could look very lethargic and uninterested.

In the box he showed some intelligent movement, trying to be in the defenders blindspot and then make sharp movements across them and on to the ball. The support wasn’t there for him though and once again I felt that he doesn’t suit this team and that although he’s getting minutes, it isn’t an ideal loan for him to excel. Although he displayed some okay movement, he only got two shots away and snatched at them a bit. He also missed the penalty to win the game showing a lack of composure.

Rating – C

Waldo Rubio

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 17/08/1995
  • Current Club: Real Valladolid
  • Career: Recreativo, Cordoba, Real Valladolid
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Starting on the left wing, Rubio showed glimpses of quality but overall didn’t really impress. He lacked football IQ, often looking very awkward with his positioning and a bit lost. He hugged the touchline and stayed wide throughout most of the match, moving inside more in the final third where he made a few underlaps into the box but didn’t really affect the attack.

He was elegant on the ball with good ball control and used feints and stepovers in 1v1s, however was fairly predictable but with good changes of the pace he was able to beat his man several times but then wasn’t able to release the ball after effectively to create anything. He played and received switches on play well and spread the ball well. Rubio was however very right footed which hindered him at times and lacked directness.

Rating – B2

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