Bayer Leverkusen U19 – Match Report vs Fortuna Düsseldorf U19 (23/10/2021)

On Matchday 6 of the U19 Bundesliga, Bayer 04 Leverkusen U19 and Fortuna Düsseldorf U19 faced off. It was clear that Leverkusen was the superior team, playing a customized 4-2-3-1 where the wingers would drift inside, the attacking midfielder would help the striker, and the right wing back would attack the flank. In the first half, Bayer 04 struggled to create chances in the final third but in the second half, everything opened up and creative players, like Zidan Sertdemir, were able to become creative with the space given to him. With two goals from Iker Bravo and an own goal off a misheaded floated cross, Bayer 04 got the job done by winning 3-1.

This article is written by guest writer Nicholas Artiedamarin.

Ratings:

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

Zidan Sertdemir

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Danish
  • Age: 17
  • Date of Birth: 04/02/2005
  • Current Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Brondby, FC Nordsjælland, Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred Foot: Left

Zidan Sertdemir played as the 8 in the 4-2-3-1, and it seems like he was given the instruction to roam around the field, trying to find the ball as often as he could. To do this, he would often drop back to the right back position, moving the right back up to the right midfield and the right midfielder moving into the position Sertdemir was occupying in the middle. When receiving the ball from the centre backs, he looked to exploit the space left in the middle by dribbling inside, beating his man, and then making a progressive pass off to the front line. 

With the ball at his feet, Sertdemir was very collected and it seemed that he was never pressured on the ball. In situations where he was pressured, he usually did a body faint and went the other side, leaving his defender in the dust. Sertdemir has very refined technical skills that are ready for the first team. After beating his man, he picked his head up and picked out a pass so he could receive the ball back and dribble again or he would make a defence splitting pass. He played as a creator in the Bayer 04 team. Even with his back to goal, he often played a pass, with his vision and awareness, that progressed the ball closer to the goal.

Rating – A1

Sertdemir, with more defensive and physical work, can become a squad player for the Bayer 04 first team in a year, if he also keeps progressing in the other aspects of the game.

Iker Bravo

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age; 17
  • Date of Birth: 13/01/2005
  • Current Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Barcelona, Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Iker Bravo had a wonderful game at centre forward, scoring two good goals. Even though he scored in the first half by taking a touch around the opposing centre back and shooting outside of the box, he was quiet in the first half, not receiving the ball often as he was operating as an advanced forward. In the second half, Iker Bravo scored a wonderful overhead kick from a floated cross on the right. Bravo connected with the ball well and hit the ball low into the corner, where the opposing keeper could not get it.

In the first half, when given a strict role as deep striker, where he couldn’t drop back, he didn’t perform well, even though he got on the end of every cross that was put into the box. Bravo was given a roaming role in the second half, when the Bayer 04 formation was changed into the 4-4-2. Bravo, in buildup, when the two centre midfielders were marked, could drop deeper and the centre back could play a driven ball splitting the defence. With the ball, he either touched the ball back to Zidan Sertdemir when his back was to the goal or attempted to beat his man with a dribble and pass it off and continued to make a run in behind. 

On defence, Bravo was often the first line of defence, pressuring the ball when the Bayer 04 had lost the ball. He sometimes surprised the outside backs with his speed and would take the ball away with his strength. After stealing the ball, he would often stay too long with the ball or make the wrong pass. He should work on his composure and final third passing play to get to the next level.

Rating: A2

Bravo can easily become a squad player in the next couple of years. Only got an A2 because of his first half, which was not impressive. He would perform the best in a two forward system with the other forward being assigned as a target man. 

Noah Pesch

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Croatia
  • Age: 16
  • Date of Birth: 13/03/2005
  • Current Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Career: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
  • Position: Left Winger
  • Preferred Foot: Right

Noah Pesch did not play well. He didn’t receive the ball, as his teammates often chose to play Zidan Sertdemir over him, for a good reason. When he received the ball, his passes were sloppy and his touches were random, often making mistakes where his touches would go everywhere. He did not make any impact whatsoever on the team, often making the team worse. 

In the first half, he was playing a right winger, who would often convert into a ten when Sertdemir went wide and deep to receive the ball. In the second half, to help Pesch play better, he was instructed to play as a forward in a 4-4-2. In none of these positions he looked comfortable. He would have gotten substituted either way but he got a head injury after going up for a header. 

Rating:  C

Played average for the match, below average for Bayer 04. He has had better games and maybe this was a one-off game.

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