David Martínez Morales – Player Report

David Martínez Morales is a 16-year-old attacker who is currently playing for Venezuelan outfit Monagas SC. The attacker was born in El Tigre, Venezuela. He is 178cm tall and weighs 66 kilograms according to the database of World Football. The young Venezuelan made his senior debut for Monagas SC on 22 February 2022, just 15 days after his 16th birthday. David Martínez Morales is left-footed and can play on both the right- and left-wing, while also having experience playing as a striker or second striker. At the moment of writing, David Martínez Morales has played 10 matches for the first team of Monagas SC.

Physical and athletic attributes

David Martínez Morales, standing at 178cm with a normal build, has a good frame for a winger. The Venezuelan is quick on the first few meters and is capable of maintaining that speed over longer distances. He is even capable of accelerating even more when he is already sprinting. These changes in speed are really good and he has the potential to develop this even more in the coming years. David Martínez Morales likes to try to burst past his opponent by taking a heavy touch and making his way around the defender. His good changes of speed help him in doing so, but at his young age, he does not have the power yet to win the duels as he gets outmuscled in most physical duels against senior players.

In other physical duels, especially when the opponent is in possession, David Martínez Morales sometimes seems hesitant and reluctant to give his all in a duel. He lacks aggressiveness and willingness to win back possession. His passiveness leads to David Martínez Morales losing physical ground duels. I think that this can improve over time, but he needs to change his mindset and be less hesitant in duels. It also plays a part that with his lack of experience he does not know what to do in physical duels with senior opponents as he is probably used to winning duels at youth level purely based on smartness and skills. The 16-year-old Venezuelan is yet to complete a full game for Monagas SC. This indicates that he does not have the stamina and endurance yet to keep going for 90 minutes. His performance in matches where he started in the starting line-up displayed this perfectly.

David Martínez Morales fails to track back after he just made a sprint towards the final third and takes his time to get back into position. I think this is mainly because he does not have the endurance yet to keep running up and down the pitch. It does not help him that when he tracks back, he is not strong in duels. When the opposition side is controlling possession, the young Venezuelan does track back but he often fails to cut passing lanes and is sometimes covering air. His intensity when defending can be improved, but I mostly think this is because of his lack of stamina and endurance. An indication of that is that he has a higher intensity when he gets subbed on later in the game. However, this does not take away that he sometimes does not make the smartest decisions when the opponent is in possession.

Based on this, it is tough to assess his work rate and determination. I think he needs to improve his stamina and endurance, but it is not strange that he is not capable of playing 90 minutes yet at the age of 16. When Monagas are in possession, David Martínez Morales often is very active and he likes to roam around the pitch. He can both come short and make runs in behind. As mentioned before, David Martínez Morales is not the strongest in physical duels and sometimes misses the power to win a duel. This also means that he does not have a great balance at the moment. When he gets into a physical ground duel, he often gets pushed off the ball really easily and he loses his balance in those duels. It is important for David Martínez Morales that his core strength and single-leg strength get enhanced in the near future to improve his balance. The Venezuelan has good changes of direction, even when sprinting at full speed which is very important for a winger. His agility is also already at a good level.

Technical attributes

David Martínez Morales’s technical ability is what stands out when you watch footage of the Venezuelan. His receiving skills are very good. The youngster is consistent with his first touches and he never fails to control an ‘easy’ pass. In Venezuela, pitches are often not that great and it happens a lot that passes that would normally stay on the ground become bouncy passes. David Martínez Morales adapts well to this and is capable of controlling awkward, bouncy passes. Moreover, he can also get past his opponent on his first touch by controlling the ball really well and taking a heavy touch in the right direction. This requires a lot of scanning and it can be said that David Martínez Morales has great awareness.

The Venezuelan would get less time and space to do this in higher-intensity leagues, but I am certain that he has the technique and tactical understanding to keep the ball closer to him when he has less time and space. His good first touch and quickness on the first few meters can be a great weapon for David Martínez Morales heading into the future, especially in lower-level leagues like the Venezuelan league. In the slightly higher-intensity games in the Copa Libertadores against Everton and the Liga FUTVE match against Caracas (in all three matches he was subbed on), he showed signs of this and he adapted well to a higher-intensity game.

His short passing on his left foot is good and consistent. Under pressure, he is capable of playing one-touch football with his teammates and he shows good movement when doing this too. He rarely gets a short pass wrong and his capability in the small spaces is another indication that he could play well in a higher-intensity league. He is less consistent with his right foot and needs to work on this heading into the future. David Martínez Morales sometimes is quite sloppy when having to pass with his right foot and his technique is not great. He sometimes plays bouncy passes and gets the direction of the pass wrong.

David Martínez Morales’s long passing is less consistent. The young Venezuelan has a good kicking technique and has good vision, but he sometimes does not get his pass right and often plays passes with too much power. His cross passing from one wing to the other wing is quite good and more consistent. His over the top through passing has a lot of potential, especially from the right-wing. However, as mentioned, his consistency is not quite there yet and he fails to often reach the target. With his technique, I think he has the capability to create many chances after cutting inside to his stronger left foot and either put in an inswinging cross or an over the top through passing, depending on his position on the pitch.

Playing from the left-wing as a left-footed winger means that David Martínez Morales often gets into the position where he has to cross the ball into the box. His crosses are really inconsistent, even though he has a good crossing technique. The Venezuelan does well to look over the ball before the cross and it can be seen where he wants the cross to be played to, but he often fails to reach the right player and does not get the delivery quite right. He has the potential to become a lot better at this with his crossing technique though.

His good kicking technique can also help him with his shooting in the future. In his first games at Monagas, he has only attempted ten shots according to WyScout. His shooting technique is not that clean yet, but I think he can improve this in the future. From all of his shots, most were dragged wide and he did not connect with them quite well. David Martínez Morales scored one goal from close range on his right foot and nearly scored another in the same match against Zulia after he took a good shot from the edge of the box. His shooting locations were not great, implying that his decision-making near the box might not be great yet. However, only the future can tell whether this prediction is right.

The Venezuelan winger has a good dribbling technique, but his lack of power, balance and strength in the duels often means that he gets dispossessed. David Martínez Morales has good close control though and is capable of keeping the ball close to him. The winger also wins a lot of dribbles, but because of the above-mentioned reason he still loses possession too many times when dribbling. With his changes of speed, ball control and technique it will only be a matter of time before he becomes really good at running at defences with the ball at his feet. He needs to improve on his strength and balance, as mentioned before, though.

Tactical breakdown and psychological aspects

David Martínez Morales has played in many positions so far in his career at Monagas. In the matches in which he started, he often played as a left-winger. In the matches where he got subbed on, he often played as a second striker. I am concerned with his positioning at the moment. You can see that he is naturally intelligent and he makes good moves, but it is quite worrying that manager Johnny Ferreira does not use him as a right-winger that much, even though it is clearly his best position. When he is playing as a second striker, it seems like he is playing purely instinct-based and not tactics-based. This can have two reasons. Either his manager Johnny Ferreira does not give him tasks or he is allowed to roam around the pitch and change positions many times.

As a left-winger, David Martínez Morales does well to drop deep while sticking close to the sideline in the first phase of the build-up. This often leads to his opponent (right-back) tracking his movement and leaving his position, which then opens up a gap. During the times that the Venezuelan gets in possession in that area, he often is restricted to playing a pass back to one of the two central defenders because he is not comfortable playing long passes or risky passes with his right foot. Martínez Morales also does well to come inside, creating angles for his teammates and opening up space for the left-back to get into possession.

The Venezuelan youngster is capable of making runs in behind himself and he also has decent movement in the box. His first goal for Monagas, the one against Zulia, was an indication of his good movement in the box. He anticipated well that the cross would come there and scored from close range. However, David Martínez Morales certainly is more of a creator himself and he has good vision. The youngster often attempts through passes and has quick decision-making but his final pass lacks quality even though he has a good passing technique.

Thinking of the psychological aspects, it immediately stands out that David Martínez Morales was allowed to take corner-kicks and that he wanted to take the free-kicks against Caracas. It seems like he is a very confident player who plays with a lot of freedom and bravery. He has good concentration but has only played the full 90 minutes once.

Future projection

It is very hard to predict David Martínez Morales’s future. However, he has shown a lot of potential in the athletic and technical areas. There are a lot of characteristics that would help the youngster when playing at a higher level. He has good acceleration and pace, changes of speed, vision, passing technique, ball control and short passing. The Venezuelan winger is capable of making quick decisions under pressure and feels comfortable playing one-touch football in small spaces. He has a lot of bravery and plays with confidence. However, his power in physical duels is not quite there yet. He does not seem that intelligent in defence, does not have the greatest stamina and endurance and does not possess good balance. Martínez Morales also needs to improve his weak foot. All of these aspects are very trainable though, especially his power, stamina and balance.

If he can improve his physicality, which should not be that big of a problem standing at 178cm, he can definitely play at a few levels higher in the future. I think it would be good for David Martínez Morales if he could join the youth set-up of Independiente del Valle, where he could play for Independiente Juniors in the Ecuadorian Serie B and Independiente del Valle under 18. He needs to be in an environment where he can work on his weaknesses and where he will most likely be played in his best position at a side where the focus on tactics is quite high. I do not think that the chance is high that he will join such a team, because Monagas will not let go of him that easily and Independiente del Valle have had only one Venezuelan (Oscar Gonzalez, who’s also playing for Monagas) playing for Independiente del Valle in their history.

Assuming that he will stay at Monagas, I hope that he gets the right guidance and that he keeps getting playing time. It is vital for his career that he works on his weaknesses and becomes stronger. He could certainly become one of the best players in the Venezuelan league if he does not work on his weaknesses, but if he wants to move to Europe or the MLS in the future he needs to work on his weaknesses. I am concerned that his potential might get wasted in Venezuela, but his potential is very high and I think he has the potential to play for one of the bigger clubs in Belgium.

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