Kendry Paez is a 15-year-old central or attacking midfielder currently playing for the U17’s of Independiente del Valle. Paez was born on 04-05-2007. He also featured for the U18’s in an international youth tournament, the Copa Milo. In this tournament, he was one of the most important players for the U18’s, scoring two goals in the final and also having goal contributions in the semi-final. Kendry Paez is one of the most talented youth players I have ever seen and I think he has great potential.
The Ecuadorian midfielder stands at around 1.75 meters (according to some Ecuadorian football fans who have seen him live) with a very lean build. Considering that he is only 15 years old, it is likely that he will end up being around 1.85 meters tall. Paez should be doing a lot of gym work in the upcoming years to increase his strength. The midfielder is pretty two-footed, but uses his left foot for set-pieces. Paez is very light-footed, which helps him to change directions quickly and to be very agile. His balance is also pretty good. Kendry Paez has an excellent acceleration on the ball and is capable of dribbling past multiple opponents in one action.
The young Ecuadorian has excellent ball control, always keeping the ball really close to his feet when dribbling. He is very good in the 1v1’s, being able to dribble past multiple opponents at once. His first touch is good, despite the fact that he always has to play on surfaces that make the ball bounce awkwardly. Kendry Paez has a great crosspassing technique and often uses this technique to switch sides. His short passing technique is also very good. Paez often receives the ball near the halfway line and creates a lot of chances from that area. He has great receiving skills from long passes. Kendry Paez is very comfortable playing one-touch football. In possession, Kendry Paez likes to move out wide.
The only major aspect which I would like to see him improve on for the future is his scanning. He sometimes loses possession because he does not scan before receiving. Paez reads the game well and looks to be a very intelligent and hard-working player. He likes to shoot from distance. His shots are incredibly good, as he almost always hits the target. Paez is a goal-scoring midfielder. The Ecuadorian midfielder is a very smart player, always creating angles for his teammates and arriving in the box at the right time to score goals.
Time will tell how Kendry Paez develops himself in the upcoming years, but as I mentioned earlier I think he is one of the most talented youth players I have ever seen. I would not be surprised if Kendry Paez makes his debut for the first team of Independiente del Valle at the age of 16. I think he needs to be promoted to the under 19’s already. He is an interesting target for almost every club at the moment, but he will not be able to sign for a club in Europe before he turns 18. Paez would, stylistically, be a perfect player for AFC Ajax and I think he should be invited to a trial. I think he will make a big transfer at the age of 18 to a club like Ajax.
UPDATE 13/08/2022 (AFTER THE NEXT GENERATION TROPHY U16)
Kendry Páez was crowned as the best player of the tournament, scoring three goals and assisting around 3-4 goals too. It really showed that he wanted to impress Europe with his skills. This sometimes led to possession loss in dangerous areas. After losing possession, he works really hard to recover possession. When the opponent have settled possession, Páez does not work very hard. He also seems to get frustrated with his teammates every now and then, which was not always a good look, especially as he was the captain of the team. I have concerns about his off-the-pitch attitude and behaviour too. It is clear that he has the potential to become world-class, but he just needs to make the right decisions on and off the pitch.
UPDATE 06/12/2022 (AFTER THE ADIDAS CUP U16)
I have seen Kendry Páez play for Ecuador U17 and Independiente del Valle U17 and U16 after the Next Generation Trophy. I think he has improved a lot in recent months. Playing for the under 19’s has helped him to be quicker with his decision-making, thanks to scanning and always knowing where his teammates are. He seems to use the space on the pitch better now too, making more high-intensity runs in behind and often finding space out wide. In addition to this, he also seems less frustrated with his teammates on the pitch and generally works harder.