Aron Rodriguez (Universidad Católica) – Scout Report

Aron Rodríguez is a 23-year-old winger of Universidad Católica. He was signed from Macará earlier in 2022. The Ecuadorian winger is right-footed and can play on either wing, but he is better on the left. It is unknown when his contract will expire and his estimated value is €1.5m – €2m. He previously also played in the youth of Fiorentina (Ecuador) and at senior level for Corintians FC (Ecuador) and Quevedo.

The Ecuadorian winger stands at around 1.82 meters with a normal build. Rodríguez is very quick on the first meters and has the power to maintain his speed over long distances with the ball at his feet. He has great changes of direction, being able to slalom his way past a few defenders without losing his balance or speed. The 23-year-old sometimes struggles to protect the ball in duels with his back towards the goal, but generally holds off opponents very well while dribbling. Aron Rodríguez is a very confident player with good composure, when playing on the left-wing.

Aron Rodríguez is a very composed and confident finisher, hitting the ball very cleanly with both his left and right foot. He does not need many chances to score a goal. His first touch under pressure is good. Rodriguez’ receiving skills from aerial passes is also good. He has a good short passing technique, but his crosspassing technique when he wants to switch play is slightly inconsistent. Rodríguez sometimes struggles to play quick combinations in the small spaces, sometimes playing sloppy passes. The Ecuadorian has good ball control while dribbling, helping him to get past his markers. Rodriguez has a good crossing technique with his right foot.

The Ecuadorian likes to move into the half-spaces and does very well to sneak away from his opponents, often being able to receive the ball in space near the penalty area. From this position, he usually takes on his opponent or tries to play a one-two. His runs in behind are really good, but I think he could utilize that quality a bit more often. His vision around the box is pretty good, often making the right decision. He is both a finisher and creator, making him a well-rounded winger. He also helps Universidad Católica to progress the ball into the final third often, making good progressive runs and carrying the ball forward aggressively. His movement in the box is also very good, often getting into the right positions to receive the ball and have a big opportunity to score.

Playing in a possession-based style this year is hopefully leading to a wider range of skills for Aron Rodríguez. He is not yet good enough in the small spaces in congested areas. Aron Rodríguez needs space to make his runs and to carry the ball forward aggressively like he does best. I think that Aron Rodríguez would fit very well at counter-attacking teams playing in a three-man attack. I think that he does not fit the playing style of any Belgium team that can afford to pay around €2m for Rodríguez, so that is not really an option for him at the moment.

With his finishing ability, good use of space, decent technical ability, decision-making and decent physical ability I tend to say that he could be a very interesting long-term project for lower-table La Liga sides that play counter-attacking football. But as he takes up a non-European spot (La Liga teams are only allowed five non-EU players), I think that this is highly unlikely to happen unfortunately. A more realistic next step for him is the Mexican league or the MLS.

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