Mohammed Kudus (AFC Ajax) – Scout Report

There has been a lot of buzz around 22-year-old Ajax player Mohammed Kudus recently after scoring twice for Ghana in the World Cup, while also scoring four goals in the Champions League group stages for Ajax. The Ghanaian player started his career in the Right to Dream academy before moving to Danish side FC Nordsjaelland in the summer of 2018. Kudus quickly had the spotlights on him with some good performances at the Danish club, resulting in a dream transfer to Ajax in the summer of 2020 for €9m. Kudus is a versatile player, able to play in almost all positions in midfield and attack.

Mohammed Kudus has excellent athletic ability standing at 1.77 meters with a normal build. The Ghanaian youngster is very fast on the first meters, both with and without the ball at his feet, and feels comfortable taking on multiple opponents at once. In first phase possession, the midfielder is capable of progressing play by taking on his opponent and carrying the ball forward aggressively. Even though Kudus sometimes has an awkward first touch, his impressive physical ability allows him to maintain possession under pressure. While dribbling, Kudus seemingly has the ball on a string and it is very hard to dispossess the Ghanaian player. His low centre of gravity and balance help him to turn quickly and stay on the ground.

The Ghanaian makes excellent runs into the box and finds space really well. He is very clinical in the box with both his head and left foot as he does not need many chances to score. Mohammed Kudus strikes the ball really well and has an excellent shooting technique. He hits the ball with a lot of power and accuracy, making it hard for the goalkeeper to pull off a save. However, Kudus does lack awareness in the final third. He should often release the ball sooner and tends to go on his own even when a teammate is in space. This is a major concern for me, as he breaks down a lot of attacks because of his lack of game intelligence, decision-making and vision around the penalty area. Especially in congested areas, he really struggles with this.

Mohammed Kudus often does not get involved in the game that often, only having limited touches on the ball in the game. His short passing is good and consistent, but he does not have an extensive passing range even though his long passing is decent whenever he switches play. He mostly progresses the ball by runs rather than passes though. Even though his technique looks unorthodox, Kudus has a good dribbling, passing and striking technique. As mentioned before, Kudus has an awkward first touch at times but his impressive strength in both ground and shoulder-to-shoulder duels help him to maintain possession. He is good at putting pressure on the opposition’s back-line as a striker, supported by his incredible speed. However, playing deeper on the pitch, Kudus struggles to maintain the defensive structure and to cut passing lanes in midfield.

Not many players are as good at dribbling as Mohammed Kudus, but I think his lack of intelligence and egoism in the final third is a major concern for the future. I think that Kudus should have been coached as an advanced #8 in Ajax’s 4-3-3. He would have been more reliable in the defensive aspect, having made him the ideal Ryan Gravenberch replacement last summer. However, as this did not happen, he is now decent in several positions without excelling in any of them. In my opinion, the links to elite clubs such as Liverpool and Real Madrid are very strange because Kudus is far from ready to play for clubs like that and I doubt he will ever be good enough for such clubs. He is a very enjoyable player to watch as a neutral fan, but his limitations will hold him back to become one of the world’s elite.

2 comments

  1. The player is 22 years old and in your opinion he will never be good enough to play at top clubs. The links to top clubs are very strange??You try to cover your negativity with objectivity. A player that young and that good can always improve provided he’s coached well. Your scouting analysis obviously needs improvement because you are as biased as they come. I don’t see you ever working for a top club’s scouting department either. This is a very poorly written piece. I’ve read better written pieces on less talented players than Kudus. What a waste of my time!

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    1. Hi Michael. It’s really unfortunate that you don’t agree with my report. Thank you for taking the time to read the report. I will take your feedback on board! I hope you have a nice day. Kind regards, Jeroen

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