Ibrahim Cissoko (NEC Nijmegen) – Scout Report

Ibrahim Cissoko is a 19-year-old left-winger who plays for NEC Nijmegen in the Dutch Eredivisie. The Nijmegen-born attacker started his career at VVV Venlo, before making a move to Vitesse and then joining the youth set-up of NEC Nijmegen in 2016. He made his debut for the first team of NEC Nijmegen last season but has cemented himself in the first team permanently this season, mostly coming on as a sub in his seventeen appearances for NEC. Cissoko’s agency is PURE Sportsmanagement, who have previously brought players to Italy, Belgium and Germany. He has a contract until 2024 with an option for a one-year contract extension.

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The Dutch winger with Guinean roots has a tall but relatively slim frame. He struggles to hold off players in shoulder-to-shoulder duels or to protect the ball with his back towards the goal. Cissoko is very good at attacking 1v1 duels because he is very agile and changes directions quickly. He has really quick stepovers and times his actions pretty well. The winger has good bursts of speed from a standstill but struggles to create separation or maintain the gap over long distances while travelling with the ball. Cissoko needs to improve his speed while travelling with the ball but also without the ball. The youngster is very confident and comfortable taking on opponents, but he also scored a panenka in a penalty-shootout away at Feyenoord in the cup showing that he is confident.

Ibrahim Cissoko usually provides width for NEC Nijmegen in possession, carrying the ball or making runs inside diagonally into the half-spaces. He creates space for left-back El Karouani by doing this, while also getting into dangerous positions himself. The Dutch winger too often misplaces passes but has a good short passing technique. Cissoko prefers to not use his left foot that much throughout the game. His first touch is inconsistent, especially when he has to control aerial passes. The winger has good close control in attacking 1v1’s. He is capable of creating chances through dangerous crosses from the left wing but does not have the vision to play incisive through passes. Cissoko has only scored two goals in the Eredivisie, but he strikes the ball really well and has the potential to become a regular goalscorer. Cissoko needs to play with a higher intensity both in and out of possession, while he also needs to be coached a lot in terms of pressing and defensive positioning.

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Ibrahim Cissoko is still very raw but at NEC Nijmegen he is in the right place to develop into a very good left-winger. He needs to develop his physique, improve his speed over long distances and intensity and become more consistent with his short passing. However, with his tall frame combined with athleticism and potentially goal-scoring ability, he has a very interesting profile. Ibrahim Cissoko has the potential to play for clubs battling for European football in the top 5 leagues but only if he can work on his weaknesses. He needs another two seasons at NEC Nijmegen before thinking about a transfer to the top 5 leagues.

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