In a relegation battle, FC Augsburg did well to get a 1-0 win against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on the 21st matchday of the Bundesliga. Augsburg lined up in a 4-4-2 against Hoffenheim’s 3-5-2.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Portuguese
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 29/07/2003
- Current club: Augsburg
- Career: Augsburg, Sporting CP
- Position: Defensive Midfielder
- Preferred foot: Left
Renato Veiga was making his second start as an Augsburg player since joining on loan from Sporting Clube de Portugal in the January window. Veiga is a 19 year-old Portuguese youth international who has played as high as the third division of Portugal with Sporting B. The match was a relegation six-pointer as both Augsburg and Hoffenheim sat just above the relegation zone. This match did not showcase any glamorous attacking football and a late set piece goal saw Augsburg take the 1-0 victory. Veiga played as a left back, a seemingly unfamiliar role, until the 75th minute when he took over at left central midfield. Veiga was substituted at the 84th minute, just before the winning goal.
Veiga lined up as a left back in a 4-4-2 that sometimes looked like a 3-5-2 in possession when central midfielder Elvis Rexhbecaj dropped in between the center backs. Veiga found himself in the opposing half only a couple of times during the match, frequently getting dispossessed or sending his passes too long. Renato did not demonstrate the ability to dribble out of pressure or offer any indication that he could move the ball forward. In watching Veiga receive passes, I noticed that he often took multiple seconds to make a decision, which was frequently to send it backwards. I tend to think he was burdened by his defensive responsibilities and didn’t feel comfortable at left back.
Regarding Veiga’s defensive responsibilities, they consisted of joining the flat back line and making sure that overlaps were accounted for. He waited for a poor touch and did not commit to many tackle attempts outside of transition moments. Renato showed good recovery speed, generally won his defensive duels, and made a strong connection when using his head to clear. Veiga’s marking, on the other hand, was questionable. There was a moment in the 81st minute after he took over as a defensive-minded left center mid when he noticed late that Hoffenheim star Andrej Kramarić had made a late run into the box. Kramarić arrived to the edge of the box unmarked, receiving a cutback cross and forcing Augsburg’s goalkeeper into a save with a low far post shot. If this had gone in, it would have been Veiga’s mistake which cost Augsburg in a very important game. A few minutes later, he was substituted.
Rating – D
Renato Veiga did not look like a Bundesliga quality player in this match. His reactions were slow, he took too much time on the ball, his long passes were overhit, and he never showed creativity on the ball. Veiga did not display impressive football IQ and he struggled to make a positive impact on the game. Veiga did not convince me that he is a prospect to look out for, but I am curious to see how he does as a central midfielder after he adjusts more to the league. For a team near the relegation zone, I don’t believe he should be playing.