Nathan Simes is a 20-year-old striker from New Zealand who was playing for the Fordham Rams in the United States over the last year. He is eligible to participate in the under 20 World Cup for New Zealand and is one of the many candidates for the striker position, amongst other talented strikers such as Kian Donkers (NEC Nijmegen).
Nathan Simes is a pretty tall striker with an average build. Even though he is pretty tall, he struggles to win aerial duels against tall, physical defenders. Against smaller defenders, he usually wins most of his aerial duels. Simes could win more aerial duels if he improves his core strength, allowing him to not lose balance in the air when there’s physical contact between the defender and attacker. The young striker also loses physical ground duels sometimes because he loses balance in the duels, seemingly not having enough power in his legs (even though he does seem to have pretty muscular legs based on photos) and body to maintain possession under pressure from his opponent. This is something that really needs improvement if he wants to play in the higher divisions. The attacker has decent bursts of speed, which allows him to make good and well-timed runs into the box.
The striker generally has a really good technique, especially for this level. Simes only needs one or two touches to control the ball and can make quick decisions under pressure and execute his passes successfully. Even though he is not the most agile and quickest in changing directions while dribbling, Simes always manages to keep the ball close to him and is capable of manoeuvring his way past opponents. The striker has good passing technique over both short and long distances. His shooting technique is really clean, he almost always manages to hit the target and is a pretty clinical finisher from close range.
Nathan Simes likes to drop deep in possession to see more of the ball and be more involved in the build-up play. He uses the space really well and makes the right decisions on the ball. In the final third, Simes has a very good eye for space and often makes great runs into the box, getting in good positions to receive the ball and have a big chance. Throughout the games, he also looked more and more engaged and concentrated to maintain the defensive structure and participate in the game. This is something he definitely improved on in the last few months. Simes always looked composed and was not bothered to join in small brawls on the pitch, which I like to see. He seems to be very determined to reach his goals and is very willing to learn.
I think that Nathan Simes suits a heavy possession-based style in a dominant side the best. He would see a lot of the ball and be involved in the play more than he does now, which would suit him better. Simes would get a lot of chances to display his poaching instincts and has the potential to score a lot of goals in possession-based teams. Going forward, he does need to work on his leg/body strength and it would be beneficial if he tries to become more explosive. This would help him to also exploit his well-timed runs at a higher level. However, his technique is at a really good level and he is a natural goalscorer, which is very important for a striker.