Oscar Zambrano (LDU Quito) – Scout Report

Óscar Zambrano is a 19-year-old defensive midfielder who plays for LDU Quito in Ecuador. Zambrano came through LDU Quito’s youth academy before debuting for the first team in 2022. The Ecuadorian has been a regular starter for LDU Quito since this season, as he has developed excellently over the past 18 months. Zambrano also was a key player for Ecuador under 20 at the under 20 World Cup, in which Ecuador got knocked out in the round of 16.

Standing at 1.76 meters with an average build, Zambrano does not have the strongest physical frame but he looks strong on the pitch because of how he asserts himself in physical ground duels. The Ecuadorian midfielder steps into physical duels aggressively and confidently, displaying his bravery and determination which help him to come out on top in ground duels. Zambrano reads the play well defensively, seemingly having improved his defensive positioning after playing plenty of matches with LDU Quito’s first team, compared to his performances for LDU Quito under 20 at the under 20 Copa Libertadores. The youngster is quick on the first meters and displays decent speed over longer distances too. Zambrano looks quite agile and changes directions quickly. He has a smooth running style and shows good mobility.

The midfielder displays excellent positioning in both first- and second-phase possession. Zambrano is at the base of almost every attack, helping his team (Ecuador sub-20 or LDU Quito) to progress the ball into the final third and dictating the pace/tempo of the attack. Zambrano has a really good touch under pressure and is very consistent technically, which is also something he improved on significantly over the past 18 months. He displays magnificent ball progression through passing. Zambrano often speeds up play by playing a line-breaking pass into the final third. He is a very solid short and long passer. The midfielder is capable of unlocking low blocks with his excellent through passing from deep areas. It is remarkable how the 19-year-old can create chances from (near) the halfway line. Zambrano has good vision.

Oscar Zambrano displayed his very good stamina during the under 20 World Cup for Ecuador, continuing to be everywhere on the pitch despite playing 90 minutes in all matches. He now also plays with high intensity, something he did not do at the under 20 Copa Libertadores. Zambrano looks very determined and has good concentration.

His significant increase in level over the past 18 months is really exciting to see. While I first thought he was not a special player, he fully convinced me in 2023 as I now think he is one of the most exciting prospects in Ecuador currently. The midfielder proved at the under 20 World Cup, but also for LDU Quito, that he is ready for the next step this summer transfer window. I would like to see Zambrano at one of the top 4 clubs in Belgium. He could make an immediate impact for those clubs and would be a cheap signing for around €5.000.000. Oscar Zambrano has the potential to play for Europa League teams in the top 5 leagues.


  1. Another great scouting report as always. I’ve watched Zambrano play a lot over the past year and I’ve been really impressed with his passing range. He rarely misplays a pass. It’s incredible. The one thing I’ve noticed is that he rarely progresses the ball on the dribble. Do you think that may keep him from being a champions league level player? Do you think he will be strong enough defensively to be at that level?

  2. Thank you. I don’t think that will restrict him from becoming a Champions League level player. Defensively, I’m curious how he will hold himself at a higher level.

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