Saúl Guarirapa is a 20-year-old striker who plays for Caracas in Liga FUTVE (Venezuela). Guarirapa already broke through in the Venezuelan league at the age of 17, but was held back as he tore his ACL in December 2020. He did not play a single game for the first team in 2021 but returned to his old form at the U20 Copa Libertadores in 2022, where he scored four goals in five games. He subsequently got more games in the first team again, primarily as a left-winger as Samson Akinyoola was Caracas’s first-choice striker. After Akinyoola left, Guarirapa finally was played in his best position. He now has 8 goals and 3 assists in 18 Liga FUTVE games.
Standing at 1.89 meters with an average build, Saúl Guarirapa is a physically imposing striker. The Venezuelan striker uses his body well in physical duels but could be slightly more consistent. He generally holds off his opponents in duels with his back towards the goal really well. Guarirapa has good acceleration on the first meters and is very quick over longer distances. Surprisingly, for his frame, Guarirapa is also quite agile as he changes directions pretty quickly. The young striker has good footwork in the tight spaces and is a very mobile striker. Guarirapa is also dominant in aerial duels, timing his jump really well and obviously being strong and tall.
Saúl Guarirapa is also a very technical player. The striker generally displays much confidence on the ball, sometimes playing with a lot of flair and playing nice one-touch backheel passes. Guarirapa has a good first touch and ball control in duels with his back towards the goal and finds teammates well with one-touch passes. He has decent close control while dribbling but could be a bit more consistent in this area as well. His short passing technique is clean. Guarirapa does not play a lot of long passes. The striker’s striking technique on his right foot is good, but his finishing ability with his left foot can and should be worked on. He does not always hit the ball cleanly and should improve this. His heading accuracy could also be better.
The striker displays excellent composure in the final third and is not a selfish player, displaying good decision-making when a teammate is in a better position to potentially score. Guarirapa is capable of making good, well-timed runs in behind. He has good poaching instincts in the box, often getting into scoring position in the box. He always seems to know where his teammates are in the final third, knowing when to let the ball run or when to take a touch or shoot. Guarirapa always plays with good energy and intensity and presses the backline really well, displaying good stamina and work-rate.
Saúl Guarirapa has an extremely interesting profile, as he combines his physical strength with good ball control and footwork in the tight areas. He gets into good positions in the box and is good at holding up play. He is very quick and athletic, too. Saúl Guarirapa needs to develop his finishing ability with his left foot, while also needing to improve his heading accuracy. I think he would already be a good signing for most Belgian sides, but if he can work on his weaknesses he could potentially become an interesting player for mid-table or lower-table sides in LaLiga.