Examining Mohammed Kudus: Premier League’s Dribbling Maestro

Mohammed Kudus was a familiar name among Premier League fans during his time at Ajax due to constant links for a transfer to England. The Ghana international’s output in the 2022/23 season, 11 goals and 3 assists in the Eredivisie elevated his status among European club scouts.

However, the elite teams hesitated to pursue the signing because of concerns over his fitness. Kudus missed over 290 days with injuries during his four seasons at Ajax, understandably dissuading potential suitors.

In the summer of 2023, West Ham United decided to gamble big on the talent and purchased Kudus from the Dutch club for €40 million. Fortunately for David Moyes, Kudus has evaded injury and remarkably impacted the Irons’ season.

Many facets of Kudus’s game make him an exciting player, but one attribute stands out more than anything – his dribbling.

Dribbling Wizard

West Ham fans will be already accustomed to the many marauding ball carries that Kudus has executed in his time at the club. The Ghanian regularly scans for opportunities to wave his magic dribbling wand, often mesmerizing opposition players and managers.

Recently, the Irons suffered a 5-0 hammering by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a game where most players from the visiting team played poorly. However, an individual that caught the eye of the Blues supporters was Kudus, whose 14 completed dribbles impressed the attendees in the stadium.

Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino also approached Kudus at the end of the game, sparking rumours that Chelsea might reignite their interest in the attacker to bolster their offensive department for next season.

His dribbling exuberance has remained a constant theme this season when Kudus has played – averaging a remarkable eight dribbles per game, with an outstanding completion rate of 55%.

Moreover, Kudus has recorded the highest number of attempted dribbles this season while achieving a higher success rate than his peers. When measuring Premier League players for these metrics, Kudus comes out on top as the leader.

His dribbling has the purpose of creating chances rather than just performing that action for the sake of it, which is reflected by his Shot-Creating Actions (offensive actions that lead to a shot) from take-ons figure, where he also ranks first.

A few examples where Kudus has created goals through his dribbling include involvements against Newcastle United and Freiburg.

In an away fixture at St. James’ Park, Kudus pounced on a loose ball outside the penalty box after a corner. He evaded the immediate threat of Aleksander Isak by knocking the ball forward with his head.

Kudus was shortly confronted by Fabian Schär, who he skipped past seamlessly and found acres of green grass to look up for passing options before spraying a ball into the feet of Jarrod Bowen, who would score on the other end.

Arguably, his best goal for West Ham came against Freiburg in the Europa League, when Kudus majestically dribbled through the entire opposition’s defensive unit before tucking the ball into the bottom corner.

Win-Win Outcome for West Ham

With Premier League teams encouraging their players to dribble more as it helps break lines of pressure, a player like Kudus offers elite clubs a viable attacking midfield prospect to consider. The dynamic Ghanian forward has seamlessly integrated into life in England, providing enough evidence that he will likely adapt well at a higher level.

Manchester City will probably have an opening in the summer transfer window as they look to prepare for Kevin De Bruyne’s eventual departure. Arsenal will have a similar requirement with this department looking under-staffed. Moreover, they will need a deeper squad to compete on all fronts next season.

There could even be other clubs abroad that might consider Kudus, and if they come calling, West Ham will be in a favourable position to extract a considerable sum from the suitor.

If a suitable bid does not arrive, they will benefit from the West Ham number 14’s on-ball brilliance under their incoming manager, Julen Lopetegui, whose exciting offensive football will suit Kudus.

Regardless of the outcome, it will prove to be a win-win situation, as they will either be able to flip a quality player for almost double the purchase price or enjoy the immense quality Kudus will deliver on the field.

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