Khvicha Kvaratskhelia continues to impress for his club as interest looms around his future but he has all the ingredients to become the next star.
In terms of countries that produce high-level talent, Georgia isn’t a place that comes to mind.
Apart from Kakha Kaladze, who played for AC Milan in his heyday, there haven’t really any exciting players from that region. However, if there’s any player who could put Georgia on the map in world football, it would certainly be Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
The 20-year-old, who plays his football in Russia with Rubin Kazan, is really making a name for himself. He’s been one of the best players in the league, having registered four goals and four assists in 23 appearances. He’s also impressed with the national team recently, showing out in matches against Spain and Greece in the UEFA Nations League.
Kvaratskhelia Determined to Put Georgia on the Map
Interest in Khvicha Kvaratskhelia High
Being so young and having such raw talent, there’s a lot to expect from Kvaratskhelia. As he continues to perform, interest from teams from across Europe are starting to look into acquiring his services. To understand what makes him such an attractive player, here are Kvaratshkelia’s most important attributes.
Prolific Dribbling Ability
When watching the Georgian bring the ball up the pitch, it’s clear that he’s at his best when in possession. His 3.4 successful dribbles per match are the best in the league, which compounds with the sheer volume of dribbles that he executes. By leading the league in attempted dribbles (6.9), he’s constantly putting pressure on the fullback in one-on-one situations.
It’s exciting to watch him because it always feels like something is going to happen. His close control and speed allow him to get out of tight situations, making it difficult to mark him. Playing out on the left, he likes to be direct in taking on the closest defender. When running at the backline, he usually cuts in on his favoured right foot to drive towards the middle. From there, he tends to play through passes into on-running teammates or take a shot from distance.
His dribbling ability is what makes him such a valuable wing player for Rubin Kazan. With much of the play going through him, it’s clear that his teammates trust him on the ball. His flair and elegant style add a unique combination of both a forward threat and eye-catching entertainment.
Not only does he bring quality in possession, but he can also create opportunities with his link-up play. Although many dribblers tend to rely solely on what they’re good at, Kvaratskhelia can variate his approaches.
In terms of chance creation, he’s shown to be quite good at finding teammates when running at the opposition backline. Because he has the capacity to get by defenders on his own, defenders become indecisive when defending his passes. With 1.5 key passes per match, Kvaratskhelia’s good at picking out angled through balls into on-running forwards and midfielders, especially when he brings the ball inside from the left.
The 20-year-old also brings other players into the game with his vision and passing range. With the ability to use long switch passes and crosses, he can reward players on the other flank for making those runs into space. A winger with this ability can act as a glue for his side, connecting the two wings and offering different angles of attack.
Wastefulness and Defensive Contribution Need Improvement
Despite the high number of dribbles and take-ons, his success rate presents somewhat of an issue. Consistent dribble attempts are a good way to put pressure on defenders, but a 50% completion percentage suggests that there’s plenty of risks involved when executing those dribbles.
Kvaratskhelia is very flamboyant and likes to use a lot of skill moves. Because of this, he’s been known to get carried away at times, holding onto the ball and getting dispossessed frequently in the process. Rubin Kazan currently leads the league in possessions lost per match (11.7), a stat in which the Georgian plays a big part.
An area in his game that also needs improvement is his effort behind the ball. At times, he lacks the desire to press and can be hesitant when supporting his team in doing so. Working on this part of his game would drastically improve his overall output and make him a more complete forward.
Interest High in Kvaratskhelia as Big European Clubs Take Note
As continues to perform in Russia, some of Europe’s best clubs are keeping a close eye on his progression. Bayern Munich and Juventus are the two most frequently referenced, showing how admired the 20-year-old really is. Despite the interest, it wouldn’t be smart for him to move to either destination at this stage in his career, especially with the skillset that he has.
For example, it would be difficult to see him break into a Bayern side with wingers Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane switching each other out every week. Choosing Juventus would make more sense, but Andrea Pirlo‘s system would make it difficult to get the best out of him.
A move to either a Europa League club or a team that is on the rise could suit him. A lowkey profile and the vacant role of a rising young star would be a great scenario for Kvaratskhelia to fall into. Villarreal and Sassuolo, for example, would be great destinations for him.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has the ingredients to become a great football player in Europe. His combination of flair and chance creation make him a tremendous attacking threat and really gives him the edge over most defences. With a few improvements to his defensive work rate and discipline in possession, he could be scary to play against.
The upcoming transfer window in June will be an important time for Khvicha to really decide where he wants to take his career. He has years ahead of him, and at the moment he’s eclipsing the top talents in the Russian Premier League. But regardless if he makes a move this summer or not, the 20-year-old will undoubtedly become the face of Georgian football in the years to come.
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