Europe’s elite tend to have a list of top targets but this summer in a COVID-hit transfer market, Stade Brestois 29 winger Romain Faivre might be on top.
In the crevices of every top league in the world, there exist hidden gems who rise to the surface. We’ve seen it with players like Marcus Rashford, Erling Håland, and Georginio Wijnaldum, bursting onto the scene and shining on some of the world’s biggest stages. He could be next.
Romain Faivre A Top Target For Big Clubs This Summer
Winger on Targets List of Europe’s Elite
Arguably one of the more consistent performers in Ligue 1 this year, he’s scored five goals and provided three assists in his 25 matches. He’s ranked 6th in the league in key passes per match (2.0), 6th in successful dribbles per match (2.8), and 2nd for possession’s won in the final third of the pitch (21). He’s also made appearances for the French U21 National Team for the first time in his career, scoring on his debut on October 8, 2020, against Liechtenstein.
To further understand how Faivre’s qualities make him an important player for his squad, here’s a breakdown of his main strengths.
Faivre has proven that he can provide quality service for his teammates to produce goal-scoring opportunities.
His total of 51 key passes is the 3rd highest in the league behind only Leo Dubois and Memphis Depay, which is a standalone stat in truth.
He leads Ligue 1 in total shot-creating actions (119), which are defined as dribbles, passes, or fouls drawn that lead directly to a shot. Per 90 minutes of action, he’s involved in 5.32 shooting buildups, making up more than 25% of his club’s 19.96 actions per match. 32 of his actions were from corners and free-kicks, which is more than half of the 55 shot-creating actions produced off dead-ball situations by Brest this season.
As for his involvement in buildup plays leading directly to goals, he’s in the top ten with nine. Three of these involvements were direct assists off corner kicks.
With Faivre on the side, Brest has been able to produce significantly more chances than without. The winger could’ve had a great assist tally if chances had been converted more effectively, with forwards Steve Mounie and Irvin Cardona missing 17 big scoring chances altogether. His deliveries from set-pieces have also been a crucial aspect of their offence this campaign.
When you watch him dribble the ball, he resembles Marseille star Florian Thauvin. They’re not the fastest runners, but their agile movements and soft-touch allow them to escape defenders and get through into dangerous areas.
Apart from being similar on the eye, you could argue he’s just as good of a dribbler as Thauvin. Faivre’s 2.8 successful dribbles per match leave him with a 66.3% dribble success rate, one that’s higher than Thauvin himself, Kylian Mbappe, and even Neymar. He’s also dribbled past 67 players this campaign, only 4th in the league behind Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Ludovic Blas.
His dribbling style is direct and progressive, making him a danger for opposition defences. He’s dribbled the ball progressively for more yards than any other attacking player in the league (4,334). To put this into perspective, the next player on the list is Angelo Fulgini, who has more than 1,000 fewer progressive yards. This displays Faivre’s eagerness to get in on goal and attack the backline.
He’s a direct and dangerous player on the ball. With most of his touches coming in the final third, he presents a threat to the opposition defence every time he runs at them. With his ball retention and ability to round defenders, the 22-year old has established himself as a focal point in the team’s offence.
Versatility and Defensive Workrate
The French winger shows a strong desire to win the ball back for his club. He leads the league in successful presses (113) and has the 4th highest press success rate (33.7%) of any forward player. Although most of his pressing comes in the midfield, he’s 2nd for possessions won in the attacking third (21).
His ability to play in multiple attacking positions also makes him a flexible and versatile option for his manager. Apart from his traditional left-midfield role, Romain has played matches as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder, and out front as a false-nine striker.
The tendency to contribute on both ends is a quality that managers love to see in their forward players. A combination of positional flexibility and relentless pressing makes him a worthwhile signing.
22-year-old Romain Faivre has the potential to be one of the best players in France in the coming years. His goals and assist tallies might not be eye-catching, but they only scratch the surface of what lies beneath. If he remains consistent in his performances, he will be a top target for Europe’s biggest clubs. His technical and tactical presence, his ability to support the attack with quality passing and progressive dribbling, and his effort on the defensive end of the pitch would convince any manager to sign him. He is one for the future, plain and simple. Remember Riyad Mahrez‘s move to the Premier League anyone?
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