Inyang Bassey Howells

Player Analysis
Kwadwo Ntiamoah

Author:
Kwadwo Ntiamoah

Profile

The first word that comes to mind when watching Bassey is ‘calm’, it strikes you in every sequence he touches the ball: smooth, calm and delicate. Bassey can play a variety of roles in the center of midfield; he can function in a deep lying pivot or as a #8 in a midfield trio. His role at FC Al Suwaiq is to progress the ball in the buildup, find teammates higher up the pitch and on the defensive end; win the ball and recycle possession.

Strengths

Composure

As mentioned above, Bassey is calmness personified; he never rushes on the ball, can play out of pressure using his passing and dribbling and is comfortable receiving the ball with his back facing play. He is always calm on the ball and takes responsibility when it comes to increasing or slowing down the tempo for the team. Bassey has a good head on his shoulders, he is often aware of his surroundings before receiving and when he is on the ball. Composure is an important trait for midfielders, and Bassey has a good sense of it.

Press resistance

Bassey can evade pressure effectively, he’s not the quickest on the ball but he has this unique ability to use a body feint and his first touch gets him out of any dangerous situations. His first touch and ball control is very impressive. Bassey can use both feet to a decent extent, making him very hard to press as the opponent does not know which foot he will shift the ball onto. In the sequence below, it is a throw-in and the opponent is already pressing Bassey near the touchline, so he controls the ball with his left foot and quickly shifts the ball onto his right, adjusting his body to allow him to use his touch to create space from his marker.

Passing

Bassey is not the flashy type to ping the ball every time he receives it, but he ticks the most important type of pass: the short pass. He seems to have it under his control, every time he passes the ball to a teammate they can easily control it. Bassey has a very good sense of when to pass; he always picks the right timing and type of pass, he isn’t one to play the long ball unless he sees a teammate making a run. He has a variety of passes in his locker; he can float the ball over the defence, he can break lines using a ground pass, and can thread a through ball in an instant. 

When he is deployed in a more advanced role in midfield, he loves to link-up with the fullback and winger. Uses one-twos and wall passes to create space for them before threading the ball for them to run onto. When Bassey plays deeper, he loves the diagonal to the winger making a run in behind.

Ball carrying

Bassey is great on the ball and can dribble through opponents too, using his combination of ball control and quick feet to breeze past his markers. As mentioned earlier, he seems to prefer bringing the ball and driving into midfield more when he plays in advanced areas. When playing as a deep midfielder, he does not risk it and uses his passing ability more often.

Defensive Ability

On the defensive end, Bassey is a very calculated defender; he isn’t the aggressive type of midfielder that engages opponents on the ball. Rather, he is alert and senses situations in which to make a tackle or an interception. He uses his great sense of anticipation to achieve this, as such he rarely gambles on the defensive end. In the sequence of play below, even though he is facing the opponents goal, he keeps an eye on the ball. When the pass is initiated, he takes a calculated gamble and uses his long legs to intercept the ball.

Bassey’s height and stature make it difficult to be bullied by attackers when it comes to 1v1 duels, he knows how to use his body to prevent the opponent from getting the better of him in defensive duels.

Weaknesses

Lack of pace

Bassey has the size and physique, but his pace is not that impressive for a midfielder. Though he makes up for it with intelligent positioning and movement, you cannot always substitute it for natural pace. Offensively it is not that much of a downside since he has great short bursts on the ball that allow him to move up the pitch. But defensively, it may pose a problem when he has to defend a quicker player.

Conclusion

Inyang Bassey Howells is a very intelligent midfielder who has great technique and composure on the ball and can pass the ball very well. On the defensive end, he is able to anticipate very well to make tackles and interceptions and can use his body to win ground duels. His height allows him to be very competent when challenging for aerial duels too.

He would be a perfect fit in a midfield pivot or as the lone DM on a top team; he can pass, he is great under pressure and he does not lose the ball often. Bassey would be a valuable asset on any team in Europe.

How good Bassey is for a team in a top league depends on where he plays; if he is played as a deep lying midfielder in a pivot or as a lone DM, then there will be no doubt he will excel. But if he is used as a #8, there might be issues as he doesnt have the natural attacking instincts any attacking midfielder would have. Granted he is a very intelligent player, sometimes intelligence cannot be a substitute for attacking instinct.

Regardless of where his best position is, he offers versatility; he can win the ball and cover allowing other players to attack, in more advanced roles, he offers control. Bassey can link up with team mates and can sustain possession in and around the final 3rd and has the ability to pick out passes into dangerous areas. His age may be seen as a downside as he is already 24, but any team that takes a chance on him will not be disappointed.

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