Juan Foyth has been dubbed the Argentinean John Stones in many England scouting circles. Well, in ball-playing respects he is, but he’s also the more complete prospect than the England international was at 19. Make no mistake, Foyth is a future star, and we at ESDF are delighted that you’re here for the young defender’s scouting report.
— Daily Hotspur (@Daily_Hotspur) July 27, 2017
Foyth, who plays for Argentine side Estudiantes de La Plata, is an up-and-coming ball-playing centre-back who is being looked at by top European clubs. Most notably, and with the most traction in terms of rumors, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in the young defender.
Recently, Foyth’s stock rose as he was arguably Argentina’s biggest positive at the 2017 U-20 FIFA World Cup, a tournament in which they couldn’t get out of the group stage. He plays in a four at the back system for both club and country, with the latter sometimes building up the play with a back three. He’s adept at a possession-based style within a number of formations.
The 19-year-old got his start with the Estudiantes first-team after former manager Nelson Vivas liked the youngster’s performances while representing Argentina at the Campeonato Sudamericano. As it happened, he has now become a regular due to his excellent ball-playing abilities.
He’s also a fan favorite given his exciting style – the kid comes with that Latin flare and often likes to dribble into midfield. Foyth’s dribbling exploits might make some managers want to scream, but he’d even make the most pragmatic of tacticians stop and analyze. His passing and composure are that good.
Watch below as I break down his attacking qualities.
The Estudiantes defender likes to have the ball at his feet and it is clear as day that he loves to get involved in as many build-up phases as he can. Of course, as with any ball-playing CB, he sometimes causes opposition transitions that hurt his side, but overall he’s very responsible.
Foyth’s passing is also very accurate. His vertical balls are perfectly weighted and he’s always looking for attacking midfielders and forwards to drop deep and receive his passes. I’d like to see him try and develop a passing range like Leonardo Bonucci, as too much dribbling without creation is a waste of time, in my opinion. Perhaps at more of a direct team, this would change and Foyth could improve his long-range ability.
Anyhow, let’s move on to arguably the most important part of a CBs responsibilities – defending. In that regard, he reminds me of Sergio Ramos, the kid plays with an edge as he is very mobile, athletic, and aggressive. His ferociousness sometimes hurts him, he can sometimes fall prey to lunges and poor first-tackles against skilled dribblers, but he’s good 1v1, is great at recovering from mistakes due to long legs, and is excellent at covering depth like through balls because of his pace. His tackling is at its best when it requires covering depth for through balls or semi-accurate passes, once a skilled dribbler initiates a 1v1 duel, Foyth’s aggressiveness can hurt him. However, I assume he’ll learn this as he matures.
The video below shows Foyth’s defensive 1v1 ability.
However, Foyth isn’t good in the air like Ramos and isn’t as consistent as the Spaniard in terms of effective man-marking when a threat drops off further between the lines. Foyth is decent at man-marking and leaving his line, but he’s not the most consistent, especially when the opposition tries to throw long balls overhead.
Moving on, the videos below showcase more of Foyth’s defensive qualities and weaknesses. His ball-playing abilities are well documented, but it is his all-around ability that will make him a future star and a hot commodity.
Juan Foyth Scouting Report – Clearances
Juan Foyth Scouting Report – Covering Depth
Juan Foyth Scouting Report – Defensive Positioning
Juan Foyth Scouting Report – Tackles
The Argentine defender is far from a finished product in all of these defensive actions, but he has all the tools and you see flashes of defensive brilliance in patches. It is no surprise that the Evening Standard’s Tom Collomosse reported that Tottenham has called Foyth a “star of the future.”
Meanwhile Estudiantes de La Plata look set to sell Santiago Ascacíbar to Zenit, and Juan Foyth to Paris Saint-Germain.
— Sam Kelly (@HEGS_com) August 3, 2017
Obviously, his ball-playing abilities have gotten him the most attention overseas, but you don’t go to PSG or Tottenham if you’re absolutely rubbish at defending. Foyth is the young CB many possession-minded coaches would like, he’s decisive in almost all attacking phases of play and would be an essential part of any possession-based system.
Attacking qualities aside, he also has the mobility and tactical IQ for coaches to work with as he will be seen as a player who will undoubtedly improve his defensive effectiveness as he ages. He has that natural instinct to strip opponents of their time and space and gives forwards a difficult time in finding comfortable space to operate.
As I dig further into tactics, I find myself valuing the importance of ball-playing CBs more and more. Juan Foyth: https://t.co/9ZEhxqYrEW
— Carlo Valladares (@C_V_News) July 25, 2017
Foyth is a centre-back with loads of promise. At the right team, he can be a top ball-playing defender.