Carlos Soler, potential Arsenal star? – Scout Report
It seems as though Mikel Arteta and Arsenal are keen to bolster his midfield ahead of next season. In January it was reported that Arsenal had made contact with Bruno Guimaraes, before he signed for Olympique Lyon. This summer it is expected that Arsenal will turn their attention to Carlos Soler of Valencia.
This scout report will analyse and decipher Soler’s game and what he will bring to Arsenal.
What would Soler bring to Arsenal –
At 23 years old, the Spaniard has primarily been deployed as a right winger, however the right footer seemingly enjoys a more central role. I would expect Mikel Arteta to deploy his more in a number 10 position at Arsenal. This season, he has been moved onto the left wing, in a 4-4-2, with the preface to cut in and create or attack the goal. To me, it seems as though he wants to be central and on the ball so that he can pass it through the thirds like a traditional Spanish midfielder. His composure and ball control are very impressive, whilst his vision and execution make him a real asset when trying to break teams down.
Shooting and Finishing
Carlos Soler has not been overly prolific this season scoring 3 goals and registering 0 assists in all competitions this season. Being a right footer on the right wing has meant that Soler doesn’t pick up to many goal scoring positions. His expected goals shows this with 0.129. Of Soler’s 31 shots this season, 11 have been on target, with a tendency for his shots to come to the right of the goal. Over the course of his career, Soler has taken 136 shots, with 38.3% aimed for the right-hand side of the goal. A total of 30.1% of his shots have been taken from around the penalty spot. At Arsenal, with the quality around him, you would expect a much better showing.
Soler’s total 2851 short simple passes have come with a 90.2% success rate. His ability to retain the ball under intense pressure makes him a key component in a possession orientated side. Per 90 minutes, Soler plays 32.69 short passes. Soler’s eye for a forward pass is notable. Of his total short passes, 52% have been forward, with an accuracy of 86.9%. This shows his desire to progress the ball forward when possible. Regarding more challenging incisive passes, Soler again is rather impressive. He averages 1.44 “smart” pass per 90 minutes, with an accuracy of 42.1%. Of the total 126, 80 are though balls and 72 are to the opposition box.
Soler’s preference in position for delivering these passes seems to be in and around the box, roughly 30 yards from the goal. Some of this is down to his position, but also his style. He wants to construct from deep. Carlos is very adept at playing long balls from deep. His 124 long passes (1.42 per 90 minutes) have come with a 77.4% success rate. If were to play in midfield, then he could nicely slot in alongside Granit Xhaka the right-sided pivot position.
As mentioned before, Soler has primarily been deployed as a right winger throughout his career. Per 90 minutes, Soler attempts 2.61 dribbles. Of his total 228 dribbles, has completed 61%. Dribbling is not Soler’s game, but this proves he can successfully beat his man and work space for a teammate. In tight games, having the ability to work that inch of space for a teammate is crucial. This season, Soler has attempted 53 dribbles completing 42% of them. Carlos prefers to receive the ball after drifting around before laying it off. He doesn’t really look to take his man on and beat as a Nicolas Pepe might.
Soler is by no means a defender. He has only won 13.7% of his 248 defensive 1v1 duels. This is to be expected given his flair and offensive desires. If he were to sign for Arsenal, it may be expected that he would be involved in less defensive situations than at Valencia, given the possession style which Arteta will demand, however, he will still need to be able to make these challenges and win them. In total, Soler has only won 14.8% of his 568 defensive duels. Of these 568 defensive duels, 40% have come by the halfway line, with 39.3% coming in his own half. Regarding interceptions, Soler has made 271. This averages at 3.11 per 90 minutes. Soler is good reading the opposition’s game, with 118 (43.5%) of interceptions being passes which he has cut. He has made 64 interceptions from picking opposition losses of possession.
In conclusion, a lot of the way in which Soler plays, reminds me of Dani Ceballos and he would seemingly be a likely replacement should Arsenal not make Ceballos’ stay permanent. It is unlikely that Soler would play off the right given Nicolas Pepe’s price and the left wing will hopefully be for Bukayo Saka. This might mean that Soler is given the chance to fill Mesut Ozil’s’ number 10 role or the deeper number 8 role alongside Xhaka. I think Soler would be a smart acquisition. He is a tidy neat player who clearly encapsulates what Mikel Arteta is about and how he wants Arsenal to play. He won’t be making many high-intensity sprints or be in the top three for distance covered, however, his ability on the ball, where he receives and what he does with it, will be what Arsenal buy him for.