He was named the Russian Premier League’s Young Player of the Year, which comes as no surprise as the dazzling-winger was a standout performer, with Kvaratskhelia scoring four goals, getting four assists in 23 games. Those stats may not be the most impressive, but his ball skills, ball progression, spatial awareness and match performances make him an exciting player and one to keep an eye on in the future. Whilst admittedly his attacking output can do with some improvements, with the correct development, it should not be too long before seeing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia getting double figures in goal contribution and see him grow in reputation in the Premier League.
In this scout report in the form of tactical analysis, we will look at what Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could bring to the Premier League by looking at some of his key strengths and what he can bring to his potential new employers.
Kvaratskhelia’s Position & Playing-Style
Predominantly a left-winger, Kvaratskhelia is a versatile attacking midfielder who loves to run at defences with the ball at his feet. On the left, he does so by receiving the ball in space, turning and proceeding to cut inside to create a chance. He does, however, have a competent left-foot which sometimes takes him on the outside of a defender but has a higher tendency to come inside, on to his preferred foot.
This heat map shows that Kvaratskhelia spent the whole season out on the left flank, operating in the left half-space, making it difficult for defenders to mark and track. Once Kvaratskhelia picks up the ball in these areas and drives at defences, he causes panic for defenders, forcing them to drop deeper or commit themselves. If a defender chooses to engage, Kvaratskhelia has more than the ability to skip past the challenge, which can be a good playing trait for an inverted-winger and a bigger bonus for teams, like Leeds, who have their wide players come inside often.
Kvaratskhelia shotmap from 2020/21 Russian Premier League
When looking at Kvaratskhelia’s heatmap and then shot-map, we can start to get a picture of the type of player he is. At least, where he attempts to create chances and score goals for his team. These shots often result from him picking up the ball on the left, cutting inside and going at goal if the opportunity to create is not on. As we can see, this area needs improvement to be a ‘top player’, and one way he could improve his goal contributions is to work on his off-the-ball movements as well as anticipation, increasing his ability to read attacking situations and, in turn, should raise his xG, which totalled 4.25 in the Russian top-flight. According to Wyscout, he takes 2.54 shots per 90 (48.8% on target).
The Georgian-international completed the most 1v1 dribbles per 90 (14.6) in 2020-21 and the 2nd most ball-progression by runs (166.7) in the Russian top-flight, making him a promising ball progressor at just the age of 20.
Kvaratskhelia’s Silky Skills
As mention before, Kvaratskhelia is a skilful player who thrives on dribbling 1v1, making him a very progressive player bringing the ball forward with the ball at his feet. Not too many full-backs fancy defending in 1v1 situations, and Kvaratskhelia can make full-backs uncomfortable during the 90 minutes. He also suffered 2.04 fouls per 90, which can lead to dangerous attacks for his team if these are in good goalscoring positions, and for Rubin Kazan, many of these were not too far away from the right side of the opponent’s penalty area.
He attempts to knock the ball past him and is brought down by the defender. Kvaratskhelia winning a free-kick for his side.
The 20-year-old has good spatial awareness too. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia can read opponents and understand the space around him. Understanding the space/area around a player can determine their next move, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia uses it to his advantage to beat a defender or expose a particular weakness.
…before leaving both defenders for dead. Then performs another action he does so well. And that’s progress with the ball.
Then, Kvaratskhelia showed good acceleration to get past his marker and the tight space. He proceeded to drive into space progressing the ball for his side.
End Product – Creating Scoring Chances
This is partly because Ruben Kazan aren’t the most adventurous side and did not create many scoring chances. Also, his teammate’s ability to score the opportunities created by Kvaratskhelia; still, he was ranked 18th with xA in the Russian Premier League in the 2020-21 season (best u21 performer), and if a move for him does not materialise, his xA could do with some improvements in the Russian premier division to increase his attacking output.
After dribbling to the edge of the defending team’s penalty box, he players a lovely pass into the attacker’s path, setting up an excellent scoring chance. The attacker ended the move with a goal, and Kvaratskhelia getting an assist.
This slight weakness is not a significant worry if we consider Kvaratskhelia is only 20 years of age and has shown determination to improve his game. Maybe this is just nitpicking, but there was a big enough example size for this to be analysed. Thus, training with the right coach(es) can improve his technique in the end-product stage in vital attacking situations and improve his chance creation.
Which, the pass was overhit and forced his teammate out wide to recover the ball. Though this action was not simple to perform, it demonstrates he can spot a good chance, but the execution can let him down.
And here is another example of Kvaratskhelia overhitting his pass in a vital moment.
Now, we can see the man Kvaratskhelia was attempting to play in with a slightly better angle. Unfortunately, in this attacking move, the pass was overhit again and similar to the last example, it forced his teammate out wide to recover the ball for Rubin Kazan.
To conclude this scout report, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has the ability to be playing in a more competitive and higher standard league. He is undoubtedly a unique player with an aura that automatically grabs attention when he is in motion. He is far from being a complete player but also one a defender can not ignore on the pitch.
But that wraps this scout report, I hope you have enjoyed it.
Credit Wyscout for stats and in-game pictures