Nathanael Mbuku has been an impressive player for Reims in the French Ligue 1 and has been added by Bundesliga side Augsburg to their attack. He made the move from France to Germany in the January 2023 transfer window. Mbuku is an excellent dribbler who can create opportunities out of nothing and could be the perfect partner for Augsburg‘s attack. He is also a good finisher and has the ability to create an attacking threat. He has been out for the majority of the matches this season for Reims due to injury issues and has appeared in only six matches in Ligue 1 in 2022/23. Although he played a total of 31 matches for Reims in Ligue 1 in 2021/22, he was a crucial part of the team’s attack. Below we look at some of his stats from the previous season in order to assess what he can add to Augsburg’s attack.
Mbuku for Reims in 2021/22
The viz above shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other centre forwards in the French top flight for the 2021–22 season. He played 31 matches for his club. He ranks well in terms of percentile for his possession stats. Other areas where the player does well include dribbles undertaken per 90 minutes. He also ranks decently in winning defensive and aerial duels and making regains in the opponent’s half.
Mbuku in front of the goal
Mbuku has been a crucial part of his side’s attack. In the 2021–22 French top flight, Mbuku played 31 matches. He has 13 shots on target from a total of 31 and has scored two goals (3.01 xG). The player averages 20.77 passes per game and has a 75.6% pass completion rate. All of his goals have come from inside and around the six-yard box, along with a few attempts on goal from outside the box. He averages 1.83 shots per 90 minutes with 41.9% accuracy.
Mbuku likes to progress the ball in the final third of the pitch. He attempts 5.49 dribbles per match, with 58.1% of them being successful. Most of his action is in the middle and final third of the pitch. His confidence and ability to progress the ball are what make him worth more and are one of the reasons behind his success. He averages 2.07 progressive runs per match and makes penetrating carries into the penalty area, averaging 2.07 touches in the opponent’s penalty area. Additionally, he makes 1.83 accurate crosses per 90 alongside making movement into the box.
High pressing ability
Mbuku makes frequent movements in the opposition’s half in order to put high pressure on the opposition’s midfield and final third. The above viz represents various high regains made by him for Reims in Ligue 1 2021/22. It can be seen that he has made 15 high regain, 19 counter-pressing recoveries, and five dangerous recoveries. Additionally, the player makes 3.66 recoveries in the opponent’s half per 90 minutes and averages 1.89 interceptions per 90 minutes.
In conclusion, Mbuku‘s tireless work rate and ability to press high up the pitch could make him a valuable asset in Augsburg‘s counter–attacking system. His pace and directness on the ball could also be used to great effect in transition and could help the team stretch the opposition‘s defence. Overall, Mbuku could be a great addition to the Augsburg attack and could help the team achieve its goals in the Bundesliga this season.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine