Having bagged 22 goals and five assists from his 52 games last season for FC Basel in all competitions, excitement machine Zeki Amdouni is off to the bright lights of the Premier League to join Burnley.
Costing a reasonable €18.60 million, there’s no doubting this is a shrewd piece of recruitment by the Clarets, as the electric, versatile attacker has all the ingredients needed to be a success.
Catching the eye domestically, in Europe and at international level, where he’s scored five goals in five games for the Swiss national team, the 22-year-old sensation is relishing the challenge ahead and looks forward to refining his craft under the tutelage of Vincent Kompany.
Seeing as the Belgian tactician plays a progressive, offensively geared system, this should suit him down to the ground and help get the best out of the hotshot. Indeed, he touched on this when speaking after arriving at the reigning Championship winners.
“I’m very happy to be here and I’m excited to start,” he gleamed. “The last two months were very important to me; I spoke to the coach, and he really wanted me. Also, I really wanted to work with him, for me that’s the most important. For my career, to choose a good club, where the coach wants you is important to me.
“I know it’s the best league in the world. It’s not easy, for sure, but I am confident and with the coach, and the staff, I can do good things here. I think I’m a very calm player, I can play in a lot of forward positions and can score goals for sure. The second part of the season with the national team and also with Basel was really good for me personally. I was confident and it was really good.”
Looking to carry along on his upward trajectory, watch for him to catch the eye firstly with his classy finishing using both feet, plus how he finds the back of the net from a variety of angles and distances using an array of finishes.
Instinctive and confident when in range to pull the trigger, this approach serves him well, for he’s quick to make the most of opportunities that come his way. Moreover, his composure in 1v1s, underrated heading, anticipation to react briskly to rebounds, capacity to shoot when unbalanced and how he blends power and placement amplifies his menace.
Indeed, the examples below serve as a testament to his class here.
Clever with his movement to evade markers to heighten his threat, this, in combination with his nifty runs in behind and down the channels, ensures he keeps defenders on their toes. Fast, timing his surges wisely and alert to gaps between defenders, these bursts are undeniably a key weapon of his.
In addition, the way he mixes things up by dropping deep to link play to be an outlet, forms overloads and performs shrewd rotations with his offensive colleagues to gain separation compounds issues for adversaries.
The dynamo supplements the aforementioned with his imaginative passing, for he’s very good at injecting impetus into attacks to unlock or destabilise backlines. Showing immense ambition and belief in himself, it’s impressive how he frequently breaks lines, strikes sublimely weighted through balls and partakes in intricate link play.
Boasting notable vision and always looking to make things happen with his crafty repertoire of deliveries, his Burnley teammates should enjoy getting on the end of his service.
Neat and tidy in possession and electric on the dribble, his elite first touch and ball control hold him in good stead to weave his magic with the ball at his feet. Possessing a low centre of gravity, terrific balance and the strength to withstand pressure, Amdouni is certainly a difficult man to contain when carrying the ball.
How he intelligently adapts his receiving posture to spin away from trouble, protects the ball and twists against the grain of the harrying are extra weapons in his armoury.
Feisty, determined and full of energy on the defensive end, expect to see him harass his targets with intent, force turnovers and recover possession frequently. A fine fit for Kompany’s pressing plans and happy to put his body on the line, this element of his game should endear him to the fans and his boss.
By the numbers, upon comparing him to star Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus as an interesting example last season using Wyscout data, Amdouni admirably held the ascendancy in a host of metrics such as goals per 90, shots p90, dribbles p90, progressive runs p90, smart passes p90, key passes p90, passes to the final third p90, passes to the penalty area p90, through passes p90, successful action actions p90, successful defensive actions p90, shots blocked p90 and sliding tackles p90.
“He’s been on our radar for quite a while now. The way he can play the final pass creates so many assists and thanks to the amount of work he puts in on the pitch he scores plenty himself. Zeki is such a goal threat,” asserted Kompany.
“He’s a very intelligent footballer, technically gifted and with a great work ethic. He’s a big talent.”
An exciting transfer full of upside, watching Amdouni rise to the challenge under Kompany, who’ll give him every opportunity to fulfil his tremendous potential, will be captivating.
Although it won’t be easy adjusting to the step up in class of the Premier League and dealing with the pressure, if the highly skilled Swiss international focuses on letting his football do all the talking, the rest should take care of itself.