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Sadio Mane 2.0

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Ryan Gravenberch, Lisandro Martinez, Antony, Noussair Mazraoui, Sebastian Haller, and Tyrell Malacia. These were the top transfers from Eredivisie last season, and almost all of them have made an impact as their teams have had impressive campaigns so far. This has considerably increased the respect of the Dutch leagues, and when the summer transfer window opens, the top clubs will be back to sign new talents and players such as PSV’s Johan Bakayoko will be near the top of the list.

The winger has been one of the few positives for a team currently third in the league table, eight points behind league leaders Feyenoord. However, as is the case with almost every talented player in the league, Bakayoko is already on the radars of top clubs who will be looking to swoop in quickly and sign him, given the first opportunity.

How good is Johan Bakayoko?

Saint-Cyr Johan Bakayoko was born on April 20, 2003, in the city of Overijse, in the Flanders region of Belgium. His journey to become a professional footballer started at OH Leuven, a club 21 kilometres from Overijse. However, it became evident quickly that his talent was too good for the club.

So, when he got the chance to move more than 100 kilometres from his hometown and joined Club Brugge, one of the biggest clubs in Belgium, however, the level of competition meant that Bakayoko found limited chances in the youth setup. So in 2016, the youngster took a gamble and joined Mechelen.

It was a risky move, but for Bakayoko, it turned out to be a blessing as the more minutes he got helped him build his game and take it a notch higher, and those two seasons made him one of the best young players across Belgium.

And in 2018, another Belgium bigwig Anderlecht offered a chance to the talented youngster. A far better player now, Bakayoko jumped at the chance and joined the club. From there, it has been a journey of ups as PSV were convinced of his talent after just one season and added him to their ranks in 2019.

Since then, he has been a part of the PSV setup, playing for their youth side before progressing to the reserves and the senior squad.

Johan Bakayoko stats 

After joining PSV, Bakayoko was sent to the under-17s, where he played six games, scoring five goals, after which he was promoted to the under-19s, where he played an additional five games, scoring one goal. This earned him a promotion to the under-21s, also their reserve side. He also represented the under-18s side and, in total, made 23 appearances scoring five goals and five assists.

Things were going smoothly, but not even the most optimistic person would’ve seen the fantastic 2021-22 season that the teenager had. Now an integral part of the reserves side, Bakayoko exploded, scoring 17 goals and providing 12 assists in 32 games. What made it even more brilliant was that it came in a season where his team finished 12th in the league table.

This incredible performance caught the eyes of then manager Roger Schmidt who named him on the bench for the match against AZ Alkmaar. His debut would come 29 days later when he played Heracles Almelo making an appearance as a substitute in the game’s dying minutes.

For his performance with the reserves side, Bakayoko was promoted to the senior side by the newly appointed manager Ruud van Nistelrooy. And for a player in his first season, the teenager has performed brilliantly, scoring nine goals and providing five assists till now.

Stats from FotMob also show that the Belgian has been the third-best when it comes to completing dribbles.

Johan Bakayoko scout report 

Johna Bakayoko is a player with all the traits of a proper winger. However, the player has shown incredible maturity in adding other skills to his arsenal, including his fantastic deployment of the high press. Stats from fbref show that Bakayoko makes 1.1 tackles per 90 minutes in the middle third of the pitch among the top four percentile of wingers and 0.66 in the attacking third of the pitch, among the top one percentile of wingers.

His heatmap from Sofascore also shows that the attacker spends considerable time behind the half-line helping his team out defensively. In fact, his skills and high work rate are pretty similar to a certain Sadio Mane, who has been one of the best attackers in recent years.

Bakayoko is also brilliant at carrying the ball forward. Stats from fbref show that he carries the ball forward 164 metres in a match which is among the top one percentile of wingers. In addition, he averages 6.93 progressive carries and 2.93 carries into the penalty area, putting him in the top one percentile of wingers on both metrics.

This makes him a special player, as his brilliant defensive awareness ensures that he is never caught out of possession.

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Johan Bakoyoko transfer news

One of the major clubs chasing the signature of Johan Bakayoko was French champions Paris Saint Germain. However, the club has seen their strategy of signing world-class talent fail over the years and are now quietly changing it by either signing young talent or promoting them from their youth setups.

And Bakayoko fits in as a perfect signing under their strategy. However, given the talent he has and the performances that he is giving, a lot of clubs will be interested in acquiring his services by the time the summer transfer window arrives. When it does come, it will be a transfer battle for the talented Belgian teenager.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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