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Another American star

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One of the hardest things in football is to predict whether a player who is tearing up in the lower leagues can replicate their form in a top league. We have already seen talents like Georginio Rutter of Leeds United, who is starring in the Championship but a season before was below average in the Premier League. However, there are times when these players manage to raise their games, according to the league, and Venezia’s Tanner Tessmann is one of them.

The midfielder has been by far one of the best, helping his team climb to second place in Serie B. Tessmann’s rise has followed a trend of players from North America signing for clubs all over Europe.

Tessmann, like Rutter, played one season in the top league before his team was relegated to the second tier. However, he has become a far better player now than he was then. And with Venezia in a good position to return to Serie A, Tessmann will have a second shot at proving his talent in the big leagues.

Tanner Tessmann profile 

Tanner Tessmann was born on September 24, 2001, in Birmingham, Alabama. His football journey started at his local club, Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA). The academy focuses on ensuring that young players have optimal time to focus on both football and their studies, thus giving them a balanced life.

However, by 2016, it was certain that Tessmann had the talent to become a professional footballer. So, he left his home state for Texas, where he joined the youth academy of Major League Soccer (MLS) club Dallas FC.

Within four years, he would be promoted to the senior side, playing his first game for the senior side on February 27, 2020. He would also get his first assist in the same game. The next season, he would again play the role of a substitute across several games.

Another season at the Dallas FC was more than enough proof for Venezia, who spent $4.1 million to sign the then 19-year-old. Talented as he was, Tessmann found the transition from MLS to Serie A to be too far to bridge. He played 20 games in the Serie A but failed to make any kind of impact.

In fact, he only played two of the last 11 games as Venezia finished last on the Serie A table and were relegated. His first season in the top league was a tough outing for the then-teenager. However, Tessmann had gained a lot of experience, which he used to great effect in Serie B.

Tanner Tessmann stats 

In the 2022-23 season, Venezia’s main aim was to get promotion back to Serie A. However, the team struggled, ultimately finishing eighth on the table. Tessmann though massively improved his performance. He ended the season with three goals and two assists. The American made the most passes on the team and also initiated the most counter-pressing actions in the entire season.

The 2022-23 season was more of a confidence booster for the youngster who had struggled initially after his trans-Atlantic move. However, it is the 2023-24 season where he finally had his breakthrough proving himself to be the best of the bunch in the second-tier of the Italian league.

In the current season, Tessmann has scored four goals and provided three assists, acting as the orchestrator-in-chief for the team. He is also the fifth-best player on the Expected Threat (xT) metric, with most of his ratings coming from his passing. He has also completed the most successful through balls and dribbles for the team while creating the second-most chances.

The youngster has also improved his defensive side of the game, making the second-most interceptions and the fourth-most clearances in the league.

Tanner Tessmann style of play 

Tanner Tessmann is an adept passer with a never-ending stamina. Usually, a brilliant passing number six prefers not to boast of a high defensive number, but it is here that Tessmann differs from the rest. His heatmap shows a player who covers every area of the pitch from his goal to the opposition.

Tessmenn possesses three strongest traits: passing, recoveries, and assistance. A major stat of his comes via fbref, which shows that he manages to complete a total of 8,48 passes per 90 minutes, among the top two percentile of midfielders. If his teammates had been more efficient, Tessmann would have been among the top assist providers in the league.

His mastery of both the attacking and defensive play makes him a perfect candidate to play as a defensive midfielder in a double pivot. Tessmann’s only concern is his carry numbers, as he often loses the ball while trying to carry it forward. Venezia are a side that ranks among the top teams in both possession of the ball and conceding the least shots. Tessmann’s steely presence in the midfield is one of the reasons why teams have failed to get the ball near Venezia’s goal.

Tanner Tessmann potential 

Tanner Tessmann this season has proved that he has more than deserved a second shot to play in the big leagues. Even if Venezia failed to get promoted there are a host of top clubs who would waste no time in signing him. One of the clubs that has been constantly associated with the youngster is Thiago Motta’s Bologna that have taken the Serie A by storm.

Bologna play a system that is perfectly suited to Tessmann’s style of play. On top of that, Motta also has a Midas touch when it comes to developing young talent like him. Tessmann has been probably the best midfielder in Serie B this season but the main challenge remains to replicate this performance on the biggest stage and that too on a consistent basis.

Christian Pulisic, Giovanni Reyna, Timothy Weah, Folarin Balogun, Tyler Adams, Joe Scally, and Matt Turner are some of the top young footballers who have emerged from the United States. However, unlike Tessmann, all earned moves to big clubs and did not have to play for a team where they were expected to shoulder the responsibility of being the main player.

It is this maturity that makes him a player who can go the extra mile for his team on every occasion, a trait that defines a champion player, something Tessmann has shown signs of becoming one day.

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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