Tactical Analysis: What would Alex Collado bring to the first team?

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collado cesion barca

Álex Collado is an attacking midfielder of the reserve team of Barcelona, 21-years-old, who is natural at playing in the offensive midfield position and is fairly comfortable in the right flank as well. He is present occasionally in the club’s first-team roster but doesn’t really feature on the pitch as much as his comrades Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati.

Álex Collado is a key and influential player for Barcelona B, as he is featured in most of their matches and contributes significantly to the offensive responsibilities of the group, offering the two main aspects of scoring and making goals. His positional preferences and tactical attributes, however, overlap with Leo Messi’s responsibilities on the right flank. 

In this tactical analysis, we will discuss the inputs he can provide to the first team if he is called up for first-team duty.

Attacking abilities

Álex Collado has distinct attacking capabilities. For FC Barcelona B team, he has managed to contribute to 10 goals this season, scoring five and assisting five others for his colleagues.

Álex Collado is good at playing on the flank and then going deep and shooting on goal as we see in the next example.

Alex Collado

Here we can see Álex Collado looking to attack from the edge, finding a good angle to shoot, which in turn produced a goal for his team.

Besides his horizontal movements, he moves in a distinct vertical way, because he can play in all centres of the attacking midfield, on the outskirts or buried in the field, capitalising on advanced spaces that could potentially create imbalances in the opposition’s defence.

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Here we can observe Álex Collado in possession of the ball in the middle of the field in the case of a player against a player with the opponent from Villarreal, and the occurrence of disposal and progress towards the last third of the field.
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Here we note the crucial pass from Álex Collado to his Barcelona teammate in the space between the opponents’ defensive lines, which allowed his team to score the equalizer.

Álex Collado is fluent in controlling the ball and progressing it, as well as moving without it and using half the spaces, his style of play could be a possible solution for the first team, especially on the left side.

Returning to areas deep in the field to support play-building, and progression of the ball until it reaches the last third, are among the characteristics of Álex Collado’s performance as a playmaker.

He is capable of providing the first team with the transition, from the midfield to the forwards, something Barca has used Leo Messi for, in this season. If Collado could help in the progression, Leo Messi could be more focused on his goal-scoring responsibilities, as it would put Leo in a much better position to attack from, unlike his current free role where he drops to the midfield to create progression.

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Here we note the return of the player near the middle circle to support the construction of the game, and collect the ball on the left side, to open a gap in the Espanyol defence.
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Here we see the continuity of his run forward vertically and receiving the ball and shooting on goal, and this came as a result of his distinctive movement off the ball.

And apart from his offensive capabilities, which are sure to add to the first team more threat from the midfield.

Collado’s Pressing abilities

If we look into the off the ball abilities about Álex Collado, we will find that his pressing abilities could be used extensively in the first team, along with Riqui Puig bringing in the much-needed dynamism to Barca’s midfield. 

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Here he tries to make things difficult for Villarreal’s left-back when trying to build up by pressing him.
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Here we see Álex Collado succeeding in winning possession for Barcelona high up the pitch, due to his excellent positioning and pressure on the ball holder.

The characteristic of dropping deep when faced by an attack and helping the team defend deeper in the midfield can be observed when he’s already at an offensive position. This attribute shows his dynamism and good reading of the game, not just offensively, but even defensively.

 

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Here we see Álex Collado more like a second striker in the event of Villarreal’s possession of the ball, where he watches the ball’s path for an apt moment to press.

 

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Here we see his quick reactions by pressing the left-back of Villarreal who is isolated from passing options to prevent the opponent from advancing.
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Here we see him again standing in front of Villarreal’s player to close off the vertical and diagonal pass corners in an attempt to cut the ball in the first third of the field and make the reverse attack.

Despite his distinctive offensive capabilities, along with some defensive support, some points must be worked on by Collado.

Attributes to improve

Alex, despite his impressive offensive capabilities and distinctive touches, especially in the attacks, only needs to develop the final touch in ending the attacks in front of the opponents’ goal.

Besides that, Alex Collado needs to work on his physical structure, as he sometimes loses dichotomies, despite his superior skills, he needs to work on it, or avoid getting into situations where he needs to use his physicality.

Conclusion

Collado, without fear of being wrong, is fully prepared to join the first team. In the last two or three years, the Sabadell-born player is developing dramatically. Not only is he very talented, but he was gaining more consistency and importance under Pimi. Undoubtedly being one of the important players in Barca B, Álex is influencing the form of the reserve team Barcelona during the attacks.

Collado has both, natural talent and good technique. He has clever touches and is brilliant off the ball as well. He can go deep, run running at the back, stay close to the flank, and get possesses both creativity and positional intelligence.

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