Thursday, December 12, 2019

Who Is Ludovit Reis, Barcelona’s Latest Signing?

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, La Liga 24 May 2019

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FC Barcelona have always been active when it comes to find the newest young talent in the world. In recent years they have signed names such as Arthur and Malcom for the senior squad, but they have also added some talent for the B side. Some of the names you might find playing for Barcelona soon include Ballou Tabla, Moussa Wague, Gabriel Novaes, Jean-Clair Todibo and Take Kubo.

We can add another name to the list in Ludovit Reis. An 18-year-old central midfielder who played for Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, Los Blaugranas got ahead of several other teams and snapped the talented playmaker for a mere €3.25 million. He will report with the B team at first, but the plan is to have him with the senior squad for pre-season and take things from there.

Let’s a deeper look at Reis to analyse the kind of player Reis is, and ultimately if he has enough quality to succeed at Camp Nou in the future.

What are some of his strengths?

Reis has lots of traits that make him worthy of a move to Barcelona, although he’s not ready to play at the first-team level yet. Some of his strengths include an excellent first touch, a clever mind when he’s on possession, and excellent decision making.

It’s hard to compare Groningen with FC Barcelona – or La Liga with the Eredivisie for that matter – but Reis always looked as if he knew what he was doing with the ball on his feet. Considering he’s only 18, that’s a skill you simply can’t learn that young. You either have that, or you don’t. Reis has it.

Perhaps his biggest strength is his positional awareness and defensive skills. He can recover the ball and dispossess opponents easily, but he doesn’t do it through tackling or fouls. He is very smart, and knows how to move around the pitch and intercept passes. He’s not afraid to engage on individual duels, either. However, he might have to bulk up a bit to sustain the physicality of La Liga.

Last but not least, don’t rule him out as a scoring threat from outside the box. He might fit the mold of a defensive midfielder, but Reis can shoot and score from distance as well. But there’s no question most of his value lies on the defensive side of the ball.

What are Reis’ weaknesses?

That doesn’t mean Reis is a perfect player by any means. Sometimes he takes one or two extra few touches to settle into a good position. That wasn’t much of a problem at the Eredivisie level, but it could become an issue at La Liga level.

Also, he trusts way too much on his dribbling skills considering he plays as a central midfielder. Again, nothing that can’t be polished with training at a higher level. The potential is clearly there.

Analysing his potential ceiling

If we look at the stats, we can see Reis isn’t much of a stat-filling player – he only had one goal and one assist in 29 Eredivisie appearances for Groningen in the 2018/19 campaign. However, this is the type of player you need to analyse beyond the numbers to see his ceiling.

As you could imagine, his potential is sky high. He has the awareness of Sergio Busquets, but the technique of someone like Jorginho or Ilkay Gündogan. Reis could eventually become a world-class defensive midfielder, or a very effective box-to-box player. It only depends on how Barcelona treat his development going forward.

One thing is certain, though. Reis has a lot of quality. And he will be a player that Barca fans will definitively enjoy for years to come.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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