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Fresh from his Torneo Inicial winning success with San Lorenzo, teen sensation Ángel Correa has emerged as a target for the likes of Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Outside of the Boot gives its lowdown on one of the hottest properties in Argentinian football right now.
Born 9th March 1995 in the footballing hotbed of Rosario, Correa caught the eye from an early age for local side Sagrado Corazón y Tiro. It wasn’t long until San Lorenzo recognised his potential and brought a 12-year-old Correa to Buenos Aires to join their youth ranks.
Impressing at every age group, Correa first came to the fore with the title-winning Septimain 2011 and was quickly earmarked by the club as a future star. Such performances meant that it was only a matter of time before he got a first team call up and in March last year Ángel was finally given his chance during the Torneo Final by Juan Antonio Pizzi.
After making his debut in a 1-0 loss to Newell’s, Correa seized his opportunity by netting four times in eight starts and chipping in with three assists as Los Cuervos’ late surge saw them finish 4th.
Following strong interest from Benfica during the summer, Correa signed a new deal to remain at the Nuevo Gasometro for the start of the Torneo Inicial. Early injuries to first choice strikers Martin Cauteruccio and Gonzalo Veron threatened to derail el Ciclon’stitle challenge but Correa, alongside fellow teen tyro Hector Villalba, stepped up to the lead the line to great effect. The 18-year-old was an ever-present as San Lorenzo won their first silverware since 2007, starting every game bar two and scoring another four times, including a memorable winner against Boca Juniors.
Talent Radar Accolades:
Named in 100 to Watch in 2016 feature
Named in 100 to Watch in 2015 feature
Named in 100 to Watch in 2014 feature
Blessed with the low centre of gravity, excellent technique and burst of pace we’ve come to expect from an archetypal diminutive Argentinian forward, Correa is the sort of electrifying talent that strikes fear into opposition defenders.
Aside from a good first touch, impressive close control and deceptive strength, what stands out most is Correa’s game intelligence. Operating in his usual role as a second striker, he is extremely adept at finding space, whether it be flitting around in front of the opposition defence or dragging players out wide. His vision and, importantly, decision-making means he can really punish you once he has found a bit of freedom between the lines.
His goals have come in a variety of forms. From emphatic finishes, slaloming solo golazos and delicate precision curlers from outside the box, Correa is certainly capable of a range of strikes but probably needs to work on adding more goals to his game – something that will no doubt come with age and experience.
Another notable trait the Correa boasts is his strong mentality. Losing his father as a ten-year-old forced him to mature early and he has carried this fearlessness onto the pitch. Never afraid to try a gambeta or take on a defender, he has not shirked the creative responsibility thrust upon him by one of the biggest clubs in the country. Not only has he had to deal with expectation and pressure from a young age, he’s also proven to be a big game player, twice scoring against Boca and once against fellow grande Independiente.
At 1.74m he is understandably not the strongest in the air and, despite his tenacity, still has quite a slight frame but neither should be major obstacles in what appears to be a burgeoning career.
One further issue is that of his registration rights. It emerged that his representative, Francisco Lapiana, has connections with Rosario drug cartel Los Monos, who allegedly own a 10% stake of the player, leading to the Argentine courts freezing his rights and thus complicating any future transfer.
For the time being, Correa will continue to feature prominently for San Lorenzo in the Primera Division and has the added bonus of a Copa Libertadores campaign before a likely move in the summer. Indeed, regular first team football and continental experience will no doubt be more beneficial at this stage in his career. If he continues on his current trajectory, it’s only a matter of time before he’ll have a chance to prove himself at the highest level.
“Correa’s most impressive characteristic for me is the speed at which he can dribble while still maintaining close control. It’s that explosiveness that makes him such a threat in attack, enabling to produce danger from seemingly innocuous situations. And that’s the way he plays in general, too. He can be quiet for long periods and then suddenly burst to life to produce something special.”
“Ángel Correa is not only a very fast and skilful player, but what makes him really stand out from other 18-year-olds is that he’s very mature, as he has shown during 2013 when he became one of the stars of San Lorenzo’s Inicial championship winning campaign. He needs to improve his passing skills but being the intelligent player that he is,I think he won’t have any problems improving this aspect of his game. 2014 promises to be the year European football gets to see him in action.”
— Mariano (@ArgenPreviews)
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