Connect with us

Scout Report

Scout Report: Carlos Soler | Valencia’s young midfield maestro


Dan Davis has a look at Carlos Soler, Valencia’s young midfielder making waves in La Liga.


Spain have always been a nation blessed with a seemingly endless supply of classy midfielders. The most recent golden trio in the middle of the park, Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, have allowed their team mates to dominate games and reside as kings over the international stage. However, there is no denying that Iniesta and Busquets are entering their twilight oastears (with Xavi at the end of his career), and will need to be replaced eventually. Carlos Soler, Valencia’s exciting prospect, could be the answer to this.

Who is Carlos Soler?

Carlos Soler is a 20-year-old midfielder, born in Valencia, Spain. He first made his breakthrough in football by joining his hometown club’s youth set-up in 2005. Joining at the age of eight, he was played all across the pitch in an effort from his coaches to find his most natural position. Initially, Soler was fielded as a striker, but was quickly withdrawn into an attacking midfield role. After impressing in spells there, he was finally played as a central midfielder, where he was given time to prove his natural prowess.

After impressing regularly with his dominating performances in the middle of the park, Soler continued to progress through Valencia’s youth ranks, before finding himself in the senior reserve team. He made his debut for the reserves in May 2015, as he started in central midfield against Segunda Division B side, UE Cornella. Despite the 1-0 loss, Soler impressed both fans and coaches alike, proving himself adept at controlling the tempo of a game.

Although often being played in a more withdrawn role, Soler grabbed himself his first reserves goal in December 2015, as he scored his team’s second in a 2-2 draw with CF Badalona. The following year, in March, Soler renewed his contract and was rewarded with a substitute role in Valencia’s UEFA Europa League clash with Athletic Bilbao. Despite being an unused substitute, it was becoming clear that the creative midfielder would soon become part of his club’s senior plans.

Finally, on December 10th 2016, Soler was granted his first-team debut for Valencia, as he was substituted on during a 3-2 defeat away to Real Sociedad. A string of impressive performances saw the young midfielder help turn around his side’s poor run of form, and he even grabbed his first senior goal in January, hitting the back of the net against Villarreal.

Despite only scoring three goals in 22 appearances for Valencia’s senior team so far, Soler promises to be one to watch out in this season. If he proves himself capable and continues to demonstrate his talents, it is likely he will be featuring regularly in Spain’s midfield in the near future.

What is his Style of Play?

Carlos Soler is a very quick and direct player, who will often be found roaming in the midfield waiting to be picked out with a pass. His nature is to receive the ball and drive into the heart of the opposition, using his deft touches and good vision to push forward Valencia’s forays into attacking areas. His preferred role is as an attacking midfielder, as this allows him plenty of opportunities to bring the ball forward and fashion chances for his teammates. He also has an impressive amount of strength, and uses this to his advantage as he is able to hold off challenges and retain possession during attacks.

Soler is also tactically aware, which ensures he is always in dangerous positions. Despite Valencia regularly fielding Soler in an advanced position, he isn’t afraid to drop deep to look for possession. He is technically gifted, and when he receives the right pass in midfield, can spray the ball to the flanks or bring counter-attacks forward.

What are his Strengths?

He holds an impressive amount of pace, and can be seen using this time and time again to transition from defence to attack. Soler’s ability to play passes short or long, and also to drive forward through an opponent’s defence, means that he is incredibly unpredictable. Despite being 6ft and having a relatively slender build, Soler is deceptively strong, and uses this ability to hold up the ball and dictate the pace of his team’s attacks. His awareness of the game does allow him to change the tempo of the game at any moment, and this allows Soler to spark the majority of Valencia’s counter-attacks when he is on the field.

Despite Soler seeming to favour being played in an attacking midfield role, he does have a certain degree of tactical flexibility. This means that Valencia have fielded him in deeper-lying midfield positions, where he would be expected to maintain his team’s defensive structure, as well as contribute to Valencia’s forays forward. Soler is also capable of playing in a wider attacking role, where he impressed in his side’s 3-1 away victory at Granada earlier this year.

What are his Weaknesses?

Despite Carlos Soler’s seemingly limitless potential, it is important to remember he is only 20 years of age and is susceptible to mistakes. His scintillating forward movements are a stark contrast to his clumsiness at defending, and the potential for him to make rash challenges and concede unwanted set-pieces. When it comes to defending corners and free-kicks, Soler must ensure he is commanding and decisive in the future, to prevent placing his team in any danger because of hesitation or a lapse in concentration.

As is the case with many young players wanting to make an impression, Carlos Soler is partial to picking out the wrong type of ball, or not releasing a pass at all. To make any counter-attack successful, the passing must be concise and pinpoint, and Soler has the capacity to not thread passes through at the right time, meaning that some moves have broken down. If he works on his decision-making, then he will be more than capable of providing Valencia’s strikers with the service they need to fire their team to a higher league finish this time round.

Dan Davis

Dan Davis

Dan is a life-long Manchester United supporter, and studies Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University. He is a freelance football journalist, and can be followed on twitter @dan_davis20
Dan Davis

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar4 hours ago

2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 10 Young Defenders – Edition 1

Football News 24/7  Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe,...

Tactical Analysis4 hours ago

Tactical Analysis: Juventus 4-0 Torino | Home side too strong to play against

Ryan Tank writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Serie A match that ended Juventus 4-0 Torino. Torino suffered from...

Scout Report4 hours ago

Scout Report: Axel Tuanzebe | Manchester United’s defensive starlet

Ravi Inder Gill takes a look at Axel Tuanzebe, Man Utd’s young defender waiting in the shadows. In today’s game,...

Extra20 hours ago

Interview: Brandon Fernandes on experiencing football outside India, a longer ISL, and FC Goa’s upcoming campaign

Outside of the Boot gets the chance to sit down with FC Goa’s talented midfielder, Brandon Fernandes There’s been a lot...

Scout Report1 day ago

Scout Report: Ousmane Dembélé | Barcelona’s Versatile Winger

Miles Olusina breaks down the abilities of the canny Barcelona and France winger Ousmane Dembélé as he embarks on his...

Scout Report1 day ago

Scout Report: Steven Bergwijn | PSV Eindhoven’s rising star

Wang Yulin takes a look at PSV’s exciting Dutch attacker Steven Bergwijn When you think of the team ‘PSV Eindhoven’,...

Opinions2 days ago

Hanoi FC: The Vietnamese Champions struggling to connect with the locals

Trong Nhan Doan looks at the peculiar case of Hanoi FC Most of the time, the most successful team is...

Opinions2 days ago

Expected Goals: A Pioneering Method of Analysing Football

The Football Code has a look at expected goals, a new metric set to revolutionize statistics-based analysis of football Football...

Tactical Analysis4 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid | Clash of two organised sides

Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week La Liga clash that ended Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid The clash of two organized...

Tactical Analysis4 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich | Ancelotti’s men secure hard fought win

Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week Bundesliga match that ended Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich. Schalke: Fahrmann, Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic, Caliguri, McKennie...

Talent Radar5 days ago

2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1

Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in...

Opinions6 days ago

Déjà vu on Tyneside: Why Newcastle are being left short-changed by familiar failings

Jeffrey Gamby-Boulger looks critically at Newcastle’s repeated failings in recent years and why Mike Ashley is the root of those problems. ‘It’s the same...

Hipster Guide6 days ago

Hipster Guide 2017-18: UEFA Europa League | Part Two

Oliver McManus takes us on a journey through some of the more obscure parts of Europe as he tells us...

Series1 week ago

Tactical Philosophy: Leonardo Jardim

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Talent Radar1 week ago

Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Tactical Analysis1 week ago

Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City | Tottenham’s half space focus against Swansea’s compact block

Ryan Tank provides a tactical analysis of the Premier League game that finished Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City  Tottenham attacked...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Maxwel Cornet | Lyon’s latest starlet

Josh Sippie breaks down Maxwel Cornet, Lyon’s dynamic attacker. Olympique Lyon just have a knack for plucking supremely talented youth...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Marcos Llorente | Real Madrid’s young midfielder

Karan Tejwani provides the lowdown on Real Madrid’s talented midfielder, Marcos Llorente. Real Madrid have made smart purchases from Spanish...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent

Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Douglas Luiz | Girona’s skilful midfielder

Anderson Moura analyses Girona’s (via Manchester City) talented Brazilian, Douglas Luiz. When Pep Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job, he...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot