Brian Bertie provides a detailed scout report on Peru’s Miguel Araujo, who could be the next great Peruvian central defender.
Peru is the nation that was the home of Hector Chumpitaz, one of the greatest South American defenders of all time and labelled as the Captain of America. There have also been the likes of Juan Reynoso and Alberto Rodriguez who both had their share of time in the Peruvian national team and both did very well. Perhaps the next great Peruvian central defender is Miguel Araujo.
Who is Miguel Araujo?
Miguel Araujo was born on October 24th of 1994 in Lima. He is from the same “barrio” as Raul Ruidiaz which is Villa Maria del Triunfo, which is in the south of the metropolitan Lima. He is a central defender and began his career at Cobresol before moving to Moquegua, the city Cobresol were based in, at 16 years of age in order to start a football career. He didn’t get much support and he claimed that in order to get stronger, he made his own weights out of cement due to the lack of a gym.
He made his professional debut in a 1-0 loss against Universidad Cesar Vallejo and began getting into the rhythm of playing full matches at 17 years of age. He became a starter for a few matches before being put back off the pitch. It would have been fair to call him a rotation option. He was signed by Sport Huancayo on January 2012 where he became a starter and made over 50 appearances for Los Huancayinos.
Miguel Araujo was also part of the youth national team. He participated in the U17 and U20 South American championships held in 2011 and 2013 respectively. In 2013, he wasn’t originally a starter but won himself a spot in the final round. After doing well, Red Star Belgrade went in for him, clearly impressed with his international performances. Miguel took the offer immediately and went to play for the Serbian giants.
He managed to win a league title in Serbia and then went back to Peru to play for giants Alianza Lima. The central defender originally struggled, and wasn’t rated highly by Alianza’s own fans. He was on the bench. However, in September of 2016, Miguel Araujo came on as a sub for Luis Abram who came off injured for the Peru national team in a match against Ecuador. He impressed and since that moment he began to rediscover his form. Today he remains at Alianza Lima and continues to impress for La Blanquiroja and Alianza.
What is his Style of Play?
Miguel Araujo is a no nonsense defender. He simply keep things safe at the back, offers security and wins the ball back and gets it out of danger. He is not a ball playing defender and doesn’t try to play it out of defence unlike Carlos Ascues and Renato Tapia. He’s quite good at what he does and he makes sure that once the ball is won back, everything is safe and gives the goalkeeper as well as other defenders some breathing room.
What are his Strengths?
He’s not the tallest center back in the world at 1.78 metres but he makes up for this by having a great jumping ability. He’s not going to beat your Peter Crouchs or Diego Godins but he’s tall enough to beat your average forward as his jumping ability is quite impressive. He’s a very focused player and is excellent at timing his tackles. He’s also very fast, which works for him when he needs to track back in order to stop a counter or to stop players that try to beat the offside line.
His positioning is also quite good. As mentioned, he’s focused and concentrates on his man. He is good tactically as he’s aware of his role and lives up to his style a lot. One major strength is that he doesn’t try to be too fancy. He’s mature for his age and could do well abroad.
What are his Weaknesses?
His main weakness is his height, which could be an issue against certain target men. As mentioned, his jumping ability is good but if you get a player who can head the ball well at the height of Peter Crouch, it could be a problem. His no nonsense style could be seen as a weakness depending on the views of certain fans. He doesn’t attempt through balls ever as he simply tries to clear it out which would not be the best option to start counters.
Aside from those weaknesses, he’s done excellently at all levels. Since he was put on against Ecuador, the confidence he was given by Ricardo Gareca has changed him and now he is a great central defender at both club and international level, and maybe it’s time for him to test his luck abroad again.
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