Mikayil Faye is a new Barcelona player. He will go from playing in the Croatian second division to training with Barça’s first team in the pre-season. But the question is how good is Faye? He is a left-footed centre-back who also plays as a left back. His main characteristic is to win a lot of duels. Great physique that allows him to dominate easily this aspect of the game despite being only 19 years old. When he is close to the ball holder, his success rate in the duels is very high at over 80%.
The problem comes when he isn’t, being more aggressive in his decision making trying to recover the ball. Is in this situations where he has to improve a lot. He must take advantage of his physique, who allows him to recover the position easily and avoid the progression of the opponent instead of risking a tackle from behind.
The same happens when he runs to help on the flank or in a defensive transition. It’s very important for him to go in a straight line to recover the ball. If he has to make changes of direction to shape his body correctly, the problems appear. This weakness is especially noticeable on long balls where he unprotects the receiving player’s path to goal. He relies on his strength to win the 1 on 1 but at elite level these mistakes cannot be made.
Another error reading the game can be seen in this play in which he jumps on the ball holder, leaving the player in the central channel free, who is in a better position to finish. These mistakes are common in players of his age with a physique that makes them so superior. If he can control his impulsiveness, improve his timing and his tactical level, he could be one of the best centre-backs in the world.
His self-confidence makes him a brave player on the ball, good ball-carrier, technically he is a very complete player, always keeping his head up to avoid making mistakes in possession and with a great long pass. He can look for players who attack the space behind the defensive line as well as switching plays having a great range.
He is also a useful player on set pieces as he has a powerful long shot which allows him to take free kicks from distance, and he also has potential in corners and crosses with his headers.
Mikayil Fayé is a defender with a lot of potential, and it is up to Barcelona to work on his individual improvement to see how far he can go.