Virtually every article on Argentinian football’s ‘next big thing’ Thiago Almada has focused on his upbringing in the dangerous Buenos Aires neighbourhood of Fuerte Apache and comparisons with the barrio’s most famous son, Carlos Tevez. However, with the likes of Barcelona and both Manchester clubs linked to the 19-year-old maestro, it brings Almada’s future very much to the fore.
Since making his senior debut at his boyhood club in August 2018, Almada has excited with his dribbling and creativity. Manager Gabriel Heinze has been careful not to demand too much from the teenager, but Almada’s appetite, unflappable mentality and obvious ability have made him impossible to ignore.
Almada has great positional versatility. Often described as a number ten, possessing the characteristics to thrive in the space behind a centre forward, Almada has more often than not been utilised in wider roles where his pace and ability to beat defenders in one-on-one situations has proved useful. From the left, Almada looks to cut inside onto his favoured right foot, and from the right, to deliver threatening balls across the face of goal with Heinze even utilising the youngster as something of a false nine on occasion.
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