Earlier this week, Sunderland had reportedly made contact with the agent of Adil Aouchiche, the Lorient midfielder who was once on the books of PSG.
The 5ft 11” 21-year-old had previously spent time playing for both PSG & St Etienne before plying his trade with FC. Lorient during the 22/23 Season.
Having fallen out of favour with the Ligue 1 side, Aouchiche looks set to reignite his career on Wearside - sound somewhat familiar?
So what can we expect to see from the talented French youngster in a Sunderland Shirt?
A primarily right-footed player, Aouchiche operated as an attacking midfielder/winger in France, most comfortable on the left however interestingly, has played a regular amount of games through the middle but also on the right of midfield.
Having made over 80 appearances in Ligue 1 before his 22nd birthday, Aouchiche clearly possesses a high level of talent and similarly to another winger Sunderland have recently had success with, he just needs a fresh start to help kick on with his career.
As a general profile on Aouchiche, it’s clear to see he provides the typical assets you’d expect to find in a winger/ attacking midfielder. He’s proficient at dribbling, crossing and quite importantly long passing, something that has become a regular feature of Sunderland’s possession play now, especially at home.
He ranks within the top 10% of players in Ligue 1 for crossing accuracy which could play a major role in helping Hemir find the back of the net on a more regular basis along with the threat that Jobe provides arriving late in the box.
Numerous scouting reports have made the point of highlighting Adil’s regular patterns of long passing, demonstrating his long diagonal switch to the opposite flank as a ball that he has regular success finding, setting teammates 1v1 for great xG chances.
Interestingly, from the data above one of Aouchiche’s strengths is also his active defending and work rate. For an attacking player by trade, he ranks very highly for his defensive duels per 90’ in Ligue 1, ranking in the top 11% along with his tackle success rate ranking in the top 5%.
His willingness to help the team off the ball as well as on it is something unusually seen within ‘flair’ players and therefore is an underrated skill in his arsenal worth taking note of.
When Sunderland rely so heavily on overlaps from the onrushing Cirkin, Aouchiche provides useful defensive cover should the fullbacks be caught out of position high up the pitch.
In terms of his skill set, Aouchiche is another player who excels at progressive ball carrying and progressive passes into the final third.
He’s agile and able to weave his way between opposing players to create a direct route to goal for either himself or his teammates. The below graphic showcases his ability to drive into the box and create attacking opportunities for his teammates.
Due to his desire to cut infield and his preferred right foot, Aouchiche can be a great rival to Jack Clarke on the LW for Sunderland.
Clarke hasn’t faced much competition from Jewison Bennette thus far and therefore Aouchiche provides a good opportunity to allow the wingers to battle it out for places due to them both possessing similar skill sets and physicals.
As can be seen from the image below, Aouchiche often likes to drift into the left half-space and either deliver a cross or release a shot, something that Sunderland fans are familiar seeing Jack Clarke do with great success.
The versatility of Aouchiche is something that should also be noted, as someone who can operate on either wing or within the attacking midfield position he provides a swiss-army knife approach to the final third and gives Sunderland some much-needed squad depth behind Clarke & Roberts out wide.
I believe we should once again trust Sunderland’s recruitment department to have found another player that can grow and develop the side further into the future.
All graphics & data taken from; https://totalfootballanalysis.com/player-analysis/adil-aouchiche-lorient-202223-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics