So who is Timothée Pembélé?
Reports surfaced out of seemingly nowhere that Sunderland had agreed a €1M fee for the French fullback who spent last season on loan at Bordeaux.
The 20-year-old is versatile and can play all across the back four when required, however his preferred position is in the right of the defence.
An Olympic representative for France, Pembélé has had plenty of first team experience both for Bordeaux and PSG with 32 appearances in Ligue 1 last season and 5 so far this campaign.
So what can fans expect from the next Parisian Wonderkid to walk through the doors on Wearside?
Primarily used as an attacking full back, Pembélé managed to register 1 goal and 2 assists during his last campaign in Ligue 1, Statistics certainly not to be scoffed at from a defender.
Using the image above, we can see the main strengths offered by Pembélé, his ability to attack space and exploit his pace on the transition, something which once again fits the model Sunderland are working towards.
He often likes to receive quick 1-2 passes he can use to exploit his speed and break down the line on the overlap. With Patrick Roberts & Dack being accomplished players when it comes to quick interchanges of play, Pembélé will excel in a similar system at Sunderland.
Pembélé stands at 6ft 0” which is on the larger side for a fullback, this gives him the versatility to operate as a centre-back, something which PSG have deployed him in numerous games this season.
Where Pembélé excels however, is in his fantastic gift of pace and ability to use his explosiveness to beat players off the ball but also to aid him within defensive recoveries. His attacking threat is clear, with him making the most dribbles of 9.16 per 90’ of any wingbacks in Ligue 1 during the 21/22 Season having a success rate of 41.1% in the process.
Although statistically impressive as a wing back, Pembélé also provides solid defensive numbers engaging on average 5.03 defensive duels per 90’ with a success rate of 52% demonstrating he can also handle his own when placed into defensive trouble.
This is, however, probably his weakest asset and will require some time to hone the defensive side of his game to become more consistent.
He does often use his pace well to intercept the ball and begin quick transitional attacks before feeding the ball into the more advanced players in the Sunderland attack as can be seen in the image above.
It’s clear to see, Pembélé is still a raw talent and will take some time to realise his potential, his defensive weaknesses are obvious however at only 20 years of age, has plenty of time to develop on Wearside.
PSG clearly believe this due to the appearances he made both this season and last.
The addition of Pembélé will be welcome competition to Trai Hume for the right back position and provides a healthy level of rivalry between the two defenders moving forward.
Pembélé also provides a completely different outlet for Sunderland when they’re looking to attack games in search of a goal. With Hume being comfortable pushing into the inverted fullback role, Pembélé could become a real asset for Sunderland this season.
If one thing is for sure, he’s yet another exciting talent to add to the Sunderland roster on deadline day.
All data & statistics taken from; https://totalfootballanalysis.com/player-analysis/timothee-pembele-at-bordeaux-202122-scout-report-tactical-analysis-tactics