THE BREAKDOWN: Chiefs’ Possible South American Connection?
Leonardo Castro & Gustavo Paez To Link Up At Chiefs?
Having been linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs, we take a look at whether Leonardo Castro could form a deadly combination up front with his fellow South American, Gustavo Paez.
In Soccer Laduma issue number 1037 the Siya crew revealed that Chiefs could look to complete a last-minute swoop for the Mamelodi Sundowns striker, which would give him the opportunity to link up with Paez, who has been a key player in the Chiefs setup since arriving at the club in January. However, are they compatible in terms of their playing styles?
At first glance, both players seem to be completely incompatible with one another, as both play in pure “number nine” roles. At Sundowns, Castro tends to drift wide in order to accommodate Khama Billiat, but, having completed just 37.5% of his open play crosses and made just 0.92 dribbles per 90 minutes, it is clear that he isn’t suited to any role other than as a striker that attacks through the middle. He also made 2,25 shots for every shot that he assisted, while taking 4,77 penalty area touches.
Paez, meanwhile, plays a similar role, making runs “off the shoulder” of opposing defenders. He has made just five final third passes and only 1.5 open play crosses per 90 minutes. He’s taken three penalty area touches and made just 13 passes per 90 and has hardly played a supporting role while taking two shots per 90.
Castro, therefore, would not be drifting out wide at Chiefs, who have five wingers on their books, and have used Hendrick Ekstein and Siphiwe Tshabalala out wide, giving them seven options out wide.
It is rare in world football to see a team use two out-and-out strikers and, unless coach Steve Komphela is planning to undergo a complete, out of the ordinary, tactical reshuffle, Castro’s arrival at Chiefs would have to see either Paez or himself competing for the same role, rather than playing together on the pitch.
Do you think Kaizer Chiefs should sign Leonardo Castro?