He is dodgy, he is cunning and above all he is extremely fast, and no we are not talking about that ostrich from “The Roadrunner” show, but we are talking about Tariq Lamptey. The 19 year-old Brighton full-back has kick started the 2020/21 season with a flamboyant performance. Already assisting twice is his opening two games, the British boy is surely a player with huge potential.
Born in Hillingdon, Greater London on 30th September 2000, Lamptey showed signs of being a prodigy at a very young age. At the age of 8, Lamptey joined the Chelsea youth academy and immediately started showing his sparks to coaches. He made his professional footballing debut on 29 December 2019 in an away game against Arsenal. He gave a lively performance helping Chelsea win by a comeback from 1-0 to 2-1. Commenting on Chelsea TV after the game, Lamptey explained he was very nervous making his debut:
“My heart was racing, this is the moment me and my family have been waiting for.”Lamptey
Lamptey made a total of three appearances for the Blues before signing a three and a half year-long deal with Brighton and Hove Albion on 31 January 2020. He made an impressive debut for the Seagulls in an away game against Leicester on 23rd June and that is where I began to stalk the young speedster.
Lamptey’s Style of Play
Since the arrival of Graham Potter at Brighton, the club’s playing style has completely transformed, from a defensive game simply dependent on counter-attacks to a more possession-based attacking play.
The kind of game that the Seagulls now play under Potter perfectly complements a player like Lamptey. Lamptey is a complete modern full-back, who is required to aid the attack of the team by providing that extra width, in that manner he is very similar to players like Robertson, Trent, Marcelo, and Alphonso Davies to name a few world-class full-backs.
Brighton mostly comes with a 3-4-3 formation on the pitch and Lamptey mostly fits in as a Right midfield. Lamptey provides width and speed to the game. Lamptey helps get the ball into the box more often as he gets past the defense using his pace and dribbling abilities. Lamptey simply strengthens the attack while also helping with the defense. Lamptey has immediately become a fan and coach favorite after his arrival at the club and starts almost every game for the Seagulls.
A player like Lamptey comes with a complete package of multiple strengths, which can be used in various ways by the managers. We are going to discuss some of his most expedient strengths that sets him apart from many other players of his age.
The best weapon in the arsenal of the British wonder kid is his ability to accelerate at a great speed. Lamptey is a very pacey player, which provides him an edge both in defence and attack. With his extra ordinary speed Lamptey manages to quickly turn defence into attack almost instantly. On the contrary his speed also helps him make clearances and tackle player to stop counter attacks. It’s very difficult for opposition full-backs to stop Lamptey’s run behind them. Once he gets a bit of space ahead of him and he is in possession it’s even harder for the defence to chase him.
Lamptey is a player who is never shy of taking on the defenders and dribble past them. The ability the best full-backs like Marcelo possess. Dribbling alongside with speed is a deadly combo, which makes it more difficult for opposition to stop the whipping crosses into the box. He has got a good pair of quick feet and an excellent ball control, which always proves to be lethal on the field
The above chart shows that Tariq has a dribble success rate of 76.7% as compared to 69% of AWB, who was a much hyped full-back a season ago. The chart also shows an average of 3.52 successful dribbles per 90 minutes for Lamptey.
When we dive into the analysis of the young talent, it’s fair to say that Lamptey is well adept in defensive roles too. The player proves to be a key player when it comes to making interceptions on the flanks, clearing the ball from the wings and stop the crosses from getting into the box. As already discussed earlier the player uses his brilliant speed to defend counter attacks. His speed also helps him defend against players on the wings.
Summary of his defensive actions is presented in the chart below which shows pretty impressive results.
We can see that his ability to position himself to intercept the ball is wonderful. His numbers are quite remarkable for a player who has just appeared 11 times for his club.
Well even the GOATS and the best in the business are not perfect. Everyone have weaknesses and so has Lamptey. We are going to look into some areas he can improve.
Lamptey is seemingly not as strong as other players when it comes to physique and strength. This is one of his basic disadvantages which holds him back from winning aerial duels. Lamptey can be easily muscled away when a player with good physical strength come against him. Lamptey is also quite prone to get injured if he gets a lot of physical contact in a game.
Another dimension where Tariq lacks a bit of quality is his ability to cross accurately. With the likes of Robertson and Trent providing every ball more dangerous than before, Tariq must work on his cross accuracy. With his dribbling ability and his pace we mostly found him in positions where a good cross will prove much lethal for the oppositions.
Well player like Lamptey is in an ideal phase for the coaches around the footballing world to get their hands on this brilliant talent. Lamptey is young means he is in his learning phase, he has a unique talent and the blend of abilities he provides is quite exceptional.
Well the player has played very few games into top flight football games to analyse him more, as the goal is to analyse on the basis of games into the best competitions around the globe. But the fact that this young player has an exploding lava-like potential cannot be ignored.
However the competition for his position in his own country is very tough with the likes of Trent, AWB, and Kyle Walker. But with proper nourishment and polishing he can be amongst these very names.
With the recent void of Right back position in Bayern Munich could be a future option for the young Englishman as we believe he has the pace, agility, technical quality and assertiveness to thrive with the treble winners.