Florian Wirtz - City's next attacking asset?
Florian Wirtz is a name that many of you will have heard in the past weeks, as the German prodigy has been linked with a move to the Etihad. Although many of you will have heard of young Florian, there will still be many who don't know *just* how good he is, and how good he could be for City, if he moves from Bayer Leverkusen.
Although just 18 years of age, Wirtz has already made upwards of 40 Bundesliga appearances for Bayer, since joining from fellow German side 1. FC Köln for a measly £180,000 back in 2019. Initially playing for the Leverkusen u19 side, it soon became clear that Florian would not be there for much longer, and soon after, he made his first team debut against Werder Bremen, in a game which Bayer won 4-1.
Ever since his debut, Wirtz has been a star for Bayer, and this season he has really kicked on. So far in the Bundesliga for Bayer, he has played 5 games, already grabbing four goals and four assists, a tally of eight goal contributions that is only bettered by Dortmund's Erling Håland, with 10.
Wirtz's style of play is just what you would expect from an attacking City target, with the 'Wünderkind' playing primarily as a Mezzala, or an winger. Of course, as a winger though, he operates more centrally than a 'traditional winger', as we see week in week out from Sterling, Mahrez, Ferran Torres etc etc!
Using FBREF's insightful 'Scout Report' feature, I compared Wirtz's metrics to players in Europe's top 5 leagues in his position(s).
Firstly, compared to all attacking midfielders/wingers in Europe's top 5 leagues, Florian has many interesting statistics. For example, he is in the 98th percentile for goals. Pep Guardiola is famous for his goal contributions from midfield (as a manager), and Wirtz would clearly add to it!
His assist and xA numbers are even more impressive, with him being in the 99th and 97th percentile, respectively. His other passing numbers are interesting too, his pass completion is not great at all, although this could be testament to the amount of progressive passes and risks he takes on the ball.
Wirtz is a hard worker going forwards, being in the 80th percentile for pressures, and the 99th percentile for pressures in the attacking third! This will be valuable for Guardiola, with pressing being such a big part of City's side, which is why players like Bernardo Silva are so, SO important to Guardiola's side.
Some very impressive outputs by the young German, who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ilkay Gündogan, Leroy Sané and Bert Trautman, 3 of City's German stars!
*all stats are at the time of writing*