Scout Report : Why Xavi wants to sign Noussair Mazraoui?

According to recent reports, Noussair Mazraoui is about to sign for FC Barcelona once his contact expires this summer. The right back is starring at Ajax at the moment, and Xavi wants him as per reports. Moreover, his agent is Mino Raiola, same agent of Erling Haaland. Coincidence?

The summer of 2022 is all about the free-agent market as a lot of great talent is up for grabs without a massive transfer fee. FC Barcelona, for a change, is linked to quite a lot of them this summer. Players like Franck Kessié, Andreas Christenson, César Azpilicueta, Ousmane Dembele, and many more will be available to pick from as they will not be signing a new contract with their current clubs. This is arguably the best free agent market in the world of football that we have witnessed. 

Noussair Mazraoui is one of the players that FC Barcelona are linked with, and are very interested in getting on board this summer. The 24-year-old currently plays at Ajax, and his contract expires at the end of this season. The full-back is in demand as several clubs have made an offer for him. But various reports in the Spanish media as well as Fabrizio Romano suggest that the Catalans are in pole position to land the Moroccan. 

Starring in a great Ajax team

Ajax have scored a whopping 71 goals so far this season in the Eredivisie and conceded just 4 goals at the time of writing. Mazraoui has scored eight goals and assisted three times in all competitions this season for Ajax. The 24-year-old has great attacking prowess with 1.6 shots per game, 1.8 aerial duels won, 2.38 shot creation actions, over 6 progressive passes per game, and 7.3 progressive carries per game. In addition, he has 1.43 dribbles per game which is above league average for right-backs. 

Mazraoui is one the best attacking right backs in Netherlands. With a great crossing ability, he will be a match for Jordi Alba on the left. In terms of pass completion and expected assists, there’s no match for him in the league. But there are a few defensive drawbacks as he’s not the most prolific at the back. His duels per 90 and defensive duel win percentage is not up to the mark at all. However, Ajax have been resilient defensively, thanks to players like Lisandro Martinez in their squad. Mazraoui’s defensive stats are average at best with 13.97 pressures per game, 1.1 aerial duels, and 1.75 clearances per game. 

Major upgrade in defense?

If Barcelona manage to sign Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen, there will be a balance at the back with Ronald Araujo’s speed as well. This will allow Mazraoui to get forward and contribute in attack. Noussair Mazraoui will fit perfectly into Xavi’s system. He has been learning under Erik Ten Hag, another disciple of the modern high press Cruyffian football. Dani Alves is ageing, and Sergino Dest just starting to get into his stride. Therefoer, the 24-year-old will provide great competition for a spot in the lineup.

Mazraoui is represented by super agent Mino Raiola, and thanks to his good relationship with president Juan Laporta, a deal is reportedly very close to getting done. There have been talks of a few other deals that are very close as well. Laporta, along with Xavi , Alemany and Jordi Cruyff are doing their best to get players on board. 

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