Last name: Kvaratskhelia
First name: Khvicha
DOB: 12/02/2001 ( 20 y.o. )
Birth country: Georgia
Matches played (2020/21): 23
Min. per match: 76.3
Goals scored: 4
Goals per match: 0.2 Assists: 4 (xA 3.78) *overperforming*
Yellow cards: 6
Red cards: 0
Highly-skilful Khvicha Kvaratskhelia may not have the most recognisable names in the world of football. Still, scouts from many of the top clubs around Europe are keeping tabs on the exciting talent. He plays for Rubin Kazan in the Russian top-flight, and the Georgian-born winger could be leaving for a bigger club, possibly to one of the top 5 European leagues. Leeds, Liverpool, and Italian giants Juventus are some of the clubs "interested", with Borussia Mönchengladbach and A.C Milan being the latest clubs linked.
He was named the Russian Premier League's Young Player of the Year, which comes as no surprise as the dazzling-winger was a standout performer, with Kvaratskhelia scoring four goals, getting four assists in 23 games. Those stats may not be the most impressive, but his ball skills, ball progression, spatial awareness and match performances make him an exciting player and one to keep an eye on in the future. Whilst admittedly his attacking output can do with some improvements, with the correct development, it should not be too long before seeing Khvicha Kvaratskhelia getting double figures in goal contribution and see him grow in reputation around Europe.
In this scout report in the form of tactical analysis, we will look at why bigger clubs should take a gamble (in my opinion) by looking at some of his key strengths and what he can bring to his potential new employers.
Kvaratskhelia's Position & Playing-Style
Position: Attacking Midfield Left,Right,Centre Height: 1,83 m Foot: Right
Predominantly a left-winger, Kvaratskhelia is a versatile attacking midfielder who loves to run at defences with the ball at his feet. On the left, he does so by receiving the ball in space, turning and proceeding to cut inside to create a chance. He does, however, have a competent left-foot which sometimes takes him on the outside of a defender but has a higher tendency to come inside, on to his preferred foot.
Kvaratskhelia heatmap from 2020/21 Russian Premier League
This heat map shows that Kvaratskhelia spent the whole season out on the left flank, operating in the left half-space, making it difficult for defenders to mark and track. Once Kvaratskhelia picks up the ball in these areas and drives at defences, he causes panic for defenders, forcing them to drop deeper or commit themselves. If a defender chooses to engage, Kvaratskhelia has more than the ability to skip past the challenge, which can be a good playing trait for an inverted-winger and a bigger bonus for teams who focus on penetrating vertically.
Kvaratskhelia shotmap from 2020/21 Russian Premier League
When looking at Kvaratskhelia's heatmap and then shot-map, we can start to get a picture of the type of player he is. At least, where he attempts to create chances and score goals for his team. These shots often result from him picking up the ball on the left, cutting inside and going at goal if the opportunity to create is not on. As we can see, this area needs improvement to be a 'top player', and one way he could improve his goal contributions is to work on his off-the-ball movements as well as anticipation, increasing his ability to read attacking situations and, in turn, should raise his xG, which totalled 4.25 in the Russian top-flight. According to Wyscout, he takes 2.54 shots per 90 (48.8% on target).
The Russian leagues have kick-started their 2021-22 season, and so far in the first four matches, Kvaratskhelia has managed to get himself on the score sheet. This goal came against Arsenal Tula, where he also attempted 13 dribbles, completing 10 (77% success rate).
The Georgian-international completed the most 1v1 dribbles per 90 (14.6) in 2020-21 and the 2nd most ball-progression by runs (166.7) in the Russian top-flight, making him a promising ball progressor at just the age of 20.
Kvaratskhelia's Silky Skills
1v1 dribbles total attempted /90
As mention before, Kvaratskhelia is a skilful player who thrives on dribbling 1v1, making him a very progressive player bringing the ball forward with the ball at his feet. Not too many full-backs fancy defending in 1v1 situations, and Kvaratskhelia can make full-backs uncomfortable during the 90 minutes. He also suffered 2.04 fouls per 90, which can lead to dangerous attacks for his team if these are in good goalscoring positions, and for Rubin Kazan, many of these were not too far away from the right side of the opponent's penalty area.
This image shows Kvaratskhelia pulling out to the touchline, in space, to receive the ball from his full-back.
Once he collects the ball, he immediately drives at the opponent's right-back (1v1).
He attempts to knock the ball past him and is brought down by the defender. Kvaratskhelia winning a free-kick for his side.
His skills, of course, are not only valuable for win free-kicks. They can create open play chances and help his side progress the ball upfield quickly too. However, this demonstrates how his dribbling can be helpful and effective in creating different opportunities for his side.
The 20-year-old has good spatial awareness too. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia can read opponents and understand the space around him. Understanding the space/area around a player can determine their next move, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia uses it to his advantage to beat a defender or expose a particular weakness.
Here is an excellent example of Kvaratskhelia making himself aware of what's around him and acting on it. As the two central defenders are circulating the ball, he takes two glances over his shoulder to predict the defending team's next move. Notice by the second image, one defender has started to engage.