De Quetelare is soccer’s top young lefty

DeQuetelare is soccer's top young lefty

At twenty-one, De Bruyne was not able to play as varied as Charles. Kevin at Genk and de Ketelare at Brugge have similar statistics. But only if we’re talking about performance. Now both can occupy positions between the lines. The Milan newcomer played as a pulled forward, an insider on either flank. But de Ketelare’s comparisons to Ozil, De Bruyne or Kaka are lame. We’re talking about an atypical player for our time.

Charles will cost Milan 32 million euros plus bonuses. Maldini, who is scolded by Italian club fans for his inability to negotiate, is in a bind with Leeds. APL clubs have a lot of money, Brugge were willing to give Charles to any team that would pay more. The player himself dreams of playing in the Champions League, so Leeds United were used for the auction, just like Chelsea earlier.

The Belgians know how to sell. It was initially clear that Serie A suited him better than the APL. At Brugge, the youngster had complete freedom, but also time to make decisions. The heat map of movements resembles that of De Bruyne, but multiplied by two and mirrored. De Ketelare plays on two half wings, not just the right. He was a free artist at his home club.

He is most comfortable in Juventus’ two-legged Pirlo position – left of center, closer to the midfield. His left foot is ideal for cutting passes from there. In terms of positioning, de Cetelare is one of the main players of the generation of players born after 2000. Charles doesn’t interfere with others’ play, he has very accurate long passes. Better than 96% of European players in terms of chances created.

Only Charles has a problem with passes, his success rate is only 23%. On the other hand, Leua, Giroud, Origi and later Ibrahimovic are waiting for him in Milan and they are stronger than Brugge forwards. In the crosses it’s not only the author that matters, but also the addressee. It’s just like with the header. De Ketelare is not famous for it, because Brugge worked from the bottom, and on the standards Charles was not the one who constantly opens up and looks for the ball.

Charles has a crazy left, but a strange technique

De Ketelare only plays with his left foot. He even hits the ball with one limb, turning on his right limb only when juggling his knee. Even in defense, when he meets the opponent on the right flank of defense, he turns around to face his goal to reach for the ball with his left, not his right. In short, not Maldini, who used to shovel balls out on the left flank with his right. Modern players try to tighten up the “weak” leg, but Charles’ style can be hurtful.

The kid works on instinct. We have to thank the children’s coaches of Brugge – they did not adjust to the “standards”. For example, de Ketelare kicks the ball incorrectly. Incorrect from a theoretical point of view. In practice, the foot touches the ball a little bit higher than usual, so the shell does not gain crazy speed. Charles will charge in De Bruyne style only if the ball bounces to him from the opponent. But the ball flies smoothly and often along tricky trajectories.

Charles does not hit the ball traditionally, but throws it with his left foot. It’s more like introducing the ball with one hand. Kaka had a similar technique. The Brazilian is pretty tall, and the Belgian is tall – 192 centimeters, but lightweight. They write 74 kilograms, but it looks less. But it is obvious that he`ve started to pull iron. Ronaldo’s story could be repeated and in a couple of years he would put on 6-7 kilos next to Ibrahimovic. In the meantime Charles is a teenager, it’s normal that he is thin.

He’s comfortable in midfield because of his selection skills

Few attacking midfielders are that good without the ball. He’s a real beast, rushes in, puts his foot hard. Sees the ball like he has a scope. You can see a similar technique in Van Dijk. Also huge, holds his body aristocratically, perpendicular to the ground, throws a long leg and takes the ball away from his opponent. Only Virgil is almost twenty kilograms heavier for the same height as Charles.

The danger for de Ketelare lurks only in the fact that he can do everything. Takes the balls away better than the attacking men. Understands the essence of the midfield, which De Bruyne has been learning for years. Charles goes into the opponents’ penalty area and turns into a forward. He has a lot of goals from the goal line, his goalkeeping instincts developed from season to season as his role at Brugge changed. They always make a reference to the alleged weakness of defensive lines in Belgium, but remember how many stars they raised.

Milan will be lucky if Pioli clearly knows how to use Charles in attack with Leau, in midfield with Tonali, and in high pressing with Eranandes. It is clear that the Belgian is not the second Kessier, but has occupied about that position as well. Along with Tonali and a potential rookie, he can play in the middle of the field. It’s also easy to imagine the lefty on the right flank of the attack, not to mention the role of a “ten”. Salemakers, Krunich and Diaz are definitely lower class than de Ketelare.

It is clear why not at Bayern or Liverpool

Atypical technique, young age, the habit of leading the game of the whole team and competition in the squads of the best clubs in the world led Charles to Milan. Luck for the rossoneri, as with the move of Leão. “AC Milan do not want to be last in the Champions League group and in Serie A they do not plan to give the Scudetto to Inter or Juventus easily. They haven’t sold Leau, an incredibly versatile forward, and are trying to squeeze the maximum out of Tonali, although he wasn’t very good at first.

The fans will always ask for reinforcements – for example, the center of defense, to make Menyant work less often, but for now the concentration is on the attack. Charles de Ketelare is a lanky young playmaker who is squeamish with his plebeian right foot, can’t shoot hard at goal, but can engage in a hard fight, being within thirty centimeters of two defenders, come out victorious and give a perfect pass on the arc to the forward thirty meters away.

A born footballer, one can envy Pioli, in his biography will be a chapter of work with exceptional talent. Such guys do not always grow into legends, because they are too good from diapers. At AC Milan, Pato could be such an example. But de Ketelare could still go the way of that same Toni Kroos. He sat on the bench at Bayern, grew stronger at Bayer and became a legend at Real Madrid. If Charles realizes his potential, AC Milan will certainly not be his last great club.

And if not, he will ask De Bruyne at the Belgian training camp how he can get to the top of world soccer through Wolfsburg. Charles is an unusual footballer, so remarkable. Perhaps if you choose personal favorites just by sophistication, the Belgian and Soboslayer could stand out. The other guys born in 2000 and later, Holand, Kamawinga, Foden, Davis, Sancho and Vinicius, are no longer as subtle, though sharp and pushy.

It’s more or less clear with them. But Soboslai and de Ketelare are nontrivial, graceful new-generation players. Traditionally, almost everyone is eliminated, a few become legends. So don’t rush to fall in love with the play of the same Bellingham. Jude still has a lot of work to do. But it’s easy to sympathize with those guys, they feel soccer.

Kaká played 25 minutes in the victorious 2002 World Cup, and six years later Ricardo’s Ballon d’Or sealed the soccer era before Messi and Ronaldo. DeQuetelare goes back to a time when everyone was allowed to play with their heels. Back to a time when a lot of scoring was done by players without a classically trained shot. This is a nugget, not a product of an assembly line, good luck to Milan with de Ketelare. Charles beat Zenit twice a couple of years ago, and now we need to get ahead of Inter and Juventus.


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