La Liga Lowdown
LaLiga’s Best Young Players Series: Bryan Gil At Eibar
Written by Matt Clark
As part of our new collaboration with scouting platform FIVEYARDS (@FIVE__YARDS on Twitter), we at La Liga Lowdown are delighted to bring you a new regular feature. Each week, we will introduce a public vote for followers to select their favourite young player for each LaLiga club. The winner of the Twitter poll will then be profiled on our site using FIVEYARDS data.
We start with the smallest club in the Spanish top division: Eibar. A club that continues to punch well above its weight, that stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants. Your chosen winner is Bryan Gil, on loan at Ipurúa from Sevilla.
The Beatle of Barbate
Looks can be deceptive, and you may think Bryan Gil looks more at home in a 1960s dance hall than a football pitch. But when you watch him, you quickly realise he is the real deal. An old school-winger, he is a dynamic risk-taker and isn’t afraid to get chalk on his boots or mud on his knees. Born in 2001, he makes observers feel old and defenders look silly.
Bryan is starting to make his presence felt. Sleek and slender, he precociously glides down the left flank and takes on defenders as if he was still in the school playground. With bundles of energy, he relentlessly drives his team forward, penetrating defences, and leads from the front with his tenacious tackling.
The Lowdown: Story and Stats
He spent the second half of 2019/20 on loan at Leganés, and began to stand out in a struggling side. He averaged 3.71 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes in his time at Butarque, second highest at the club. He already had the accolade of becoming the first player born in the 21st century to score in LaLiga, and he added another strike on the final day of the season against Real Madrid.
Even at the tender age of 19, Bryan Gil has excelled at Eibar. He leads the team for expected assists (3.3 per 90), shot-creating actions (4.37 per 90) and for tackles in the final third (6 in total). He has also attempted (60) and completed (35) the highest number of dribbles among their squad. Determined to get the team on the front foot, he has the most touches in the attacking third (401), most progressive carries (97), most carries into the final third (24) and most carries into the area (16). Despite only being on loan, he is the focal point of their attacking strategy.
Shining among stars
His numbers stack up well against the rest of the league too. Among all LaLiga players, Bryan Gil is inside the top ten for: expected assists per 90, key passes, passes into the area, carries into the area and crosses. His vivacious exuberance has enabled him to dribble past 39 players and nutmeg five, second in the league. The confidence of youth at its most emphatic. His skill set is a broad one already, and with time on his side, his performances can only improve further.
A Bright Future
With this trajectory, it is clear that he will challenge for a starting spot at Sevilla when he returns, offering Julen Lopetegui that 'X-factor' in wide areas that they sometimes lack. Lucas Ocampos and Suso like to drift inside, while the full-backs are not as much of a creative threat as they were last season. This conundrum has a ready-made Bryan Gil-shaped solution.
He could soon feature prominently on the international stage too. With plenty of experience in the under-age categories and a European under-19 winner’s medal already in his collection, don’t be surprised to see Bryan Gil make his full Spain debut in the near future.
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