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Scouting Report: Can Real Sociedad's Jose Angel Hurt Barcelona's Title Chances?

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Scouting Report: Can Real Sociedad's Jose Angel Hurt Barcelona's Title Chances?
David Ramos/Getty Images

Roma's Real Sociedad loanee, Jose Angel, could make a name for himself should he contribute to a win over Barcelona, as the Catalan club are tied with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid on top of the La Liga standings with 60 points. Here is a scouting report on Angel, a 24-year-old Spaniard, who could have been a Barca player. 

 

Pithy Player Profile

Since breaking out for Sporting Gijon, Angel has tenaciously battled setback after setback. 

Several years ago, pre-Jordi Alba, Angel was targeted by Barcelona, though, the move never eventuated. 

"There was contact with Barcelona," Angel said, per Com Radio (h/t Football Italia). "But no agreement was ever reached."

Angel signed with Roma, citing the influence of manager Luis Enrique, a former Real Madrid and Barca player.

Angel was proficient in winning back possession for Roma: 54 tackles and 55 interceptions while only conceding 19 free-kicks during the 2011-12 season. 

However, he never got going from an attacking perspective: He missed 86.9 percent of his crosses. 

Following the dismissal of Enrique, Angel was offloaded to Sociedad on loan and he spent his first season mainly watching Alberto De la Bella play. 

Sociedad elected not to exercise an option to buy Angel but were willing to extend his loan for another campaign. 

This season, De la Bella started as the primary left-back, but a toe injury has enabled Angel an extended run in the first team.

 

Angel's Strengths

Angel possesses stamina and runs up and down the left flank until the final whistle.

In a 5-0 win over Osasuna, he surprised right-back Oier with a surging run in the 87th minute.

Oier did not cover Angel, and he provided an incisive pass to centre-forward Haris Seferovic, who scored a tap-in. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Angel is technically skilled, good on the ball and he plays a cavalier brand of football.

In a 3-0 win over Almeria, Angel turned right-back Rafita inside out before firing the ball past goalkeeper Esteban. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com

Five minutes earlier, Angel had raided Rafita's flank and provided a perfect cross for teammate Antoine Griezmann to head home. 

Source: LigaBBVA.com

When Angel is in form, he is a lethal attacking outlet from left-back and can rival Real Madrid's Marcelo in offensive potency. 

League Only Assists/Games Played Key Passes Per Game Dribbles Per Game
Adriano* 1/14 1.2 1.1
Filipe Luis 2/19 1.1 0.8
Jordi Alba 1/10 1.1 0.3
Jose Angel 4/14 0.9 1.6
Marcelo 6/18 1.6 1.1
  * has scored 3 goals    

 

Angel's Weaknesses

Angel is a solid ball-winner, but he often disregards the "back" in full-back, which comes from the "Dani Alves school of defending," as Michael Cox at Zonal Marking noted in 2011. 

It is one thing for Angel to be playing as a quasi-wide forward against Almeria knowing he can beat right-back Rafita at will; it will be dangerous to play in such a reckless manner against Barca.

One positive for Barca is Angel has flopped big-time in important games. 

He received Marca ratings ranging from a "3/10" in a 5-1 defeat to Real Madrid, a "4/10" in a 4-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid and a "4/10" in a 5-1 defeat to Villarreal: 

Source: Marca

In the 1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Barca, it was Angel's turnover, which led to Lionel Messi scoring a solo goal.

Source: LigaBBVA.com

 

Can Angel Hurt Barca?

GriezmannSociedad's left attacking midfielder, has scored 14 league goals this season.

So you presume Barca manager Gerardo Martino is warning his players ad nauseam about Griezmann's tendency to score headers (35.7 percent of his league goals have come from headers) and his shooting ability (he scored against Barca in the Copa del Rey).

But who plays on the same flank as Griezmann?

Angel will throw caution to the wind and bomb forward as he looks to hurt Barca, a club he nearly signed for. 

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScoredFFT Stats ZoneSquawka and Transfermarkt.

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