Hidemasa Morita is one of Liga Portugal’s emerging midfielders. Santa Clara signed the Japanese international as a defensive midfielder in 2021, and he helped the Azoreans to a sixth and seventh finish in the two seasons he played there before moving to Sporting CP last summer. Since then, the 27-year-old has become an important player for Ruben Amorim’s side. Morita played in the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Japan and is having an impressive season at the club level. Below are some stats that delve into Morita’s performances for Sporting in Liga Portugal 2022/23.
Hidemasa Morita has made 12 league appearances this season, of which he has started ten. Averaging 70 minutes per game, the new signing has slotted seamlessly at the heart of Ruben Amorim’s midfield alongside Manuel Ugarte. The above viz shows the percentile rank of Morita’s stats compared to other central midfielders in Liga Portugal. We can observe that Ugarte ranks highly for attacking and possession indicators like goal contributions, penalty area touches, and accurate passes. In the defence department, he possesses a good percentile rank for defensive duels won and possession indicators.
Hidemasa Morita getting goals
Primarily a defensive midfielder, Hidemasa Morita is not usually known for getting goals. With three goals to his name, he is having the best season of his career in terms of goal returns. The above viz depicts Morita’s shot map in Liga Portugal 2022/23. It can be observed that he has scored all his goals from inside the six-yard box. He is getting into advanced positions in the opposition’s half more frequently this season. Morita has taken 10 shots thus far, averaging 1.03 shots per match with 50% accuracy. His xG per game rate of 0.25 is one of the highest among similar players in the league.
Morita has played as the left-sided central midfielder in Ruben Amorim’s 3-4-2-1 system at Sporting. The two visuals above are a comparison of the player’s heat maps from this season and the previous one. It can be observed that the midfielder has taken up a more progressive role at the Lisbon club. Comparatively, Morita is more involved in advanced positions in the middle and final third. He averages around 11.8 touches per match in the attacking third along with 1.7 touches in the opposition’s penalty area.
Morita in possession of the ball
Hidemasa Morita performs the duty of circulating possession of the ball from midfield. He has a range of passing skill sets and can set the tempo of the game. The above viz shows the midfielders’ pass map from this season. A big cluster of passes at the centre of the pitch indicates Morita’s crucial role in keeping control of the ball for Sporting. The player averages 43.09 passes per match with an impressive accuracy of 89.2%. Furthermore, he makes 6.3 passes to the final third and 1.65 passes into the opposition’s penalty area per game.
Another attribute of Morita’s gameplay is his ability to progress the ball forward with creativity. Currently, he has one assist to his name this season. The viz above highlights the defensive midfielder’s creative potential. It shows the player executing dribbles in various areas of the field, including the attacking third. He has also put in three crosses from wide areas with 100% accuracy. Morita averages 2.17 dribbles with a 52.4% rate of success and 0.31 accurate crosses per 90 minutes.
Playing as a central midfielder, Morita commits defensive actions in a lot of areas across the field. The viz above shows his average defensive territory. Morita takes a position near the half-line and engages in numerous defensive actions in both his own and the opposing half. The midfielder makes 7.65 recoveries along with 2.6 interceptions per match. Furthermore, he contests 7.13 defensive duels per match and wins an impressive 61% of them. He also contests 1.55 aerial duels on average with a 20% success rate.
Hidemasa Morita has established himself as a leading figure in Sporting’s midfield. He has shown great attacking potential this season while performing his regular duties in central midfield with sincerity. The 27-year-old has quickly become a key figure for his new club. And with Sporting fourth in the league table, they will expect the same consistency from Morita for the rest of the season.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine