Estoril have brought in midfielder Rafik Guitane to strengthen their squad and add more quality to their midfield line. The 23-year-old joins his new Liga Portugal club on loan from Ligue 1 outfit Stade Reims for the remainder of the season. For the past two seasons, he has flourished during consecutive loan spells with Maritimo, featuring regularly for the Portuguese side. As a result, the French professional has gained adequate experience playing in Liga Portugal. While he might be surplus to requirements for Reims, he can turn out to be a key player for Estoril, who are in the bottom half of Liga Portugal. With Rafik Guitane’s addition, Estoril will hope to improve their current position in the league and secure a higher finish in the table. Below, we look at some stats for the player from his most recent season with Maritimo.
Although primarily an attacking midfielder, Rafik Guitane can also play as a winger on either flank. While he has barely seen any game time this season, he made 29 appearances for Maritimo in Liga Portugal last season and started in 22 matches. He scored four goals and provided two assists for the Portuguese side. The above viz shows the percentile rank of Guitane’s stats from Liga Portugal 2021/22 compared to other similar players. It can be observed that Rafik ranks highly in all of the possession and passing indicators. In the attacking department, he tops the ranking for dribbles per 90 and does decently in terms of expected goal contribution. Meanwhile, defence is not his strongest asset, as evidenced by his low rank, and is an area where he can improve.
Gameplay in possession
The above viz illustrates the player’s heat map from the previous Liga Portugal season. It can be observed that Guitane shows high intensity in the final third as well as in the midfield. He covers more ground in the opposition’s half and is constantly active on the right flank. The midfielder averages nearly 31 passes per match with 80.7% accuracy, along with 21.5 received passes. He also averages 2.01 touches in the opposition’s penalty area and makes 3.68 progressive runs per match.
The 23-year-old French professional played an important midfield role for Maritimo last season. He has made some crucial contributions in the final third by releasing lots of progressive passes into the penalty box and down the wide channels on the right side. Guitane averages 7.7 forward passes per 90 minutes and has a 68.8% accuracy rate. These include 3.63 passes to the final third with a 73.5% accuracy rate and 2.28 passes to the opposition’s penalty box with a 61.5% accuracy rate.
Another important aspect of the young midfielder’s gameplay is his ability to score goals. He found the back of the net four times last season. Rafik averages nearly one shot per 90 minutes and has an accuracy rate of 52.6%. Last season, he scored at the rate of 0.18 goals per match while averaging an xG value of 0.14. The xG map above shows that Guitane took most of the shots inside the penalty box and scored all four of his goals from inside the box too. This demonstrates his ability to get into some crucial goal-scoring positions and find the back of the net for his team.
Apart from scoring goals, Guitane also contributes to the team by creating scoring opportunities for others. He provided two assists for his Maritimo teammates last term, averaging an xA value of 0.13 per match. From the shot assist viz. above, it can be observed that most of the chances he created were through accurate short and through passes in the final third. Overall, the French player averages nearly one-shot assist per match, and he created eight big chances last season.
Role at Estoril
The above viz is a comparison between Rafik Guitane and Francisco Geraldes. Currently, 27-year-old Francisco Geraldes plays as an attacking midfielder for Estoril. The viz above compares the performances of both players. It can be seen that Geraldes has better numbers in most stats compared to Guitane, but the French player stands out in a few areas. Notably, Rafik holds an advantage in the possession and passing departments compared to his counterpart.
Given his talent and prior experience playing in Liga Portugal, Rafik Guitane will serve as a viable option for the attacking midfield positions in Estoril’s squad while providing competition for a starting role for others. Therefore, having the French midfielder join the team will be a huge boost for Nelson Verissimo’s side, as they sit a couple of spots above the relegation zone. The move to Estoril could also help the young player personally by providing him with a platform to showcase his promising potential.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine