Scout Report – Carlos Soler
Manchester United are lining up a bid for 20-year old Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, according to reports from the Sun.
The report claims that the Red Devils manager has instructed the club to get the Spain U-21 star signed up ahead of next season, as he looks to bolster his options in the middle of the park. The Los Che academy product has had an impressive start to the 2017/18 campaign, with a goal and four assists to his name from 9 La Liga outings so far.
Seemingly, Jose is convinced that Soler could be the solution for United’s midfield for years to come. With United working on the deal, here we bring you the lowdown on the midfielder.
Born on 2 January, 1997, in Valencia, Spain, Soler joined local club Valencia CF’s youth setup as an eight-year old in 2005. Having progressed through the youth ranks rapidly, Soler broke into the reserves side in the 2014/15 season, making 2 appearances towards the end of the term.
Next season on, he became a key member of the reserves team, making 28 appearances in the Spanish second division, scoring twice, while also representing the U19s in the UEFA Youth League, where he netted 3 goals in 8 games.
Soler made his first-team debut for the Los Che in December 2016, in a 2-3 loss to Real Sociedad and went on to feature 26 times for Valencia in the 2016/17 campaign, producing returns of four goals and an assist. This time around, he has continued to build on his strong debut season with a goal and 4 assists in 9 matches.
The 20-year old has represented Spain at the U-19 levels and is currently a part of the U-21 setup, for whom he has played four times, netting one goal.
Style of Play
In his youth days, Soler started off as a prolific striker, but looking at his technical abilities and footballing intelligence, coaches moved him into an attacking midfielder role and by the time of his graduation into the senior side, he had been moulded into a full-fledged central midfielder.
Capable of playing any role in the midfield, be it as a creator or a defensive minded midfielder, Soler has demonstrated great adaptability and understanding of the game, which has made him excel in everything that has been asked of him.
His ability to act as the link between the defensive and the attacking thirds of the pitch, with his brilliant range of distribution – both short and long, his vision and the overall intelligence has what made him into a key player for Valencia. Someone who will create chances for his teammates in large numbers, the 20-year old also has the knack of chipping in with goals from the midfield. Blessed with good pace and close control of the ball, he also has the penchant to make driving runs forward from the midfield.
At the same time, he has honed his defensive skillset as well and has shown that he has the ability needed to break play up in the middle of the park and recover possession, with his clever positioning and reading of the situations. Someone very mature for his young age, he is definitely set for bigger things.
What Does the Future Hold?
If one looks at Soler’s numbers from last season and the ongoing season, the rate at which he is improving his game would be quite clear. For example, last term, he managed to create just 18 goal-scoring opportunities in 23 La Liga games, but he has already created 15 chances in just 9 outings this time. Similarly, his take-on success rate, his tackle success percentage are all showing marked improvement.
At just 20 years of age, Soler has shown all the right signs of growing into a midfield mainstay for Spain in the future. As such, it is not surprising for Manchester United to be looking at him, given that the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera are in the final year of their contracts and Michael Carrick is in the twilight of his career.
Soler has the potential to turn out to be a brilliant acquisition for the club and the £30m that is being quoted by the Sun could prove to be a bargain if he fulfills on the initial promise that he has shown.