Yasin Salmani – Iran’s midfield answer by IranFootballScout
Yasin Salmani was born in 2002 on the 27th of February in Gorgan, Iran. From the age of 12, he joined Sepahan’s youth academy and rapidly moved up the age groups. His talent was noticed in 2018, when he received a call up to Iran’s u16 side for the AFC u16 championship. Despite Iran finishing third in their group, Salmani impressed in the two matches he started: a 0-0 draw vs India which saw him play deep in a double pivot and the 5-0 win against Vietnam where he captained his side from an advanced playmaking position. In that Vietnam match, he recorded 2 assists, 1 pre-assist, and drew a red card from the opponent after a clever interception. From there, he moved up to the Iran u19 and the Sepahan U21 sides before making his senior club debut in the 19/20 season. In the 20/21 season, he had his breakout year playing in 21 matches, while recording 4 goals and 3 assists. Salmani would come to play a role in helping Sepahan chase the title to the final match day, but results elsewhere would keep the youngster from winning his first title
Similar Player: Florian Neuhaus
Salmani can play across the midfield, while excelling as a number 10 or 8. His vision and passing are well developed for his age, as he often finds the perfect weighted ball to a teammate in the box. When it comes to getting past low blocks, Salmani has developed his hold-up play to the point where he can anticipate the perfect passing avenue to deliver a ball to a forward. He is comfortable with both feet, scoring and sending long balls with both. His intense pressing to win the ball back has come in use to draw fouls, set up goals, or go on daunting runs from the halfway line to score himself. Jumping into tackles isn’t a part of Salmani’s playstyle, as he focuses more on positioning to win back the ball through interceptions. With improvements in defense, he can truly master the role as the #8 or playing as the offensive option in a double pivot.
Next season will see Sepahan push for the title, while competing in the Asian Champions League. With midfielder Hajsafi moving to Europe, a starting spot looks likely for Salmani should he stay. Salmani has expressed a desire to move to Europe and take his game to the next level. His contract expires in the summer of 2022, which would put him in a good position as a free agent to find a suitable club. A move before then is not out of the question either. From a national team perspective, he plays in Iran’s weakest position as the 8. With only 1 real competitor ahead of him, he has the potential to make Iran’s WC squad in 2022 should they qualify. He is the most exciting U21 prospect currently playing in Iran, and one of the most exciting in the past 5 years.
I currently rate his potential as an 8/10 should he make the move to Europe in the next year.