Player Analysis: Arthur Cabral – An Athletic Assasin On A Mission By Ron Dor
Name: Arthur Mendonça Cabral
International Appearances: First call-up to Brazil National Team in October 2021, but still no playing time
Birth Date: 25.04.1998 (23 years old)
Youth Club: Ceara
Club: FC Basel
Squad Number: 10
Preferred Foot: Right
Market Value (By TransferMarkt): 15 million euros
Contract Until: 30.06.2023
Arthur Cabral is a classic example of a Brazilian quality player but not the hyped one.
“The First Moment Is the Most Beautiful”. In 2015, Ceara played Tupi in the 2 nd leg of the Brazilian Cup after a 0:0 draw in the 1 st leg. At the 91 st minute, when the result was 1:1, Ceara’s manager then “Juninho” decided to bring in the academy’s determined 17-year-old forward Arthur Cabral for the few minutes remaining. 3 minutes later, Arthur Cabral scored his first professional goal. 3 minutes, that’s all he needed. Once a machine, always a machine.
In total, Arthur Cabral has scored 28 goals on 74 official appearances for Ceara, before moving to Palmeiras for million euros in January 2019. Half a year later, Arthur Cabral was loaned to FC Basel due to a lack of opportunities at Palmeiras. Back then, no one expected that at the end of the season he’ll become their most expensive signing ever, as he’s exploded during the 2019/20 season with 14 goals & 4 assists in the Swiss Super League.
So far this season, Arthur Cabral’s scored 30 goals and provided 6 assists in all competitions, directly involved in a goal every 74 minutes. In the Swiss Super League, he’s already scored 14 goals, equally to the entire 2019/20 season. We can all agree that these figures are completely outstanding!
Points For Conservation
Points For Improvement
Defensive Contribution & Work Rate – He rarely gets into duels and recovers, his defensive statistics and his team play aren’t good enough. Sometimes, you can see him walking around the pitch. I don’t think it’s because of stamina, as he’s a superb athlete.
Vision – He lacks scanning, which affects him in some ways. When he provides secure passes, he may be accurate, but when he tries a smart pass he tends to lose possession pretty often. As a result of misunderstanding the space surrounding him, he doesn’t notice the big chances that he can create. Moreover, sometimes he insists to shoot also from unideal situations, which affects both his decision-making and the ball possession of the team.
Style Of Play
The typecast of the complete-forward has become very rare in modern football, and one of the very few forwards that fit this profile is Arthur Cabral, who has the full package:
Target-man: Can hold up the ball. Aerially Strong. His physique and strength enable creating chances and exploiting spaces, as well as scoring tap-ins.
Poacher: He has that “Killer Instinct” and quality to score goals.
Deep-lying forward: He drops deep to link up his teammates. This way, he both attracts defenders and exploits spaces for his teammates.
At first glance, it’s clear that Arthur’s given a free mobile role at Basel. He moves all around the opposition half, both dropping deep and moving wide to explode the wing. Thanks to his off-the-ball actions, Arthur exploits spaces in so many ways. When he drops deep to get the ball to his feet, he attracts defenders. When he moves wide, he creates 2v1 situations with opposition center-back and full-back. A true counter-threat.
Thanks to his great ability to read the game, Arthur makes smart, fast, and well-timed through runs to find himself in a 1v1 situation in front of the opposition goalkeeper. It works extremely well for him, especially against teams with a high defensive line. In addition, he knows to score the “Right place, right time” type of goals, just like a quality target-man. All of these are possible due to his Killer Instinct, of course.
Arthur Cabral is both an intelligent and clinical finisher, who brings something different referring to the rest of the center-forwards. Technique. Very high qualities with the ball to his feet.
First and most important, finishing. Arthur’s strongest area undoubtedly. His shooting is both precise and
powerful, the ultimate combination. A forward gets into many difficult situations, and he doesn’t always have the time to move the ball from one foot to the other. That’s why one of the most favorite techniques by forwards is being capable on both feet, so there’s another reason for Cabral to be grateful. Thanks to both his height and jumping reach, he’s a pure aerial danger in the opposition box. In addition, he has a goal/shot-on-target ratio of 50%. No matter wherever you play, it’s an amazing statistic. A very composed, clinical finisher. All we still have to talk about is Arthur’s long-range shots, and they are a joy to watch in his case. To illustrate my claim, I recommend you to watch his goal in the 3:3 draw with FC Zurich.
Second, he likes to dribble, it enables him to get out of pressing situations and even to exploit spaces. The ability that turns his dribbling into being so special is a creative element. Unpredictable. Professionally, we better call it Flair. Whether chipping the ball over a player or nutmegging him, it’s almost impossible to anticipate his next action.
Third, he progresses the ball very well, although the frequency of this action isn’t that high in his case. Thanks to various athletic attributes, Arthur can run past players without falling easily. In most cases, it seems that the only way to stop him is by making a foul. An Athletic Assasin On A Mission.
Fourth, Arthur Cabral’s very good at playing with his back to the goal, as well as on holding up the ball. The combination of his strength, technique, and ball control enable him to hold the ball well. Thanks to his hold-up play, Arthur gains two main profits: providing assists when he’s with the back to the goal in the penalty area, and exploiting spaces when he drops deep to link up the play. There’s a very special thing about Cabral, he likes to do flick-ons, which is passing the ball without even controlling it. That’s another level.
By the way, have I already mentioned that Arthur Cabral’s a great penalty taker?
During his career, Arthur’s taken 12 penalties. Excluding a penalty miss with Ceara back in 2018, he’s taken 11 penalties during the last year at Basel and 100% of them have gone in. Arthur Cabral is widely considered a penalty threat, it’s very difficult to understand his body impressions due to his composure, which hides his intentions.
To summarize, Arthur Cabral’s a special forward, and that’s why he’s followed by many clubs across Europe. FC Basel’s already been used to seeing scouts in the stands, not just because of its young talents, but especially because of its Brazilian goalscoring machine. His potential is huge, and his unique profile will do well with his market value in the future. At the age of 23, it’s clearer than ever – Arthur Cabral needs to move on as soon as possible, and this time for positive reasons.