Sam Sutton – Kiwi’s Imminent Future Star by @TomRowe__

Sam Sutton – Kiwi’s Imminent Future Star by @TomRowe__

Full name: Sam Sutton

Country: New Zealand

Date of birth: 10/12/2001 (20 years old)

Place of birth: Auckland (New Zealand)

Height: —175cm

Youth career: East Cost Boys, Wellington Phoenix (since 2017)

Current club: Wellington Phoenix

Squad number: —19

Current national team: —

Position: fullback, centre-midfielder

Preferred foot: left

Market value (by —300,000€

Tournaments participated in: 2021 Olympics, A-League, FFA Cup

Contract until: 2025

Player’s agent: Football Asset Management

Transfer rumours: —

Similar type of player: Liberato Cacace


– aggressive attacking positioning  

– ground duels

– dribbling

– dynamism

– technique

– ball control

– shots taken per 90

– passing accuracy  

– disguise  

– timing of overlaps  

– first touch

– work rate

– crossing

– movement

To improve:

– aerial challenges

– defensive body positioning

– alertness to second phase balls

– mindset (easily becomes frail after several mistakes)

Style of play:

– attacking fullback

– capable of playing narrower/inverting due to formerly playing central midfield

– as a player he likes to make informed decisions before acting and therefore does not make rash, eccentric decisions

– first touch is repeatedly ‘negative’ as he looks to protect the ball at all times

– has a sufficient understanding of the game in an attacking sense and thus creates exposed gaps when making attacking runs

– avoids using his weaker right foot

– tends to play lofted crosses to the back post

 – avoids dribbling in wide, isolated areas and instead prefers to continually invert 

– good stamina allows him to fulfill his role of attacking fullback 

– his ability to cross from deep is a significant asset to the Wellington Phoenix team and deters opposing teams to sit off in a defensive block at any stage within the game

Tactical analysis:

Sutton operates as an advanced fullback who provides crucial width on the left flank and offers a direct passing option for the two ball-playing centre backs. He is tasked with consuming opposing players’ attention and forcing them into unnatural positions to allow free zones in the ‘half spaces. To support his vastly attacking positioning a midfielder will often drop into a ‘false fullback’ position, this subsequently offers the necessary defensive support and the opportunity to play quick combinations. However, cavernous spaces are occasionally left behind Sutton and then later exploited which Wellington Phoenix must improve upon.

League summary (as for 10 November 2022):

A-League 2019/2020: 4 games/0 goals (Wellington Phoenix)

A-League 2020/2021: 12 games/0 goals/2 assists (Wellington Phoenix)

A-League 2021/2022: 21 games/1 goal/3 assists (Wellington Phoenix)

A-League 2022/2023: 4 games/1 goal/2 assists (Wellington Phoenix)

He is best suited to playing as:

Left back in 4-4-2.


Sutton joined Wellington Phoenix as part of their academy setup in 2016 but swiftly progressed to the Wellington Phoenix Reserves, playing in the New Zealand Football Championship in the 2016–17 campaign, making 4 appearances with 2 starts at the remarkable age of 15. Following this, Sutton frequently started for the reserves until the 19/20 season where he made his A-League debut.


Sam Sutton has had a remarkable rise from youth football to competing regularly in the Isuzu A-League and his trajectory is only soaring since becoming a Phoenix starter. Sutton is unquestionably one of the brightest talents emerging from New Zealand but there is a long way to go before becoming a Kiwi starter. If he can maintain his progression, he could become a truly sensational player and follow in Liberato Cacace’ s footsteps.

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