Nick Woltemade: Scouting Report by Adam Khan
This article is adapted from Adam Khan’s Medium Portfolio – a collection of professional scouting reports highlighting some of the most exciting talents in German football.
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In today’s report, we analyze Werder Bremen forward Nick Woltemade. We highlight his strengths and weaknesses, his current ability and future potential, and some possible destinations for a future move.
Nick Woltemade was one of the stand-out stars in SV Elversberg’s 2022/23 3rd-tier campaign. The 21-year-old striker was loaned out from Werder Bremen ahead of the campaign, and impressed by all accounts with 10 goals and 9 assists in 31 appearances. The German youth international won the league title with SV Elversberg and earned the Player of the Season award.
Returning to Werder Bremen this summer, Sporting CEO Frank Baumann has expressed the desire to keep Woltemade amongst the first team squad for the upcoming season. Nevertheless, it is still quite possible that, if the right offer comes in, he will be sold on given that his contract expires in 12 months, and there is formidable competition for the starting role.
An exterior ligament tear and an operation on his left foot hindered Woltemade’s impact in his first two professional campaigns in 2020/21 & 2021/22. In the previous season for Elversberg, however, Woltemade did not miss a single match through injury or illness. Nevertheless, given his extreme height (1,98m), it is likely that there is a certain level of injury risk involved with his acquisition.
Though unconventional for his size, Nick Woltemade is a Shadow Striker. The German youth international involves himself significantly in possession phases and often adapts a free-roaming presence behind a less mobile strike partner.
Player Model: Robin van Persie (circa 2009-2010)
Technically Efficient & Skillful in Tight Spaces
What is immediately evident when viewing Woltemade is his uncanny skill and technique in congested spaces. While he entered the 22/23 3. Liga campaign as the second tallest player in the division, he has an elegance and fluidity on the ball that is unprecedented for a player of his stature. He has balance, mobility, and the necessary skill to beat players or maintain possession under intense pressure.
Effective Ability to Switch Play out of Pressure
Woltemade has an excellent ability and timing to switch the point of attack, and open the game out of pressure. He can effectively implement this skill either after turning in possession, or after receiving with his back to goal.
Capable of Quickly Getting Shots Off
Upon receiving, Woltemade is able to quickly manipulate the ball into a position where he can get a dangerous shot off on target that tests the opposition keeper. He is able to take the ball into his stride, maintain the tempo of the game, and quickly deliver an attempt on goal.
Extremely Varied & Flexible Movement
Woltemade is an extremely difficult player for the opposition to keep under control given the varied movements which he implements throughout a game. His tendency to drift and pick up possession in an attacking midfield zone (zone #14) means he is often in a position where neither the opposition defensive midfielder nor centerback feels responsible for his presence. Furthermore, he also does not hesitate to make arching runs into either wide channel or provide a central outlet in the style of a traditional center-forward.
⭐Ability to Turn with Possession under Intense Opposition Pressure
Woltemade’s ability to turn, and face up defenders, under intense opposition pressure is a key skill that sets him apart at the 3rd-tier level. He has excellent awareness for where the opponent is placed, and is capable of turning with fluidity off of either shoulder and with either foot. Given his role as a free-roaming shadow striker, he is often in positions to directly implement these qualities.
Lacks a Presence as an Aerial Outlet in Possession
Despite standing at nearly 2 meters, Woltemade is not a strong aerial outlet in possession. He can effectively hold up the ball and link play when receiving on the ground, however when Elversberg seek to overplay a high-pressing opponent with a long ball, he routinely struggles to bring play down for a teammate, or flick play on for an advancing midfield runner. Though his physical profile should enable him to easily develop this ability with intense training, at present, he is not a suitable option for a side looking to implement a long-passing game with Woltemade as the dominant aerial number nine.
Struggles to Impose Himself as an Aerial Goal Threat
In a similar sense, Woltemade is not an all-encompassing aerial goal threat. While he does contest and win these attacking duels with some regularity, he often struggles to generate the necessary power to truly pose a threat to the opposition goalkeeper.
⭐Fails to Consistently Get into Dangerous Goalscoring Positions
While a product of his creative playstyle, Woltemade struggles to consistently get into goalscoring positions with the regularity one would associate of a center-forward that bears his physical profile. Though not necessarily a weakness, there are moments where Woltemade could profit from forcing himself to make up the additional 10–15 yards to not only initiate attacks but also offer a consistent solution as the full-ending presence. Particularly at the 3rd-tier level, there are numerous situations where, simply getting into the box, could have allowed Woltemade to capitalize on a poor clearance or second-ball deflection.
Woltemade is a talented young footballer who has an extremely unique technical and physical profile. The young striker has proven his ability at the 3rd-tier level and would profit from a move to a higher level where he is still afforded suitable first team opportunities.
Woltemade is a key creative presence in possession phases. He can pick up possession in various zones with his fluid off-ball movement, and he is excellent at turning under pressure and circulating the ball out of pressure. Despite his large frame, Woltemade is skilled in tight spaces and displays a very refined technique.
For Woltemade to reach the next level, he must improve his ability in the air. While not awful, given his size, this must become a key strength and a defining factor of his game. Furthermore, despite his primarily creative qualities, Woltemade must attempt to get into goalscoring positions more often to score the “easy” goals that define an elite goalscorer.
While Werder Bremen are interested in keeping Woltemade amongst the first team squad next season, the player himself would benefit from extended game time on either a loan or permanent basis.
A suitable club would ideally play with a two-striker formation, and allow Woltemade a free role to pick up possession in midfield zones and use his creative qualities to dictate the game in possession phases. The club would ideally operate with a possession-based philosophy and have a history of entrusting young talent with significant first team opportunities.
The club would ideally be playing at a level that is higher, but not an enormous leap from Woltemade’s experience this season.
Outlined are some suitable destinations that would fit the player, taking into account financial, stylistic, and environmental factors:
SC Paderborn will likely be a competitive outfit in the 2022/23 Zweite Bundesliga, albeit not one that will count amongst the top favorites for promotion. Their style of play suits Woltemade well. They averaged 60.5% possession in the last league campaign and operated with a two-striker formation in 79.4% of league matches.
Paderborn also had the second youngest average age in the division, and there would be no language or cultural barriers that would demand a long adaptation period.
SC Heerenven area solid & consistent mid-table outfit who have been in the Dutch top flight for 13 consecutive seasons. They averaged 50.2% possession last campaign and operated with a two-striker formation in 35% of matches.
They are in need of a new starting center-forward this summer given that first-choice Sydney van Hooijdonk will be returning to parent club Bologna F.C., and only two other out-and-out center-forwards remain in the squad (both under the age of 23). A move to Heerenven, and the Dutch top flight, should present limited language and cultural barriers for Woltemade to overcome.
Though financial limitations may restrict Elversberg’s ability to compete for Woltemade, the South-West German outfit present an ideal destination. Woltemade is familiar with the club, coaching staff, and playstyle, and has flourished as a player and personality in the environment. There would be no adaptation period required, and he would be afforded a starting role upon arrival.
It is no surprise that Elversberg also suits Woltemade from a stylistic perspective. The newly promoted Zweite Bundesliga outfit operated with a two-striker formation in 68.4% of Dritte-Liga matches, averaged 52.6% possession and played the second-fewest long-range passes of any club in the division.
If you are interested in sourcing Adam Khan’s video-scouting expertise for your club, agency, or company, please reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @XxAdamKhanxX.