Nelson Weiper: 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.
If you are interested in sourcing his video-scouting expertise for your club, agency, or company, please reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @XxAdamKhanxX.
In today’s report, we analyze Mainz 05 & Germany U21 forward Nelson Weiper. We highlight his strengths and weaknesses, his current ability and future potential, and some possible destinations for a future move.
Nelson Weiper is one of the most talented rising stars in German football. The 18-year-old was a stand-out performer throughout Mainz 05’s title-winning U19 Bundesliga campaign, and in limited opportunities in the first team, he left his mark. Across 92 minutes in the Bundesliga Weiper scored 2 goals.
An impressive season has been rewarded with a surprising call-up to Germany’s squad for the U21 Euros kicking off this week (June 21, 2023). Weiper is not only the only 2005-born member of Germany’s squad, but only 3 players in the entire competition are younger than the Mainz center-forward.
A ligament injury to Weiper’s left ankle kept the young forward out of almost all of Mainz 05’s summer pre-season, and could well present itself again in the future. Nevertheless, there are no major injury concerns that should have a considerable impact on Weiper’s ability to reach his full potential.
Nelson Weiper is a Modern Target Man. The young forward excels with his back to goal, and in the air, but he is also equally comfortable at making surging runs into the penalty box with pace, power, and verticality.
Player Model: Dušan Vlahović
Intelligent & Flexible off-ball Movement
Though Weiper stands at an impressive 1,92m, the young forward is not tethered to central pockets and can operate as far more than just a penalty box aerial target. Weiper is happy to venture into wide channels and support attacks with in-to-out runs in the style of a mobile advanced striker, or drop a bit deeper into a link-up role. He has a good recognition of when to release into open spaces, and his movement remains direct & goal-oriented at all times.
Exceptional Acceleration from Stand-Still Positions
Weiper has an extraordinary natural ability to accelerate quickly from a near, or complete, stop-still position. He can even do so in possession, efficiently eating up open space with long strides and tight control.
Impressive Aerial Presence
Weiper is not just tall (1,92m), but he also has impressive technique and timing for aerial duels. Weiper is fearless when contesting aerial duels against senior opponents, timing his release well, and using his physical frame to create leverage. The young forward is also an impressive attacking outlet in the air. He doesn’t wait for the ball to come to him, but attacks crosses and applies pressure when connecting.
Solid Back-to-goal Link Up Play
Weiper already displays very mature back-to-goal link-up play. He is able to receive on the ground or in the air, and he regularly releases play with the correct weight to maintain, or even accelerate the pace of attack. Weiper also has a mature understanding of when to use a 1-touch lay-off, and when he has to hold onto play longer to allow more time for teammates to move up the pitch into attacking positions.
Lacks a Skilful/creative Edge to Beat Opponents when Forced into Wide Channels
Though a willing runner who often flanks into the wide channels of the pitch, Weiper is slightly limited when an opponent can slow down his movement and force him into an isolated 1v1. Often in these situations, Weiper attempts to simply run past an opponent with his quick acceleration and physical frame. At the youth level, this approach is often sufficient, however, in senior football, Weiper struggles to progress play in this manner.
Weiper is capable of implementing various techniques in front of the goal – chipped finish, power strike, 1-touch poacher play, and headed finish.
Given this quality, it is often disappointing to see Weiper regularly favor a powerful strike ahead of other, more favorable, alternatives. In situations where a composed and placed finish could yield favorable results, Weiper will regularly remain true to a laced finish with extreme power, but limited placement. This often leads to sub-optimal outcomes and poor efficiency in front of the goal.
Limited Senior Exposure
Though far from a true weakness given Weiper’s age, his limited exposure at the senior level, (91 minutes – 0 starts) means that there is not a huge amount of high-level footage or data to base assumptions on.
Weiper is a talented young footballer with an impressive technical and physical profile. The young striker has the physical characteristics to already compete at a high senior level, while his technical qualities make him a viable option as a well-rounded center-forward with qualities in almost all phases in the final third.
For Weiper to reach the next level, he must improve shot selection and ability in tight 1v1 scenarios. Weiper has the technical qualities to be more effective in front goal, however, he must learn to implement these in the right situations to become a more efficient goal threat with the high volume of chances he creates.
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