The 2021-2022 season is becoming quite the breakout season for Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior. After three promising seasons of dribbling and effort, Vini has put his finishing woes behind him and has been one of the most impressive attacking players in European football over the first couple of months of the campaign. Real Madrid secured their third win in the Champions League in the fourth gameweek over the Ukrainian Giants, Shakhtar Donetsk. The 2-1 win featured a Karim Benzema double, and both of his goals were assisted by the electric Vinicius Junior.
It has almost become customary for the young Brazilian to impress with his skillset. His clean footwork, dribbling skills, the beating of defenders, and sharp exchanges inside the box, have all aided Real Madrid so far in the season. Who would have thought that the player who was struggling so evidently with his finishing last season would be Real Madrid’s most dangerous asset at the very onset of the new season?
Vinicius has turned his image around. New boss Carlo Ancelotti named Vinicius one of the most important projects and helped him regain his confidence in front of the goal. Coming to Vinicius, he is already a player blessed with a brilliant skillset. His dribbling and beating of defenders was already a feature of his game from the last couple of seasons. His problem was his consistency, with his performances coming in patches. This season, the difference has been his consistency. He has become much more regular, and the secret behind it may be inside himself.
Predominantly a left-winger, Vinicius has started on the left-wing in the 4-3-3 formation of Ancelotti. He has played mostly in the opposition half and dropped off deep to receive balls in his half. He spent most of his time near the left side of the penalty area, drifting inside at times and staying out wide to provide width most of the time. Vinicius has been a constant menace on the left flank for the opposition defenses while trying to dribble his way into the box to make things happen.
Vinicius has provided five goal contributions so far in four games, and has a very high expected goal contribution of 3.9. He has been the biggest threat from Real Madrid in most of their Champions League matches, as well as the La Liga matches he has been a part of.
Vinicius has the highest number of successful dribbles in the league as he has completed 29 dribbles in four games. Vinicius never shies away from taking his time on the ball and doing his thing – beating defenders, dribbling on the byline, and cutting back at times, or at times going all the way. His fast feet and tremendous pace help him beat opposition defenders easily and can dribble his way to the goal.
Apart from his excellent dribbling, Vinicius has always been under constant criticism from people due to his poor finishing and lack of precision inside the box. He has scored a lot of goals in the domestic league this season and has been impressive in front of the goal in the Champions League as well. He has attempted a total of 16 shots on goal and has managed to keep five of them on target.
Vinicius has played the majority of his passes near the edge of the box on the left. Most of his passes were made with an attacking intent where he tried to link up with teammates, tried to play little one-twos, and also tried to set up shots for others. The winger played a lot of through balls into the box for others to run at. Providing the width on the left for the majority of the game, he drilled in a lot of crosses into the box as well.
Vini is enjoying his football at the moment. Things are going in the right direction and his stats too, speak for themselves. He already has nine goals and five assists in all competitions. The Brazilian will play an important role in upcoming matches for Real Madrid and be a deciding factor in how they finish the Champions League season.