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Talking Tactics

How Ouattara can add creative flair to Cherries

Adrian Clarke 1 Feb 2023
Dango Ouattara AFC Bournemouth

Adrian Clarke expects AFC Bournemouth winger to build on a promising debut and help relegation battle

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 22.

Dango Ouattara (BOU)

The new AFC Bournemouth winger hit the ground running with an eye-catching Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest last weekend.

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He made an immediate impression by supplying a quality assist for Jaiden Anthony's opener in the 1-1 draw.

Ouattara's burst of pace took him past Renan Lodi before he fed a neat pass in from the right for his fellow winger to score.

It was Ouattara's sixth assist of the campaign, having registered five in 18 Ligue 1 appearances for Lorient.

He scored six goals for his former club before switching to the Premier League.

Ouattara's attacking impact 2022/23
Position Apps Goals Assists
Right wing 9 1 2
Left wing 8 4 4
Striker 1 1 0
Central midfield 1 0 0

Gary O'Neil deployed his new recruit on the right flank against Forest but he can operate on either wing, making him a wonderful tactical option for the AFC Bournemouth head coach.

The bulk of Ouattara's direct goal contributions this season have arrived from the left side.

The Burkina Faso player is naturally left-footed, yet is also comfortable on the right from where he drives inside.

Ouattara also linked up well with Ryan Christie as part of a 4-4-2 formation against Forest.

Although Christie partnered Kieffer Moore up front, he regularly drifted right to combine with Ouattara. Both players passed to one another more than any team-mate.

Overall, they exchanged 14 passes and often interchanged positions when Ouattara roamed into central areas.

Premier League - AFC Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest
Dango Ouattara impressed on his debut appearance against Forest

Despite training only once with his new team-mates before his Premier League debut, Ouattara produced a promising performance.

Showing no sign of nerves, he was direct and full of confidence.

The 20-year-old also posed a genuine goal threat, firing off a team-high five shots against Steve Cooper's side.

Only one found the target but his ability to create space in dangerous areas made him a constant headache for the visiting defenders.

Ouattara's debut stats
Minutes 90
Shots 5
Touches in opposition box 7
Open-play crosses 5
Duels won 6
Assists 1

O'Neil likes to use two natural wingers which should mean plenty of match minutes for Ouattara between now and the end of the season.

His pace will almost certainly improve AFC Bournemouth's counter-attacking potential.

The Cherries have only mustered four shots from "fast breaks" in 2022/23, the joint-lowest tally alongside Southampton.

Fewest shots from fast breaks 22/23
Club Shots
AFC Bournemouth 4
Southampton 4
Brighton  6
Chelsea 6
Newcastle  8
Leeds  8
Leicester 8

But if Ouattara can continue the form he has shown in French football, he will make a positive impact on AFC Bournemouth's prospects of staying up.

Also in this series

Part 2: Why Guardiola is reshaping his defence without Cancelo
Part 3: How Fernandez will unlock Chelsea's attacking potential
Part 4: How Dyche's direct approach can guide Everton to safety
Part 5: McKennie can form a perfect pairing with Adams

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