One of the interesting winter transfer deals to happen in Serie A was the transfer of Moroccan midfielder Abdelhamid Sabiri from Sampdoria to Fiorentina. The transfer went through on deadline day, and Fiorentina have loaned the player back to Sampdoria for the rest of the season. Sabiri has prior experience playing for various European clubs like FC Nurnberg, Huddersfield Town, and SC Paderborn. He has been playing regularly in Serie A for the past two seasons and is evolving into a quality player. The midfielder also represented his country, Morocco, at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He impressed at the tournament by scoring one goal and assisting another as his team reached the semi-finals. Ultimately, Fiorentina were able to convince Abdelhamid Sabiri to accept a transfer. Below, we look at some of his stats from Serie A.
Abdelhamid Samiri has featured regularly in Sampdoria’s starting eleven this season. He plays as an attacking midfielder and has made 13 Serie A appearances for them this season. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player in comparison to other similar midfielders in Serie A. It can be observed that Sabiri has contributed well in attack, with a high rank in indicators like expected goal contribution, shots, and dribbles to show for it. In the possession department, he can do better in terms of passing and retaining the ball, but his ability to find dangerous passes stands out. In defence, the midfielder does well in terms of contesting and winning aerial duels.
A creative midfielder
The above viz illustrates the player’s heat map from the current season. It can be observed that the midfielder shows high intensity in the final third as well as in the midfield. He covers more ground in the opposing half and has a proclivity for wide positions on either flank. Currently, Sabiri averages 28.24 passes per match with nearly 80% accuracy, along with 23.67 received passes. He also averages 1.34 touches in the opposition’s penalty area per match and makes 0.27 progressive runs.
The 26-year-old Moroccan has played an important midfield role for Sampdoria this season. He has led the attack on occasions and made some important goal-scoring contributions. Sabiri averages 8.78 forward passes per 90 minutes this season and has a 62.2% accuracy rate. These include 5.02 passes to the final third with a 70% accuracy rate and 2.33 passes to the opposition’s penalty box with a 50% accuracy rate. The progressive passes in the above viz. show that most of them have been attempted through the central regions.
The Moroccan’s ability to pass the ball has contributed well to his two assists in a Sampdoria shirt. The above viz shows the shot assists delivered by the midfielder combined in the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons. It can be observed that most of the passes are directed into the penalty box, while the others have been a few cutbacks that the player has made when he is inside the opposition penalty box. While he is yet to register an assist this season, last season he averaged 0.85 shot assists per 90, and this season it has slightly gone up to 1.25.
Another area where the midfielder can contribute is in his ability to score goals. For Sampdoria, the 26-year-old has found the back of the net five times. This season he has only scored one goal, and last season he had three goals to his name in Serie A. The player averages 2.42 shots per 90 minutes in the 2022–23 season and has an accuracy rate of 26%. Last season, the average number of shots per 90 minutes was 1.61, and the accuracy rate was 52.6%. The xG map above shows that Sabiri has taken most of the shots from a distance outside the penalty box. He has scored more goals from long range than from inside the box. This demonstrates his ability to score from distance as well as his ability to get into some crucial goal-scoring positions at times.
Sabiri also possesses decent dribbling and crossing ability. The above viz shows the winger actions performed by the player this season. He attempts most of his dribbles in the final third and likes to break into the opponent’s penalty area. He also sends a few crosses into the box from either flank. Sabiri averages 3.14 dribbles per match with a 51.4% success rate and delivers 0.9 crosses with a 20% success rate.
Another way in which Abdelahmed Sabiri can contribute is by recovering the ball in the attacking half. The 26-year-old has an average of 3.68 recoveries per 90 minutes in the 2022–23 season. He has made 46.3% of these recoveries in the attacking half, including one inside the opposition penalty box.
Sabiri might prove an important player for Fiorentina in the upcoming season, but he has to finish this season on loan at Sampdoria first. His inclusion in the squad will add more depth, creativity, and quality to the midfield. He is a midfielder who poses a threat going forward and also contributes with his creative and accurate passing.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine