Who is Vladyslav Supriaha?
Vladyslav Supriaha came through the academy of 2015 Europa League finalists – FC Dnipro. Supriaha made the first team squad multiple times during the 2016-17 season, but never got on for his debut. This was a season that proved of huge significance to the club. After a series of points deductions during the season, Dnipro were directly relegated to the third division of Ukrainian football. This was as a result of financial irregularities and outstanding debt owed to former Tottenham boss, Juande Ramos. Off the back of this, Supriaha made the move to newly formed club, Dnipro-1, who were also in the third division. Supriaha made 22 appearances and scored 7 goals as Dnipro-1 won the title and promotion to the second division.
An impress first season in senior football earned Supriaha a place in the Ukrainian squad for the European U-19 Championship, where Ukraine topped a group that included England and France, before reaching the Semi-Finals. Supriaha was named in the team of the tournament and these performances off the back of his impressive domestic campaign, led to Ukrainian giants Dynamo Kyiv departing with €6.5M for his services.
Supriaha spent the 18-19 season at Dynamo Kyiv where he made only 3 starts, and 4 substitute appearances, and failed to score in a disappointing campaign for him. However, Supriaha went on to lead the line that summer for Ukraine at the U-20 World Cup. Ukraine went on to shock everyone by lifting the trophy, with Supriaha scoring twice in a 3-1 Final win against fellow shock finalists – South Korea.
Supriaha’s impressive tournament earned him a loan spell back to Dnipro-1, who had just been promoted to the Premier League for the 19-20 season. Supriaha carried his summer form into the domestic campaign, making 17 starts, 8 substitute appearances and amassed 1,670 minutes in the league, scoring 14 goals, which included a hat-trick against his parent club, Dynamo Kyiv.
Supriaha will be a key member of Dynamo Kyiv’s squad for the 2020-21 season, and it has started well for the 20-year-old. Supriaha started Kyiv’s first game of the season last weekend, and scored, in a 4-1 win. With 54 senior appearances to his name now and 22 goals, Supriaha has an exceptional platform to build on and continue his progress.
Firstly, Supriaha is 6ft and although he does not yet possess a hugely muscular frame, he has enough about him to pose a physical threat to defenders. With his back to goal or in the air, he is a handful, demonstrated by his 13 headed shots last season, the fifth highest in the division.
Supriaha also possesses a real determination and tenacity about his game, which combines well with his physical presence meaning defenders certainly know that they have been in a game against him. Supriaha presses from the front well, and he enjoys a duel with the defenders, averaging 12 offensive duels per 90 minutes.
There are however, two main strengths of Supriaha that really stand out. The first of which being his acceleration. There are many obvious examples of Supriaha displaying this acceleration, where he carries the ball and bursts past defenders, highlighted with his 3.4 dribbles per 90 minutes with an impressive success rate of 59%. There was also a very impressive demonstration of Supriaha’s acceleration last season in the game against Dynamo Kyiv. In the 90th minute, Dnipro-1 were defending a corner, desperately trying to protect their 2-1 lead. Supriaha was occupying a defensive position on the penalty spot. The ball arrived at the near post, and a team-mate was able to take control before clearing down field. Supriaha started charging forward out of the box as the ball was cleared, the 2 covering Dynamo defenders in front of him had a 10-15 yard head start as the ball was played over their heads towards the half-way line. Supriaha gained ground impressively, as he approached the ball he had managed to get between both covering defenders, shrugged off one effortlessly, and then carried on his run right through the opposition half and in to the penalty area, before slotting past the keeper to secure his hat-trick, and the win. An impressive goal to top off an impressive performance, and who better to do it against than your parent club.
It is in fact Supriaha’s acceleration over short spaces, utilised with his intelligence of movement that really catches the eye though. Supriaha often drops deep, pulling the defenders with him and links up play with the midfield, usually favouring the one touch lay-off, before then spinning the defender and making a move towards the box. Supriaha scores most of his goals from in between the posts and less than 12 yards out. It is this impressive acceleration and movement that allows him to do this.
Supriaha often enters the box late, either because he has just linked up play with the midfield, or because he holds his run before darting in front of defenders with immaculate timing to the near post, or arriving at the back post for the pull back. It makes his runs extremely hard to track for defenders and he is therefore coming on to the ball to finish, rather than occupying the space. The heat map below highlights where he spent his time last season and shows how he likes to drop deep to link up play and then gets himself in between the posts to score.
The other strength of Supriaha that catches the eye is the quality of his finishing. At only 20 years of age it is of a remarkably high standard. Based on the quality of his chances last season, Supriaha’s expected goals total (xG) was 9.68, but he exceeded this comfortably, scoring 14 goals. In addition, Supriaha hit 62% of his shots on target, higher than 49% for Junior Moraes (the league’s top goalscorer), and way higher than even the lethal Robert Lewandowski, who only managed 52% of his shots on target. This again can be attributed to the quality of Supriaha’s movement and how he takes most of his shots from close range, with very few from outside the area.
Supriaha’s goals are largely one or two touch finishes from inside the box, he also favours precision over power, adopting to find the corners rather than to blast the ball home. This is the sensible option as he is usually running into the box and on to the ball, where a caressed and sharply taken finish is usually what is required.
A few things do stand out for Supriaha to work on. The first being his finishing when he has a bit more time to think. His opening fixture for Dynamo Kyiv this season was a prime example of this. When the keeper comes baring down on him or the ball comes to him from a longer distance, his finishing is not as crisp and as clinical as it otherwise is. This will often come with age and more appearances under the belt.
The other is when he drops deep to link the play, he likes to lay it off to the midfield one touch, this is often a bit sporadic and doesn’t find the man comfortably as often as it should. It sometimes feels rushed because he is looking to quickly make that movement behind the defender, which is a good thing, but a bit more composure is needed.
How does Supriaha compare to other U-21 strikers in Europe?
|Per 90 mins||Vladyslav Supriaha||Patson Daka||Myron Boadu||Erling Haland|
|Shots (on target)||2.23 (62.2%)||3.94 (52.9%)||2.19 (52.9%)||3.62 (54%)|
|Passes (accurate)||17.42 (75.5%)||18.15 (69.4%)||17.01 (85.5%)||18.43 (71.3%)|
|Dribbles (successful)||3.43 (59.4%)||3.71 (36.8%)||2.91 (48.7%)||3.37 (43.8%)|
|Offensive duels (won)||12.01 (36%)||9.04 (29.1%)||9.8 (27.6%)||9.58 (36.5%)|
It is unsurprising to see how Erling Haland is outperforming the others with his goalscoring exploits. Haland is undoubtedly proving himself to be in a class of his own in terms of young strikers in Europe. What you can see though, is that Supriaha’s increase on xG is higher than Patson Daka, and Myron Boadu is underperforming in terms of goals scored. Noticeably, Supriaha’s shot on target percentage, as mentioned, stands alone out in front.
Supriaha is noticeably way off the pace with assists per 90 mins. This is something he conceivably needs to add to his game, although it is not hard to see why his figures are so low. As mentioned in his profile, he spends time dropping deep to link the play, but usually with his back to goal and laying the ball off. He is then usually on the end of moves, finishing them off, so is not often in positions facing the goal trying to pick teammates out. Although this season for a stronger team like Dynamo Kyiv, it is likely he will find himself in a team that dominate possession more and up against low, packed defences, where he will see more of the ball in tighter areas and will be expected to find his teammates and bring them in to play in front of goal.
Passing stats are similar across the board, but Boadu shows himself clear with his passing accuracy.
Dribble stats are also similar across the board, but it again showcases that Supriaha has an impressive success rate, suggesting an intelligence with when to run with the ball.
As mentioned in the report, Supriaha’s tenacity and determination are a positive attribute that he possesses, and this is showcased with the number of offensive duels that he is involved with per 90 minutes, whilst still maintaining a similar success rate to the others.
What the future holds for Vladyslav Supriaha
Supriaha has a great chance to cement himself as Dynamo Kyiv’s first choice number 9 this season, building on his 14 goals last season for Dnipro-1. No team other than Shakhtar Donetsk or Dynamo Kyiv have ever won the Ukrainian Premier League since its formation in 2008. Shakhtar have won 9 out of the 12 titles, including the last 4 seasons in a row. Supriaha will be aiming to be the man who wrestles the dominance away from Shakhtar, and should he do this, there will no doubt be a first International cap awaiting from Ukraine Manager, and legend, Andriy Shevchenko. There will also no doubt be casting eyes from clubs in Europe’s top 5 leagues too, with an interest in whether Ukraine’s ‘golden boy’ can build on his success from last season.