Simon Banza, the rising star of the Portuguese league, is leading the goal-scoring charts this season with 11 goals in 12 games, along with 2 assists. His outstanding performances have garnered a lot of attention, especially considering his relatively low price tag and significant impact on the game.
Banza's arrival in Portugal in 2021 marked a new era for his professional career. Since then, he has consistently maintained high efficiency, as reflected in his impressive stats.
In the 2021-22 season, Banza scored 14 goals in the league, with a total of 18 goals and 7 assists in 2793 minutes of play across all competitions. In the previous season, he contributed 14 goals and 10 assists in 2289 minutes of play. This season, he has scored 11 goals and provided 3 assists in just 1074 minutes.
His exceptional scoring and assist efficiency have propelled Banza to new heights in his career. On the field, he displays versatility with excellent heading ability, a sharp sense of positioning, and clinical finishing skills.
Amongst his many strengths, one notable aspect of Banza's game is his exceptional ability in duels and physical challenges. Standing at 189cm, he has proven to be a formidable opponent for defenders. This season, Banza wins an average of 8.4 duels per 90 minutes, with a success rate of 45%. Additionally, he wins 4.3 aerial duels per 90 minutes, an impressive feat for a striker.
Looking at Banza's duel statistics in previous seasons, his success rate has consistently been around 9 duels per 90 minutes, with a success rate ranging from 48-52%. This level of performance is remarkable for a center-forward.
Banza's gameplay demonstrates his strong preference for physical challenges, combined with his exceptional jumping ability and athleticism, which allows him to excel as a dynamic pivot point in the team's attacking play.
However, like many other center-forwards, Banza's passing success rate falls slightly short (less than 70%), and at times, his decision-making can be a bit careless. Nevertheless, he compensates for this with a significant number of assists.
Despite being 189cm tall, Banza is not the traditional target man type of striker. He possesses excellent mobility, making him adept at creating goal-scoring opportunities for himself. His agility, speed, and flexibility enable him to perform acrobatic shots, hold the ball wide, and draw fouls with his swift movements. While his ball control may not be the most refined, it certainly isn't lacking either, and he displays a certain level of independent attacking ability.
Banza, being 27 years old, may face some limitations in terms of age. Furthermore, his physical exertion during games is a concern, which is why he hasn't been a regular starter for Braga in recent seasons.
Another area that needs improvement is his passing accuracy, although he does have a commendable number of assists. There are times when he loses possession too frequently.
Despite his excellent goal-scoring records in recent seasons, Banza's consistency in front of goal remains an issue that needs addressing.
Considering Banza's current market value of only 8 million euros, it is indeed relatively low for a player of his caliber, especially considering his performances this season. If he were to be transferred, his price could potentially reach around 20 million euros, which would be within the budget of several top-tier clubs, given his goal-scoring ability and track record.
With Atletico Madrid in need of a striker and their penchant for reinforcing their squad from the Portuguese league, Banza could be a suitable option as a backup or rotational player for Griezmann and Morata. This would be an intriguing prospect, as Banza shares some similarities with Morata.
AC Milan, a prominent club in Serie A, has long been searching for a successor to Giroud. Although Banza is slightly older, he possesses the attributes of a true target man that Milan requires. In comparison to players like Jonathan David, who is more of a poacher, Banza might be a more suitable candidate.
Let's broaden our horizons and consider the possibility of Banza joining a Premier League powerhouse. Although teams like Arsenal and Chelsea may seem a bit too big for him, they are still looking to strengthen their attacking options. Banza could potentially be a target worth considering.