Height: 6ft 6 ½ in
Current club: Benfica
Alongside Orkun Kokcu, Angel Di Maria, Arthur Cabral and David Jurasek, yet another player who has made the move to Portuguese champions Benfica this summer is 22-year-old Ukrainian goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin, joining for €10 million + €1 million in add-ons, with Shakhtar receiving 40% of whatever future profit Benfica eventually make. Trubin began his career playing for Azovstal-2 Mariupol in 2013 but quickly moved into the Shakhtar Donetsk academy in 2014.
Trubin then played in the Shakhtar academy until 2019 before making a step up to the senior team. The Ukrainian made 69 appearances in all competitions for Shakhtar, making a name for himself and drumming up interest from around Europe. The young goalkeeper has also now affirmed his position as Ukraine’s number 1, making his debut for the national team in 2021.
In the 2022/23 season, Trubin kept 14 clean sheets for Shakhtar in 38 appearances, and conceded 40 goals in total. But just what exactly makes Trubin such a special talent and can he push Odysseas Vlachodimos for the starting spot in goal? Let’s take a look.
Firstly, the fact he is 6ft 6 ½ in height, makes him an imposing figure between the sticks and makes players think twice about hitting it from range, as it would take a precise effort to beat him. He also ranks in the top 99% for shots faced at 6.9 per 90, and saves at 5 per 90, which shows he is facing a lot of shots, but still converting these into saves. He is also comfortable with the ball at his feet, taking 46.84 touches per 90 (ranking in the top 95%), and making 36.2 passes per 90 (ranking in the top 94%).
When comparing Trubin to Odysseas Vlachodimos (Benfica’s other goalkeeper), the stand-out factor is how much more the Ukrainian touches the ball and contributes to build-up play. Vlachodimos only takes 25.3 touches per 90, 21 fewer touches than Trubin averages per 90. He also only attempts 18.81 passes per 90, which is half the amount Trubin makes at 36.2 passes per 90. Therefore you can imagine that Benfica wants a goalkeeper who is more comfortable on the ball to play out from the back and be involved in the first phase of build-up.
Benfica are champions of Portugal for the first time in four years, and with the additions of Ángel di María and Orkun Kökçü, they could be on track to repeat their league title and make another deep run in Europe.
Today, we’re taking a look at Benfica’s individual standouts:
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) July 22, 2023
This would allow Benfica to build out from the back, with a goalkeeper who averages nearly double the touches of their previous goalkeeper, and one that excels in the passing metric for a goalkeeper, being in the top 94 percentile for passes per 90. Vlachodimos has better shot-stopping metrics and less goals conceded, with Vlachodimos having 0.61 goals against per 90, compared to the 2.1 of Trubin. Vlachodimos also has better crosses stopped metrics, save percentages and clean sheet percentages.
However, at such a young age, Benfica will be hoping that with a change of scenery, a new defensive line in front of him, and the help of Benfica goalkeeping coaches, Trubin’s shot-stopping metrics will improve, to go along with his ability with the ball at his feet. It remains to be seen whether Trubin will compete for the first team spot to begin with from Vlachodimos, or whether Vlachodimos will play second fiddle to the Ukraine shot-stopper.
After keeping a clean sheet in their 2-0 win against Porto in the Supertaça, the curtain-raiser of the Portuguese football season, the 29-year-old Greece international did little to improve his mixed reputation amongst fans and found himself at fault on various occasions as Boavista proceeded to fall behind on two occasions only to beat Benfica in the opening matchday of the Primeira season. Having locked down a starting spot since his arrival from Panathinaikos in 2018, Vlachodimos’ position in Roger Schmidt’s line-up could be in jeopardy following the arrival of one of the most exciting goalkeeper prospects in Europe.
By: Connor Holden / @ConnorHolden00
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Nigel French / Allstar / Getty Images