From finishing 16th and prevailing in the promotion / relegation playoff to pushing for a first Champions League qualification in nearly two decades, you’d be hard-pressed to find a team whose fortunes have turned around in such a short span of time as VfB Stuttgart. Die Schwaben sit third in the table, one point above RB Leipzig, seven above Borussia Dortmund, and they will face Bayer Leverkusen next month in the DFB-Pokal quarterfinals. One player who has been crucial in their stellar first half of the campaign is French midfielder Enzo Millot.
Coming from the best country & league in terms of spawning talents; France and Ligue 1 respectively, Enzo Millot was born in Luce a small town in the region of Centre-Val de Loire, France, spending he latter part of his youth days at Monaco before signing his first professional contract on the 30th of July, 2019. He wouldn’t make his professional debut a year after against a Ligue 1 game with Brest. On the 14th of August 2021, Millot signed a 4-year contract with Vfb Stuttgart, leaving France for the first time in his career in what would mark the beginning of his rise to stardom.
Standing at 5’9, his height doesn’t stand out but it’s enough to compliment his arrays of skill set. Enzo Millot is a left-footed midfielder (AM & CM) useful in every game state. His speed & agility coupled with his relentless spirit to always get involved in plays solidifies his input for Stuttgart.
The 21-year-old has been deployed as a pocket player in the final third in the early stages of this season, while also fitting in as a pivot player (#8) that compliments his teammate’s weaknesses. He connects Stuttgart’s midfield to attack from his calm runs from deep to occupying pockets up front while combining passes with teammates on the way there.
Enzo Millot is equipped with one of the best creative passing ranges in Stuttgart’s squad, his ability to slot in passes behind the defensive line, and perfect weight & speed in his passing to tee up his teammates in dangerous areas.
Millot slots in a precise yet slow pass to match Deniz Undav’s run vs Frankfurt.
His passes out of tight spaces have been immense for Stuttgart’s build-up and final passing phases this season, ranging from switches, crosses, line breaking passes, constantly working his way away from pressure to hit direct passes. He’s got ideas on breaking low blocks with his short-distance carries and passes. His passing abilities are best unlocked when receiving on the half turn in half spaces where he can perform quick actions at goal from his passes According to Sofascore, he’s accumulated 4 big chances, 86% accurate passes per game, 1.3 key passes per game, 2 assists and 2.72 xA.
Movement and Space Creation
His immense off and on-ball movement creates indecision within his positioning, and opposing teams are forced to get tighter to engage him. He fancies being an active presence high up the pitch, where he can dictate play in between the lines.
Millot starts the build-up in the middle third by positioning in between markers to slow down engagement and reaction time. He plays a direct pass to his teammate in front of him ready to run into the unoccupied space.
This quick one-two allowed him to run into that left half space, in between a far distance 3v1, unfazed in a congested area he makes the perfect decision.
He takes a first touch that completely eliminates the marker and performs a body feint that attracts the defender on the last line who is guarding Serhou Guirassy. His understanding of space allows him to dribble through the tight space to create a passing lane to play his runner in.
Millot uses his movement to create a collision and also buys enough time to perform quick actions in a tight area, plays Guirassy in who slots the ball into the back of the net to give Stuttgart the lead.
One of his attributes is also how he can drop into different lines in both defence and attack, with minimal touches to conduct play and sustain pressure from the opposition.
Millot is a slightly above-average dribbler, especially in short distances. He fancies warding off his marker with his body feints while receiving the ball in deeper areas, direct dribbling and runs on the channels or a burst of pace that often forces the opposing player to commit a foul. He loves to take control in a 1v1 duel, create a perfect distance, put the defenders on their heels and constantly staggering them while pushing backwards. This way he’s given enough time and space to run into and perform quick actions.
He’s also skilled at creating set-piece opportunities as he has won 17 fouls this season (81% percentile), similar to Jamal Musiala in how they love to manuever out of tight areas and force mistakes from opposing defenders. This type of action can disorient a low block or distances between compact defenders. 23 successful dribbles this season puts him in the 85% percentile amongst other players in his position.
He’s not the best around when it comes to box defending, watching over a large space behind but he’s complimenting it well with his relentless off-ball actions. He’s combative on the ground, in 1v1s and also tracking as far back as possible. This type of energy can help disrupt an opponent’s build-up or high presses, especially in the middle and final third, his recovery runs can also force turnovers and start a counter-attack for his team.
He’s won 12 tackles (88% percentile), made 61 recoveries (85% percentile), won possession 6 times in the final third, 64 duels won, and he’s also racked up 6 interceptions. With his aggressive intensity, lean muscles and upper body strength, he can shrug off his opponent and keep them off balance on the ball to the point it either slows them down or they lose the ball completely.
- Acceleration – 6.5/10
- Agility – 8/10
- Balance – 8/10
- Jumping reach – 5/10
- Natural Fitness – 7/10
- Pace & Stamina – 6.5/10
- Adaptability & Consistency – 6/10
- Input in Important matches – 7.5/10
- Corners & Crossing – 5.5/10
- Dribbling – 7/10
- Finishing – 7/10
- First touch – 7/10
- Heading – 5/10
- Long shots – 6.5/10
Like many other players, he doesn’t come perfect and there is indeed room for improvement in some areas.
-His aerial duels & crossing package
-How to make third-man runs
-Variety of shooting styles
-Decision-making in wide areas
-Improving the volume aspect of his actions.
Serhou Guirassy has spearheaded Stuttgart to the upper echelon of the Bundesliga table with 17 goals and 1 assist, but with the Guinean striker set to miss the next few games due to the African Cup of Nations, Stuttgart will be looking to count on the likes of Chris Führich, Deniz Undav and Enzo Millot as they enter a two-week that will see them travel to Gladbach and Bochum and host RB Leipzig.
At 21 years of age, Millot has come leaps and bounds, and with a contract until 2025, Stuttgart will be wary of potential suitors as they look to tie him down to a long-term deal at the MHPArena. If he can knuckle down and continue developing at this rate, he could very well become the latest French wonderkid to take the next step in the Bundesliga after Ibrahima Konaté, Moussa Diaby, Marcus Thuram and plenty more.
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Neil Baynes – Getty Images