Born on February 7, 1999 in Cairo, Egypt, Omar Marmoush’s African heritage couldn’t have been more solid as his first ever significant involvement in football came in 2016 ( at age 17) when he joined the academy of an Egyptian club named Wadi Degla. Omar Marmoush made his professional debut for the Egyptian club in 2016, as a substitute. He would later go on to make 16 league appearances for the club, netting a sum of 2 goals.
Not much time was taken before his talent shone and was picked up by a club continents apart, a club named VFL Wolfsburg in Germany just a year after for a fee of £100k. This is indeed an achievement and also an indicator of how attractive his talent is. Similar to Victor Osimhen, Marmoush’s career at Wolfsburg didn’t go as planned, he couldn’t integrate himself in a squad that had loads of youngsters, therefore facing loan spells.
On January 5, 2021, Marmoush was loaned to FC St. Pauli in the Bundesliga second tier, then to Stuttgart on the summer 2021 deadline day. His spell at Stuttgart was the start of something special, needing just 88 minutes to introduce himself to Stuttgart fans. His overall performance saw him win the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award in September 2021.
He’d return to his parent club Wolfsburg at the end of the 2020/21 season as a fulfilled young player that’s already had the opportunity to represent his country, getting a call-up for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). Realising his potential and a need for a new environment, he agreed a deal with Frankfurt in the summer of 2023, joining them on a free transfer and to top it all, wearing the iconic number 7. He didn’t waste much time making an impact, scoring 6 goals in his first 10 Bundesliga appearances for the club and that’s where the amazing story begins from…
Standing at 5’10, Omar Marmoush has a compact and agile body frame, with a low centre of gravity allowing him to drive through tight spaces, short bursts and dynamic movements. Lean with a linear body build which means his body fat percentage is the way it should be. He has an evenly distributed muscle mass with strong legs (image below) that helps his explosiveness and strikes.
What also makes it more interesting is, during his youth days he operated as a winger i.e his game model is shaped in a direct manner, on the ball his only aim is to progress and perform a variety of actions which are 1v1s, dribbling and carrying through long distances. His game model is still the same, at Frankfurt he fancies movements on wider attacking areas where he can make use of space for ball manipulation and deception.
“He works extremely hard and is hard to defend against. His pace makes him an awkward opponent for defenders when he runs in behind them. I like that he is very diligent and always listens. His goals are a reward for his effort,”– Frankfurt head coach Dino Toppmöller.
Photos: Total Football Analysis
Omar Marmoush has been featured in a series of formations for Frankfurt this season, with most minutes coming in a 3-4-2-1 where he plays as the main striker and is tasked to cover the large spaces and attack the box. The graphic above shows he’s spent most minutes as a number 9, while splitting some extra across other attacking positions, as mentioned earlier he fancies drifting out wide particularly to the left to attack the opposition’s box.
This comes at an advantage and also at a disadvantage, his non-stationary position provides deception for defenders, leaving them with uncertainty on where to cover, where to mark and how to mark. However, at a disadvantage of not getting in position earlier to receive or occupy necessary zones.
Omar Marmoush is a right-footed striker who lifts the attacking threat of his team with the variety of actions he applies across opponent defences. His 2-way threat makes him a valuable asset as he’s adept at scoring in a variety of ways in the box and also driving through defences from his bomb runs into spaces to attack. This ability combined with his athleticism and usage across the pitch makes him even more dangerous.
He has impressive agility and acceleration that helps him in making sharp turns + short bursts. He combines technicality and physicality, effective in both scoring goals and providing assists. He is relentless off the ball, he can hide to press opponents defensively to catch them in a vulnerable state.
Omar Marmoush’s understanding of space is to exploit it by making a pure run-in-behind behind and around obstacles. He lifts the technical level of attack & creativity, by scoring in different areas and creating space for others. He likes to drag CBs out of position, in 1v1 situations, loves to peel off his marker and create separation to shoot (image below) & also moves on the blindside of the opponent before attacking the far post or getting in central areas in the box to slot the ball in from a pass.
These movements inside the box keep him alert, for situations where accelerations over short distances are needed or a quick drop-off to get in position to fight for second balls, rebounds, deflections, get enough angle on the ball in tightly congested area at the back of the net (image below shows Omar Marmoush holding enough reception on the ball despite little space to make further steps and limited time to filter decisions. Yet he meets the ball with a clean contact, between players at the back of the net).
Despite his impressive form at Frankfurt, his goal-scoring rate could be better. Over-performing his xG is a positive but he’s currently ranked 17th in the Bundesliga in terms of shots played (36 shots) 2.9 shots p90, which is very low. Although, when looking at the Frankfurt team, ranked 8th in goals per match, 11th in Expected goals, it is somewhat indicative that the whole team lacks attacking rhythm and orientation. They play a 3-4-2-1 with wingbacks, so Marmoush’s focus is divided between central and wide zones due to the absence of natural wingers, therefore his goal-scoring threat is reduced.
Photo: Total Football Analysis
Photo: Stats Perform
The above images show Omar Marmoush’s ball progression start and end zones, successful and unsuccessful dribbles as well as most dribbles amongst Bundesliga strikers per 90. It is seen, a noteworthy amount of dribbles took place in deeper and wider zones, which is unusual as a number 9 in the normal sense. As mentioned earlier, his game model is that of a winger and he loves receiving balls, so he can drive forward with force in long distances, taking charge of 1v1 battles, running across defences and disorienting their structure.
Another indicator that he likes running with the ball is, he has progressed 27 times this season (average of 2.05 per90) with his favourable start zones being in the middle third. His dribbling principles are one that’s set-piece oriented more often than not, as he often wins/is fouled from his dribbles. Accumulating a 55% dribble success rate, 38 fouls for Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, with one leading to a penalty.
Despite an unfavourable angle and the marker being a step ahead, Marmoush uses rapid movement and accelerates quickly to burst past his opponent, running into the wide space in the channel.
Marmoush doesn’t shy away from using flair skills and trick moves to get the better in duels, it is a common approach by direct players/wingers. Forcing their marker to stay flat-footed and creating a 2-way exit for them, he takes limited touches to keep the distance fine, body deception shifting from left to right.
Creativity and Off-the-ball Skills:
Omar Marmoush has an unselfish approach to the game, one of the areas he needs to improve on is the timings on the release of the ball to his teammate, he’s not the type to pass up an opportunity to play a teammate through, in which he’s always eager to do and he does it hastily sometimes.
He likes to drop in between the lines, making consistent runs and creating overloads in midfield, leading attacking sequences and a large share of responsibility in deeper build-up phase of play, moving more vertically when creative central overloads.
As a no9, it is expected to be the man for central playmaking in the final third, pushing deep & pinning the defender, blocking the vision while anticipating progression, in this situation quick combinations are made. When the attack is progressing in numbers, Marmoush attacks the space he created through quick acceleration and movement.
The images above show Marmoush is presented with two options. Run through the defender or create from a cut-back, he chose the latter, he has the skill set to perform the former. Without the ball, Marmoush is a high-flying presser, and as a Frankfurt player you need the understanding of how to defend as a team and as an individual due to how they commit numbers forward making them prone to turnovers and counters.
He is happy to always jump into tackles (image below) & his rapid movements make him an intense presser. Omar Marmoush’s defensive contributions are laced with tactical awareness that allows him to anticipate opponents’ movements, strategically positioning himself for interceptions and tackles.
Additionally, understanding how Toppmöller sets Frankfurt’s defensive system by pressing high up the pitch, disrupting the opposition’s rhythm. His defensive stats this season are:
Interceptions – 6 (92nd percentile)
Blocked passes – 11 ( 90th percentile)
Recoveries – 48 (88th percentile)
Possession won in the final third – 14 (100th percentile)
This means, he’s in the highest level possible in comparison to strikers in Europe when it comes to defending. Overall, it’s a combination of technical skills, tactical understanding, and a strong work ethic that allows Marmoush to be a valuable defensive asset.
At 24 years of age, Omar Marmoush is enjoying life at Frankfurt but it won’t be long enough before he gets that big move away from the club, or even from Germany. His best fit is teams who are suited for a counter-attacking style of football in every dimension, he still has some raw aspect to his game, and he’s shown he’s not a one-way number #9 but a versatile player capable of being important in every phase of play.
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / picture alliance