Inaki Williams has officially decided to represent the Black Stars of Ghana for the rest of his career.

The mobile striker, who can also play on the wings, is joining the national team off the back of yet another good season for Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish top-flight.

Formed at Athletic Bilbao's academy, Inaki has made over 300 first-team appearances for the club, including a La Liga record of over 200 consecutive games.

Inaki is in the top 10 for expected goals per 90 (0.49) of all Laliga players, his combined expected goals (xG) and assists (xA) per 90(0.64) show he has been the most effective player this season at generating goal opportunities for himself or his teammates.

He scored the most (8) goals for Athletic in the Laliga and was third with 5 assists last season. He also led with most shots (94) and shots on target (34).

So, what does he do well?

Inaki Strengths
The 28-year-old is the second-fastest LaLiga Santander player only behind Real’s Vinicius Jnr, according to Comparefut.

In Europe’s top five leagues, he is only behind Alphonso Davies.

Naturally right-footed, Inaki can play all positions across the goal upfront. He is excellent at drifting inside from the right, finding room in the half-space and between the opposition’s defensive lines.

Inaki's heatmap (SofaScore)

He also drops deeper to support the midfield as Athletic mostly plays another striker in Raul Garcia (as seen in the picture below). The tactical awareness means that Inaki excels at finding room from which to launch cross-field passes to players ahead of him. He then bursts forward to support the attack often taking a direct return pass before shooting.

Inaki is capable of disrupting defences and sizing into dangerous areas and always looking to do so as evidenced by his highest shots-volume (94) in the team.

Inaki has great awareness with vertical movements into the opponent’s penalty area and is often taking good positions and very strong to receive and hold the ball from his teammates, and then combine it with his sharp ability in finishing.

According to Themastermindsite, Inaki is among the top ten superstars in Europe’s top five leagues for ‘Progressive Passes Received’ per 90. He beats stars like Vinicius Junior, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Leroy Sane and Angel Di Maria with 11.3 PPR per 90. So he is a player who is always available in a good position, creating a passing option in the opposition’s half.

With his top speed and his style of cutting inside the pitch, Inaki has the ability in countering to exploit the free spaces behind the full-backs and go into the penalty area.

Inaki Williams’ movements on the flanks with the ability to receive long passes from his teammates make him a great option in the transition phase.

So where does he fit?

Otto Addo’s Black Stars play mostly in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Two wingers either side of Mohammed Kudus behind a centre-forward (Afena Gyan), Thomas Partey and Iddrisu Baba play as the deep-lying playmakers. Iddrisu shuttles and screens while Partey gets forward to support and prompt attacks.

Inaki’s natural home is on the right side of the penalty box. Afena Gyan is not as creative as Inaki despite the fact that he is also mobile and quick. Inaki is a creative forward who starts wide and drifts inside.

Now, this might necessitate two forwards with captain Andre Ayew who is the most prolific in the team partnering Inaki in a 3 back system as speculated by most analysts as Addo’s plan for the future.
With the addition of Brighton and Hove Albion right wing-back Tariq Lamptey and Southampton centre-back Mohammed Salisu who are familiar with the system, three men at the back could even tighten the Black Stars defensively.

Possible Black Stars line-up

Inaki is also an option on the right-wing should Otto Addo use the 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 he primarily uses. It all gives the trainer options. This addition works both ways and in Inaki Williams, Black stars have secured a brilliant player who will elevate their squad greatly, especially for the world cup in Qatar.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

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