Alex Baena is a 22 year old midfielder for Villarreal who has been adapting to first team soccer rapidly. He’s got an abundance of talent when it comes to creative attacking ideas which is transparent in his game philosophy. He’s got limited game time experience, but expect his post U21 Euros season to be his breakout season. Alex Baena’s talent will take him far.
Alex Baena's History
Baena (Born July 20, 2001) is from Roquetas de Mar in Spain. The first youth academy the midfielder joined was actually Vilarreal’s and he remained in that system until now bar two years. One was a successful loan to Girona, and the other was a youth team.
The Spaniard is worth around $25m according to Transfermrkt, but he would most likely demand a fee at least $10m higher.
His play style for Villarreal
Alex Baena’s talent lies in his ability to create chances and being in the attacking third, so ideally you want him as close as you can get.
He is a 5’9 (1.74m) midfielder who mainly uses his right foot. He has a tendency to play the left side of the pitch while remaining in the midfield.
Last season in 35 matches played, he started 19, racking up 6 goals + 2 Assists.
Baena's biggest talent is shot creation
Alex Baena typically plays in the midfield, but in a role that allows him to roam up the field and get involved.
What he is best at is chance creation, in fact one of the best around compared to other midfielders in the top 5 leagues + UCL.
All across the board his direct actions are leading to shots/goals. All in all he has 3.85 shot creation actions a MATCH.
Additionally, he plays 1.85 passes into the penalty area/90 which is further evidence of his progressiveness.
He needs to work on his possession
Although Baena is extremely skilled & talented in shot creation, there are other duties he must tend to.
His passing accuracy isn’t too bad in honesty at 79%, but as a midfielder it needs to be better. It could be a byproduct of him constantly looking for a difficult pass to open teams up though.
We can male this inference because by looking at his .17 Expected assists and his .24 xAG he is clearly making a difference with some of his passes.
The last thing I want to mention is how progressive he is as a first instinct. He makes 1.88 passes into the penalty area per 90, and has 2.37 progressive carries a game.
Ending remarks on Baena's Talent
Alex Baena’s talent has been analyzed and it get’s a very good passing grade from us. He had such a good U21 Euros run with Spain, and he’s already started the La Liga 23/24 season off strongly. Just like several of his U21 Spain teammates like Gabri Veiga, keep an eye on him.