This scouting report is written by guest writer Akshaat Singh.
Leandro Paredes is a 19-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder who plays for one of Argentina’s premier teams, Boca Juniors. He is a versatile attacking midfielder who can play both through the middle and on the left wing. He made his debut for Boca in November 2010, at the tender age of 16, and has gone on to play a lot more matches for the team. He made a few appearances for the title winning 2011-2012 Boca team and has become an almost permanent fixture, appearing in 20 games for the team last season, scoring 4 goals and creating 2. He has also made 6 appearances for Argentina U-17 and scored 2 goals. However, following the return of Riquelme and an unfortunate injury sustained in training, Paredes has been largely sidelined this year and recently returned for Boca featuring in 4 games, 2 of the bench and 2 as a starter. He scored a great long-range goal in one of those starts.
Paredes is an extremely exciting player to watch, the reason being his several strengths. Aside from being almost as good with his left foot as he is with his right, he has an incredible ability to dribble the ball past players. His great dribbling skills, his knack for using his flair at the perfect time and his considerable speed gives him the ability to not only get past defenders but also win a lot of fouls for his team. Despite being small in size, he packs a surprisingly powerful shot and thus has a great long shot. Even though the above attributes would already make him a very desirable player, his best attribute is probably his creativity on the ball. He is extremely adept at short passing, especially in and around the box, and is very good at finding teammates in space. His excellent reading of the game and the movement of all the players on the pitch give him the ability to use his great passing skills and be a serious attacking threat to any defence.
In spite of his young age he is an accomplished penalty taker due to his great composure. His weaknesses are few and are mostly due to his small stature. He is not good at all in the air and can be muscled off easily by most players due to his lack of strength. However, due to his great ball control it is not as easy as it should be to win the ball from him through use of sheer force. Paredes is a player who will not disappoint if you are looking for some excitement on a football pitch. With his sublime touches, long-range belters, jaw dropping assists and the ability to make any fan jump out of their seats in awe, any team would be lucky to have a player of his caliber. Everything Paredes does, he makes it look like it is easy. But as I am sure many people will tell you, it is not. He simply makes watching football that much more enjoyable. His gliding while on the ball, the mouth watering shots and sensational passes that would make it seem as if he were playing football for a good 10-15 years are just some of the outstanding attributes this 19-year-old possesses.
His technique when shooting and making passes has earned him comparisons to Argentina legend Juan Roman Riquelme, and his amazing long distance shooting ability has been likened to that of Zinedine Zidane, one of the best players to have ever graced the game. With this wide array of strengths, it is no surprise that he is already on the radar of many top European clubs, like Juventus, Roma and AC Milan, and it would be even less surprising to see him playing in Europe within the next few years.