The attacking central midfielder in the Reggina line-up is set up to attack, designed to permeate the box, confuse defenders, and find space with their runs with a goal-scoring focus. Playing in behind a sole striker, a complete forward, link up play is important to make quick plays and progressions.
Belgian international, Wim Janssen, joined the club at the start of the 2031-32 season from the unlikely destination of Tigres, the Mexican club. Tigres has picked up Janssen from K Racing Club Genk for his minimum fee release clause of £14.75m and after two years in Mexico, Reggina swooped in to pick him up for £27.5m – again, his minimum fee release clause – after thirty-one appearances and seventeen goals for the Liga MX club. Possessing very technical skills, and the player traits ‘gets into the opposition area’, ‘gets forward whenever possible’ and ‘plays one-twos’, he is the ideal player for this role.
Paulo Oliveira, the Portuguese attacking midfielder, has been with Reggina since the beginning of the 2027-28 season. Having started his career at Portimonense Sporting Club, Oliveira scored twenty-three goals in sixty-one league appearances for the Portuguese side, attracting the Reggina scouts to his abilities. Oliveria has largely been a back-up option, though a productive one, with forty-seven goals in ninety-seven games.
Wim Janssen was handed the primary starting birth in the attacking central midfield slot, with the role set as attacking midfield on attack to provide runs into the box and help support the lone striker. The more experienced Oliveira was a highly capable back-up option throughout the season, filling in for Janssen when required, typically filling in against weaker opposition and coming on off the bench to replace Janssen if he was having a poor game.
Given the deep block/defensive nature of most teams in Serie A against a strong Reggina side, whomever plays in this role is often tightly marked/surrounded by defensive midfield players during slower build up play, so this role isn’t expected to contribute tonnes of passes nor deliver key creative blows to cut open opposing defences. This is especially the case given that they have two playmaking players in behind them. This is borne out in their metrics – with both Oliveira and Janssen being far from stand-out players in these areas.
Instead, where they excel is in their shots/90mins and their high level of shots on target/90mins. Oliveira (ranked first – 4.48 Shots/90mins) and Janssen (fifth – 4.15 Shots/90mins) both provide an attacking threat through their penetrative runs off the striker through link up play, or through arriving in the box, moving quickly between the lines of midfield and attack to avoid being picked up. This helps to explain why both rank highly on the Shots on Target/90mins metric, with Oliveira topping the metric with 2.60 shots on target/90mins and Janssen dropping down to sixth. These stats could have been somewhat skewed due to Oliveira being one of the players responsible for taking penalties. Yet on closer inspection, Oliveira only scored one goal from a penalty over the season, so it appears to have had very little impact upon the data. Of those players that took fifty shots or more over the course of the season, Oliveira and Janssen rank fourth (20.98%) and sixth (16.10%) in shot-to-goal conversion, with only the two most frequently used strikers (Quinteros and Muñoz, both analysed below) and Barca having superior conversion rates.
Their goal and assists/90mins metric see them placed fifth (Oliveira – 1.37 G/A/90mins) and sixth (Janssen – 1.11 G/A/90mins) in the overall charts, with only the strikers and left wingers offering goal involvement over the course of a game. This stat underlines their critical link in the Reggina set-up – offering goals but also, if possible, providing assists. Janssen provided the second most assists, fifteen over the season (0.44 assists/90mins) and although Oliveira provided just six, he did so over considerably fewer minutes played, giving him a metric of 0.43 assists/90mins. Neither player looks special when it comes to assists/90mins – though this is largely on the back of Mainz’s incredible 0.91 assists/90mins – but given their lack of space and their primary focus upon attacking spaces rather thanbeing a creative force, this metric shouldn’t be ignored in terms of the significance to the overall performance of the team and their link up with the centre forward. As mentioned above, Janssen’s player preferred moves of ‘gets into opposition area’, ‘gets forward whenever possible’ and plays one-twos’ make him an ideal attacking midfielder who can provide the link up play and then rip an opponent’s defence apart with his quick feet (acceleration 18 and pace 16) and movement off the ball (16) to deliver a decisive blow.
The role of centre forward for Reggina has been established as a complete forward on attack for some time. Offering an all-round body of play as part of the tip of the attacking force is essential given that they are leading the line, nominally, on their own. The forward must possess the technical abilities and be sufficiently strong enough to be able to hold up the ball to then link play with on-rushing teammates, playing in passes as they are overlapped but also being clinical in their finishing, either with their head/feet from crosses or have the composure when left one-on-one with a goalkeeper. The role also results in them trying to find space when out of possession, often drifting into the channels to provide an outlet, stretching defences and creating holes as they do so.
Wladimir Quinteros, the curiously named Ecuadorian centre forward has been with Reggina for nine seasons. Signed for only £2.8m from Club Social y Deportivo Independiente, after having started his career at Imbabura Sporting Club, Quinteros has made his name known around the world. Quinteros joined Reggina shortly after making his international debut for his home country for whom he has scored thirty-seven goals in eight-five appearances. Given his length of stay at Reggina, Quinteros is considered a leader in the dressing room.
Ander Muñoz, a 19-year-old Spanish international, is a true wonderkid. With attributes beyond his young years, this player has shot to fame since arriving at Reggina two years ago from Athletic Club for a release fee of £1.8m. Having been capped by Spain twice already, the striker has a keen eye for goal, with incredible attributes that enable him to play in others around him, as well as finish chances off. Muñoz will almost undoubtedly be the main sole striker when 30-year-old Quinteros’s abilities start to decline (depending upon the future of out on loan Julio Cesar).
Andrea Bagnoli is the last of the home-grown talent to have made it into the first-team at Reggina. His player development path has been somewhat blocked by the sheer ability and form of Quinteros and the rising talent that is Muñoz, but he still shows some signs that he is an out-and-out goal scorer given the chance. With forty-eight goals in eight-four appearances so far for his home club, and five goals in eight international appearances for the Azzurri, Bagnoli’s capabilities in front of goal are clear to see, despite being only 21-years old – which has led to the European Golden Boy title having already been bestowed upon him. In fact, his first goal for Amaranto’s first-team was scored against Inter Milan in Serie A, when Bagnoli was aged just 15. In the next season, he topped the scoring charts for Reggina, following a long injury lay-off for Quinteros, marking him as a child prodigy.
Spearheading the attacking line, it’s unsurprising that Quinteros and Muñoz are towards the top of the ratings for shots/90mins and shots on target/90mins. Quinteros scored thirty-six goals in thirty-six appearances, including three off the bench. Muñoz scored eighteen goals in nineteen appearances, coming in at 1.24 goals/90mins, topping this metric ahead of Quinteros’s 1.10 goals/90mins. Both have impressive shot conversion ratios – 25.35% for Quinteros and 28.56% for Muñoz. This makes them deadly in and around the box, scoring a goal every four shots. Quinteros’s link up play was superior to Muñoz over the 2031-32 season, with Quinteros chipping in with nineteen assists, 0.58 assists/90mins. Quinteros also ranked second for the number of key passes, with 77, 2.34 key passes per 90mins (sixth) compared to Muñoz’s 1.72 kp/90mins (eleventh).
It is logical therefore that Quinteros tops the charts for goal involvement/90mins, with 1.68 goals or assists/90mins. Muñoz is not far behind with 1.45/90mins, ranking him fourth in the squad. By dropping back to allow runners to run through the defensive line, or by drifting out wide to pull the defence out of position, this role provides a great deal of chances for their teammates. Quinteros’s player traits of ‘moves into channels’ is also in the complete forward player instruction, but it is clear to see that by being exceptional off the ball and having a sound reading of play as it develops, this allows him to open up space to play others in. Whilst Bagnoli tops the key passes/90mins, chances created/90mins and cross completion/attempted crosses metrics, he played less than four hundred minutes across the whole season, so should be disregarded on the basis of such a comparatively small sample size. However, the chances created by Quinteros put him fourth on the overall list when Bagnoli’s numbers are ignored. This is ahead of any playmaking midfielder in the central midfield, except for box-to-box midfielder, Stanciu.
Muñoz does not look to be too far behind Quinteros and is at least showing promise that he can match the goal threat that Quinteros brings to the side. His reading of the game should only improve given more game time and his metrics in chances created/90mins and number of assists ought to build on this season’s figures as a result. His goal output is remarkable given his young age – it can only be hoped that this is sustained going into future seasons and that his player progress does not stagnate.
Below you can see the full metrics available for players in the centre forward and attacking midfield position for your own comparison/conclusions:
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