Facundo Ferreyra 22 Striker Shakhtar Donetsk Argentina
2013 has been...
Facundo Ferreyra has had a busy year scoring goals. Plain and simple, whenever “Chucky” has featured he has helped himself to a hatful of goals and that’s even continued in the Ukraine after his summer switch from Velez to Shakhtar Donetsk.
A tall, pacey striker Ferreyra first caught the eye after coming through the youth system at Banfield. Able to score goals with both feet as well as his head, he was a bright spot in for El Taladro in 2011/12, scoring eight times in the league as they were ultimately relegated from the Argentinean top flight.
There followed a tug of war between Boca Juniors and River Plate for the young striker. As well as shining for Banfield, Ferreyra scored four times for the Argentina under-20s side at the 2011 South American Championships. Neymar was the only player at said competition to outscore Ferreyra and that meant his signature was in high demand.
Seemingly sensing an opportunity for more game time away from the two giants of the domestic game, Ferreyra elected for a move to Velez where he continued to score goals. As a direct replacement for Juan Manuel Martinez, Facundo Ferreyra picked up where he had left off and scored 13 times in the Torneo Inicial as Velez romped to the title. His golden touch cooled a little through during the 2013 Final but with a Superfinal place assured and the Copa Libertadores knockout stages to prepare for; the whole club were a little distracted from their league form.
Having worked to bulk up, his tall, lean frame is still a bit of a worry and continued to improve as an all-round striker; Ferreyra was scouted by a host of European sides. He spurned interest from Europe’s biggest leagues and elected to head for Ukraine where he has hit the ground running with six league goals in just eight appearances.
We assume he’s chosen more game time over prestige once again; and so far it’s working. His pace is enough to worry defenders and force them backwards. That usually buys him enough time and space to look up and place his shot into the corner. He is a striker that oozes confidence as shown by the gloriously arrogant goal that he scored at his new club.
For now, he’s in a great place to improve. The Ukrainian league is proving to be quite the useful testing ground for South American talent as it allows most a chance to impress in the Champions League as well as adapt to a new culture.
We know that bigger, more fashion European clubs were interested in Ferreyra and despite his decision that desire will remain. He’s scored the same number of league goals as teammate Luiz Adriano so far this season and once he gets a couple of starts in the Champions League; we suspect he’ll score goals in that as well. He’s a very good goal scorer and his link-up play is constantly improving.
It’s just a bit of a shame he’s came along in this generation. In the last 12 months, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Rodrigo Palacio, Lionel Messi, Mauro Icardi and Franco Di Santo have all been used as forwards in the Argentina national team. In another 18 months we feel quite confident that Ferreyra will get his chance with the senior squad but the World Cup is just too close.
Even if he has another stonking six months in a Shakhtar shirt, the prestige of the Ukrainian league and its opposition for capable striker will probably count against him. That said, we don’t envy Alejandro Sabella’s eventual task of trying to find a place for him in the squad. All “Chucky” can do is continue to score goals. We’re fairly sure he will do.
“Fantastic as ever for Velez in the first half of the year. Quick, getting stronger all the time, and at Velez he showed he can shoulder the burden of having to run the attacking line on his own. His goals per game ratio for Shakhtar is great, if the figures I've seen are accurate, but it is a real shame he's gone to a less visible league, because I think he could have cut it in several of the 'bigger' European leagues - some of whose clubs were interested.” – Sam Kelly, Hasta El Gol Siempre
"Facundo Ferreyra has scored six goals in eight league appearances for Shakhtar Donetsk so far this season. No Shakhtar player has scored more." - Opta
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