22 Defender Udinese Calcio Switzerland
Silvan Widmer is a versatile right-sided defender who joined FC Aarau for the last couple of years of his youth development in Switzerland. He broke into the first team in 2011 and became a regular starter as well as a fairly frequent goalscorer.
His performances caught the eye of Udinese and he made his previously confirmed move to Serie A in 2013 after seeing out the 2012/13 season at his hometown club.
2015 has been…
A year of steady progress. Widmer has started six times since overcoming a minor injury in the first part of the 2015/16 season and has re-established himself in Udinese’s starting line-up in recent weeks. He’s well suited there, playing his best football as a right wing back in a system that frequently deploys a back three.
Consecutive heavy defeats haven’t reflected well on him in recent weeks but Widmer’s potential is undeniable. Defensively he’s comfortable, preferring to press the ball high when it’s his responsibility. He’ll drop in to complete a back four or five when out of possession but he’s quick to break out and snuff out problems on the right as they develop.
He jockeys well, standing his ground rather than going into a challenge too quickly. He enjoys a good understanding with his defenders as well as decent general awareness of what’s around him and where he needs to be. In a team that often likes to soak up some pressure and attack on the break, that’s crucial. So, too, are his ability on the front foot, his pace and his strength.
Tall and athletic, Widmer’s got tidy feet and is able to beat a man and find a composed final pass – he’s rarely rushed in the attacking third. His short passing game is effective and he attacks the box like a forward when the attack comes from Udinese’s left. His crosses, though mixed in quality, have a lovely dangerous shape on them, and it’s easy to wonder whether Widmer might benefit from playing in a team that has more of the ball.
Reported interest from the Milan clubs suggests that Widmer is a player in demand. His contract is currently in its final year and a move seems more likely the more he plays. He’s certainly worth keeping an eye on for scouts on the hunt for modern wing backs, even if he’s not scoring at the rate he did in Switzerland.
Internationally, he’s starting to make his mark. Five caps since a 2014 debut isn’t a huge haul for a player with Under-19 and Under-21 experience but competing with 79-cap Stephan Lichtsteiner would be a daunting task for any young player. Dethroning the Juventus man will be high on Widmer’s agenda as World Cup 2018 approaches. First, though, a EURO 2016 place is a must.
C+ The sky’s the limit
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