Midfielder | Universidad de Chile | Venezuela
Nimble and nippy, Yeferson Soteldo has built his short career so far on the back of being able to twist and turn his way out of tight spots, emerging from pressurised situations with the ball still under his spell. The young Venezuelan is extremely assured in taking on his man, and appears to live for the joy of hurtling towards his opponent with the ball at his feet.
At just 5’3”, Soteldo’s low centre of gravity and supreme balance allows him to wriggle free of defenders’ clutches at will. Once in space, the wide-man’s delivery into the box is also generally good. He has the vision and execution to spot the runs of his team-mates and whip his crosses into dangerous areas.
He also has the capacity and confidence in his left foot to cut inside and attempt to beat the goalkeeper himself. It is that level of unpredictability in his play that makes Soteldo such an exciting talent, as he sets about ensuring opposition defenders never get a moment of peace whilst he is on the field.
2019 has been…
…decent. Since joining Chilean outfit Universidad de Chile in January - on a loan switch from Huachipato - Soteldo has been solid, but hasn’t exactly set the world alight. At 21, if he’s struggling to really, regularly shine in the Chilean top flight, just how far he can go in the game has to be questioned. Then again, to rule anything out at this stage would seem shortsighted.
A return of four goals and seven assists is good, but not spectacular. Though, it is certainly true that the youngster’s pace and trickiness gives Frank Kudelka’s side an extra dimension. In order to really take any great strides forward though, Soteldo must add more end product to his game. That being said, Kudelka is clearly desperate to extend Soteldo’s stay with The U for as long as possible.
So far, links with multiple MLS outfits - and even a vague rumour of Tottenham interest that emerged in 2017 - have failed to come to fruition, though, it’s a near certainty that Soteldo’s future lies beyond the confines of the Chilean domestic game. He certainly has to shine on a greater stage if he’s to achieve recognition from Europe, should that be his ambition.
To excel beyond his current level though, he needs to find the requisite consistency, and reliability to produce the goods when in front of goal. The raw materials are definitely there to work with for any coach willing to take them on, and Soteldo’s passion and endeavour on the pitch suggest he’d be a good pupil on the training ground. It certainly feels safe to say that we definitely haven’t seen the best of Soteldo yet.
C+ Good enough for now, but with much more to come