Some notes on Spurs loanee Samuel Shashoua’s performance against Atlético Levante UD:
19 year old Spurs youngster Samuel Shashoua made his 11th competitive appearance for his loan club Atlético Baleares on Sunday morning, in the ‘ Balearicos ’ 2-1 league win over Atlético Levante UD. Shashoua started yesterday’s game and he completed 78 minutes of the Segunda Division B match which lifted Manix Mandiola’s high flying side up into third place in the table, just three points off of league leaders Lleida. Shashoua started the game out on the left wing for the match at the Son Malferit, as Atlético lined up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Once again I was able to watch the game thanks to the fantastic live stream which was provided by Balearic television channel IB3. Atlético Levante got the game underway on the island in front of a good crowd at the Son Malferit. Samuel’s first involvement in the game came in the first ten minutes courtesy of some dazzling skill out on the left flank. After picking the ball up on the left wing, Shashoua managed to sharply turn away from Levante fullback Genís before successfully beating Javier Soler and whipping a low cross into the box, which was cleared by Álvaro Moreno. Atlético Baleares were seeing a lot more of the ball during the opening stages of the game and it was becoming quite evident that the Levante players were trying to deny him space to roam freely down the left channel. Shashoua’s next involvement in the game was some more fancy footwork on the left wing to beat Mongil before seeing his whipped cross cleared by Álvaro Moreno once again. Shashoua’s dazzling footwork to get past Mongil drew rapturous applause from the Atlético supporters. A couple of minutes later Shashoua picked up a long pass out on the left flank before cutting inside onto his right foot and attempting to play a quick one-two Francesc Fullana before making a darting run into the penalty area. However, the move was snuffed out by Levante defender Rubén González. Shashoua was becoming more involved in the game as the half progressed, and as Atlético came closer to breaking down the rigid Levante defence.
After picking up a short corner on the edge of the Levante penalty area Samuel whipped an inviting ball into the danger zone however, it was claimed confidently by goalkeeper Olmedo before any Atlético players could get on the end of it. The ‘ Balearicos ’ took the lead in the 28th minute through their inform centre forward Nuha Marong after he was played through on goal by Canario before firing home. In the aftermath of the goal Atlético’s Adri Hernández could be seen giving Samuel some words of advice. After having a goal disallowed shortly after the restart the home side continued to control the game and young Samuel was working hard to involve himself in the final third. An inviting low ball from captain Francesc Fullana into the Levante box almost came through to Samuel who was lurking, but a Levante defender managed to get to the ball right in the nick of time to clear it away from danger. Samuel’s last bit of involvement in the first half came after he latched onto a long pass out on the left flank before quickly passing the ball to Nuha who was in space. The centre forward attempted to feed the ball back into Samuel who had made a run into the six yard box, but once again it was cut out by a Levante defender. Manix Mandiola’s side got the second half underway and it couldn’t have started any worse for the his side who conceded an equaliser in the 55th minute, after a defence splitting pass had opened up the Atlético defence. The home team looked to respond, Shashoua managed to control goalkeeper Karl Claus’ long kick up field out on the left wing. Samuel then took the ball into the penalty area, before twisting away from Javier Soler who recovered in time to win the ball off of Samuel. It did seem as if the Levante man had handled the ball in the process of making the interception, Samuel protested to the referee as he looked for a possible penalty, but the referee wasn’t having any of it. Shashoua was enjoying a bright spell in the game following Levante’s surprising leveller, and he was the home teams most potent attacking player who was providing that spark that they so desperately needed.
Shashoua picked up a pass from Fullana shortly afterwards out on the left wing and the west Londoner did well to beat his man before advancing forward on one of his usual jinking runs. However, as he approached the penalty area he was cynically tripped by Javier Soler who then had the cheek to claim his innocence to the referee as he handed him a yellow card. Unsurprisingly Samuel wasn’t too happy with the Levante man doing that. Shashoua did ever so well five minutes later, to hold off Levante substitute Blesa out on the left hand side before cutting inside his man and whipping a dangerous ball into the penalty area, which Fullana only just missed getting a head on. That was to be Samuel’s final action as he was replaced shortly afterwards by Hugo Diaz the man who would score the dramatic late winner for Atlético, before celebrating in style with a photographers camera. It was another three points in the bag for Samuel’s parent club who are really mounting a charge for the title this season and that charge has had a lot to do with the influence the teenager from London has been having on the Balearic side. After the match Samuel took the time to pose for photographs with some of the young Atlético supporters before the team left the field. It was another very good performance from the 19 year old who despite being closed down well by the experienced Levante right back Mongil, he still made things happen with his clever touches and twists and turns. Shashoua has had a few minor injuries over the last month and it was great to see him start another game for Atlético as he works his way back to full match sharpness. As always Samuel tracked back well after him on Sundays game, and he worked hard to link up with his teammates in the final third. He would often cut inside onto his right foot and look to play a quick a quick one two with either Nuha or Fullana. He was quick off the mark but most importantly of all he was so positive in possession. Always looking to work the Levante fullback and beat his man. The skilful Shashoua mixed up his play and this would ask real questions of the Levante defence. Some of his jinking runs and darting movement resulted in the Levante players cynically tripping him as it was the only way they could stop him. It was a really positive performance from the 19 year old who made things happen at every opportunity. Samuel and Atlético’s next game is against Valencia B next Sunday morning. I will be writing another loan report for that game.
Samuel Shashoua for Atlético Baleares this season: