Just a quick review. I got tired of using Matuidi, IF Lucas Leiva and CL Allan at CDM since, to my liking, they all lack some strength and height to correctly fulfil their role. I picked up this guy for around 12k and I have to say, he made my midfield feel so much better. In the defensive respect that is. He wins so many second balls, headers and always is in the right position defensively. Also in duels he is a beast for me, I use him with Anchor so his strength gets boosted to 80, whether it is due to agression or due to his great defensive stats with a good chemstyle he just seems to with loads of duels that with Matuidi or IF Lucas Leiva were always lost.
Offensively I didn't expect to much from him because of his workrates, but also because of his stats, but still I was pleasantly surprised. On some occassions he gets himself in good shooting positions or even in 1-on-1's with the goalkeeper, longe range shooting opportunities can be pretty dangerous with this guy bc of 94 shot power and 84 long shots, however you shouldn't expect too much from his finishing since he can often botch sitters. His dribbling mostly was fine, but felt a bit clunky at times. His passing, even though it didn't seem too good, surprised me as well, his through balls and short passes over the ground are generally fine. With corners, both offensively and defensively, he is an asset too because of his decent strength and good jumping.
If you like a CDM with good agression, pace, jumping and strength you should definitely flick an Anchor on him and give him a go and see if you like him.
I had grown tired of Allan, so I kept searching for a replacement and I've found Duncan to be the best option. I play him as a CM (although he is played like a CDM with Milinkovic-Savic plays as an attacking CM next to him), and I have found him to be better than Allan, 88 live Hamsik, 85 Leiva, 84 Parolo, and others even if his stats may not always compare favorably.
Pace: I use a shadow on him, so he has 90 pace; more than enough in the midfield. The acceleration is especially nice as he is able to quickly able to mark/catch up to opponents when they counter.
Shooting: 94 shot power and 84 long shots look decent, but his shooting is pretty dreadful most of the time wherever he is. He does seem to get into decent positions at times, but you would be far better off passing the ball to someone else than attempting any shot with him (especially a finesse).
Passing: His passing is as advertised in his stats. 88 short passing and 83 long passing both get the job done in the midfield, although his passing may not be elite (then again his isn't really playing as a creative midfielder for me). 82 crossing is surprisingly good too, so I can sometimes play him at LB/LWB if I need to make changes.
Dribbling: He feels alright on the ball; not great, but not bad either. He is pretty decent at progressing the ball up the field, particularly with the pace, but you're probably better off getting the ball to a playmaker instead.
Defending: By far the best defensive midfielder I have use in Serie A, and probably top 5 overall that I've used. He seems to always be in the right position, leading to many interceptions and well tracked runs. His tackling, both standing and sliding, are exceptional. Stand tackles are particularly strong, easily muscling most players off the ball. Although he is only 5'10", he seems to win just able every header that he contests.
Physical: 84 stamina is not ideal, particularly if you're playing him box to box, but if you have him sitting back he can make it through the 90 minutes (but no more). Other than that, he is physically outstanding. 90 aggression is elite. 82 jumping makes him very good in the air for someone his size, even allowing me to play him at CB at times. 75 strength is not very representative at all; it seems like it is closer to 85.
Overall he is one of the best pure CDMs I have used in the game despite only being 81 rated. I don't think CM suits him as well, but I'm sure he could do a decent job there as well because he is so solid all around. Being so cheap, he is definitely worth a try if your're looking for a CDM, and if he got another inform, it would be a must-buy.
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