One player that has shown continuous promise since his arrival in 2021, is powerful forward Michael Reindorf.
Despite some respectable performances in the 2021-22 season, Reindorf failed to add any currency in terms of goals or assists, but this was not the case last season, where he added six goals and four assists.
Due to his scintillating form across 2022-23, I thought I would analyse the qualities he brings to the team, and how they can be transferred to him having a successful 2023-24.
During 2022-23, Reindorf played in three different positions but contributed most notably as a striker. The positions he played are demonstrated here:
Position Map: The green circle represents a high level of comfort for him, while the yellow shows a fair level of comfort, and the red a low level.
From a technical perspective, he has an array of positive attributes, one of which is the execution of long passes. Across the campaign, Michael was comfortable in switching the ball to the opposite flank; a clear example of this was an assist against Southampton (a) when switching an accurate aerial through ball to his strike partner, Ken Aboh.
Moreover, Reindorf also relishes drifting past opponents when he has the ball at his feet and is always looking to take the positive option by advancing up the pitch. This often involves him taking players on from the left flank before looking to cut inside to develop the play. This ties in nicely with another quality of his, which is his tremendous dribbling ability and willingness to go past defenders.
One area of his game that needs more consistency is his ball retention. There were instances during last season when he needed to keep the ball better, especially as the U18s played on the counter for large proportions of the campaign. However, it’s important to also remember that he was coming back from a long-term injury towards the start of last season.
Another technical aspect of his game that could do with some improvement is his finishing. Despite him scoring six goals from December onwards, he will feel he could have got many more across the season – even making double figures. That extra bit of composure in front of goal could culminate in big numbers.
Reindorf signing his professional contract, in July 2023.
From a physical perspective, he is an asset as his power enables him to compete in attacking scenarios, and he is exceptional at occupying centre-backs, whether against a back-three or a back-four. This was demonstrated perfectly in the away game at Brighton where he showed a huge desire to run the channels, as well as holding the ball up successfully against a talented back five.
Linking to this, Reindorf also plays an intense style of game meaning his stamina levels have to be (and are) outstanding. Across last season, he was rarely substituted, which placed a huge demand on him to maintain his extraordinary energy levels.
Reindorf’s defensive game was also notable across the season, where he regularly stopped the ball from progressing into midfield by blocking off the passing lanes, and was also very good at winning the ball back high and latching onto any loose opposition passes.
In addition to his success at winning interceptions high up the pitch, Reindorf is also effective at recovering the ball in high areas. There were multiple scenarios last season where he intensely pressed opposition backlines and, as a result, was successful in regaining possession.
From a physical perspective, he has a great engine, which enables him to maintain his speed and energy across ninety minutes. This was important last season as he had to chase many forward clearances, often as the lone striker.
Reindorf training during the 22/23 season. Credit – Norwich City
There’s one particular academy partnership that summarises the above point, and that’s the one between Reindorf and Ken Aboh. Their chemistry in the forward areas is a joy to behold as they regularly find each other at the right times. It’s more often than not Reindorf who gets his head up to find Aboh, which works perfectly, as the latter is tremendous at getting himself into one-on-one situations.
Furthermore, Reindorf’s attitude on the pitch is there for everyone to see. His drive and determination to lead the line is evident, with his defensive work epitomising that same trait. Despite his being effective at winning the ball from turnovers, there are numerous instances where he will lead the line and chase down lost causes.
To conclude, Reindorf is a complete forward and executes a range of skills to a high standard. He arguably has a bigger range of qualities than Aboh or Kenny Coker, with those two having more limited specialised traits, whereas Micheal has more of a consistent, well-rounded game.
His objective for the new season has to be scoring more goals and creating more goals for the U21s – the most visible currency when it comes to making your way through the ranks.
There’s a huge talent there but it still feels as if he needs to convince the coaching staff more of that talent.