Samuel Gigot was a longtime stalwart of the Spartak defense alongside George Jikia, but the Frenchman left for Marseille and Guillermo Abascal never found an equivalent replacement for him. Pavel Maslov, Miha Mevlya and other players from the rojiblancos are clearly not up to the task, and therefore the club’s breeders were busy looking for the defeat of the center. And it looks like they found it! So far, Spartak has not officially announced the transfer, but the player’s representatives and the president of the former club confirmed the operation. It’s time to find out who he is.
Alexis Duarte: who he is, where he plays, where he could go
Alexis Duarte is only 22 years old, but her career can already be called quite eventful. He made his debut in professional soccer at the age of 18, but if he played only one game in the first season, in the second he became the leader of the club and, pay attention, the captain of his native Cerro Porteño!
Duarte has always been considered quite a promising player in Paraguay, having been called up to various youth teams in the country and even playing alongside current Dynamo defender Roberto Fernández, who moved to the RPL six months ago. Thanks to the pandemic, the injuries to the main defenders, the departure of players and other accidents, Duarte had the opportunity to fulfill himself, which he handled perfectly. With Alexis, Cerro Porteño conceded many fewer goals, was proclaimed Paraguayan champion in 2020 and 2021 and his transfer amounted to 4 million euros, the highest result in the South American championship.
Duarte needed an urgent promotion in his career, and the offers did not wait. Vasco da Gama, Boca Juniors wanted to see the Paraguayan, and in the summer of 2022 they even wrote about the personal interest of Mikel Arteta from Arsenal, but in the end, Spartak came out on top, paying the required amount – 4 million euros. .
Will Duarte replace Gigot?
Duarte can be called a unique defender, because he has an ability that is more common in attacking players, namely “bipedalism”. That’s why Alexis has no problem playing both left center and right center. But, given Jikia’s presence in Spartak, it’s obvious that Jikia will be positioned closer to the right edge.
Whether or not Duarte becomes the new Gigot depends on many factors, including the Paraguayan’s adaptation in Russia, but we can freely compare the two players in terms of statistics. Based on the results of Gigot in the 2021/22 season (his last season for him at Spartak) and Duarte in the last season of the Paraguayan championship:
90 minute tickets: 0.96 – 1.29
Interceptions per 90 minutes: 2.17 – 2.57
Authorizations of 90 minutes: 3.61 – 3.00
Strokes blocked in 90 minutes: 0.64 – 0.86
Key passes in 90 minutes: 0.48 – 0.43
Mounted Martial Arts Won in 90 Minutes: 2.05 – 3.71
Summing up, we can say that Duarte is not a direct replacement for Gigot at the moment. He is slower, he plays worse with a high-pressure line, but he surpasses the former Spartak player in the passing game and in some other components. I am sure that the 22-year-old defender will already be much stronger than the current Spartak players, and with the support of Jikia and Abascal, Duarte can become a truly elegant player, and by not only RPL standards, but also Europe.