European clubs are openly interested in Benjamin Rollheiser who dazzled in 2023 after helping Estudiantes win the Copa Argentina.
Ahead of the January transfer window, Nathan Joyes profiles the Argentine with Benfica, Newcastle and Nottingham Forest all linked.
Benjamin Rollheiser: Player Profile
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder’s standout season saw him score 12 goals across all competitions, including six in 11 Sudamericana appearances before Estudiantes were eventually knocked out by Corinthians in the quarter-finals.
His standout performance in the competition saw him score a brace against Brazilian outfit Goias, where he dispatched a well-controlled volley from inside the box - nothing new for those who have watched him closely in 2023.
Rollheiser has flourished at Estudiantes since his move in 2022 from River Plate, where he moved on a free transfer after limited game time with the club which signed him back in 2019.
However, having proven himself as one of the most exciting midfielders plying their trade in Argentina, now appears to be the right time to make the move and challenge himself at a higher level.
Rollheiser’s ability to quickly manoeuvre the ball onto his favoured left foot in dangerous areas and deliver well-measured shots is a key part of this game.
Whether operating from a central role or moving across to the right, the Argentine’s main strength is his ability to find pockets of space between the opponent’s defence and midfield. Rollheiser also reads the game well, often anticipating where to be inside the box when Estudiantes are on the front foot.
Although those who enjoy turning onto their left foot may be predictable, the Argentine possesses a wide range of finishing - chips, volleys, as well as curling efforts from range, Rollheiser has a few aces up his sleeve which gives him the edge in attacking areas.
Away from his striking of the ball, the Argentine is an outstanding ball carrier and has quick feet to match.
Turning out of difficult, crowded spaces is an area of his game that not only gets fans off their feet, but creates room for him to drive into.
What’s also really pleasing to see is the way in which he receives the ball. Opening up his body, the midfielder makes sure he’s positioned in such a way to make a swift forward pass or keep the pace of the attacking move going by taking the ball in his stride.
His calm nature on the ball is what makes Rollheiser the player he is. Not one to panic, this is an important inner quality to have in order to take that next step from Argentina to Europe.
Like many left-footed attackers who operate on the right-hand side, there’s an overreliance on his favoured foot. There’s no doubting his technical and ball-striking ability, but working with his weaker foot would only improve his overall game.
However, Arjen Robben and Angel Di Maria may both argue that isn’t always necessary.
Another area of his game that he can improve is his decision-making with final balls. There’s been a noticeable lack of assists across all competitions and although he can shape well to strike the ball, his ability to set up his teammates in dangerous areas needs to improve.
After an eye-catching year, there’s no surprise to see European clubs looking to tempt the Argentine across during the January transfer window.
Benfica, who are renowned for their South American pick ups, have been heavily linked as they look to line up a long-term replacement for Di Maria.
They’ve already secured the services of Vélez Sarsfield’s Gianluca Prestianni - another extremely exciting proposition - but the 17-year-old may be seen more as a prospect as he transitions to European football.
There’s also no surprise to see Premier League interest. Newcastle United, who have suffered this season due to injuries and competing in the Champions League, are likely to strengthen in the window in an attempt to recapture last year’s form. An exciting, unpredictable player in the final third would definitely help.
Nottingham Forest were also briefly linked, but with the recent manager change it’s difficult to know exactly what their plan of action will be in the market at this stage. However, having signed Murillo and Danilo from a similar market, they may have the right contacts via agents if their interest is genuine.
Earning his way into Wyscout’s Argentine Primera U23 XI of the year, Rollheiser has seriously impressed and looks primed and ready to take the next step to a European club.