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Oscar Perea: The Colombian wonderkid destined for greatness


Oscar Perea

Since entering the Atlético Nacional first team, left winger Oscar Perea has garnered attention with some impressive performances during the 2023 campaign.


The 18-year-old's personality and flair have been evident in his play, leading many to tip him for a significant impact in the future.


Beth Limb has kept a close eye on his development and provides her thoughts on the rising Colombian star.


Oscar Perea: Player Profile


Perea is the kind of player who injects dynamism into proceedings from the moment he steps onto the pitch. A charismatic player with a sense of responsibility, despite his young age, he is more than willing to seize control of a game and propel the team forward.


Although he has not made an appearance in the current season due to international duty with Colombia U23, Perea's absence has been notable.


His influence and ability to push the team forward have been missed, showcasing the impact he has already made on Atlético Nacional's gameplay.


Perea joined Atlético Nacional in 2018 following a successful trial period and subsequently worked his way up before making his senior debut in 2022.


The same year, British newspaper The Guardian named him as one of the best players born in 2005.

Positionally, Perea typically lines up on the left wing, allowing him to cut in onto his preferred right foot, although he is reasonably comfortable when using his left. In terms of his style, he is an all out attack, in your face player. 


From the moment he receives the ball there is no other thought in his mind but to progress up the pitch forward. Defenders are naturally drawn out of position to try and stop him but this doesn't faze him. 


Using his rapid acceleration and agility, Perea carries the ball forward, weaving away from opponents attempting to reach the opposition area. The transition from defence to attack is where he thrives, exploiting spaces and forcing backtracking opponents into some tough on-field decisions. 


A working progress


For the most part, he has such close control it appears as though the ball is stuck to his foot. On the rare occasion he does execute a bad touch, Perea has the speed and sometimes utter determination to get to the ball ahead of his opponent. He will simply charge through the smallest of gaps when opponents attempt to close him down.


To highlight Perea's impressive dribbling ability, he averaged 6.42 dribbles per 90 in the 35 games he played during the 2023 campaign, achieving a success rate of 51.1% and making 2.46 progressive runs per 90.



In comparison, concerning passing, he averaged 15.89 passes per 90, ranking him third from the bottom when ranking the number of passes made by each player in the Atlético Nacional team. 


His passing ability is certainly an area where it would be good to see some improvement.


For all his confidence when in possession, using skills and trickery to leave opponents behind, Perea displays a level of indecision with his passing. He can hold on to the ball too long while assessing his options and by the time he chooses to release it, the passing lane has been closed off. 


The youngster has no trouble travelling into the final third, and when in this area he shows good decision-making decisions in front of goal.

When shooting he typically hits low drives or looks to go around the goalkeeper when possible. The 18-year-old averaged 2.47 shots on target per 90 last season and netted five goals from an xG of 5.18. 


Defensively, Perea is well-suited to a high-pressing system. When the Atlético Nacional front line presses as a unit, his abilities shine through. He uses his body positioning and orientation to close off passing lanes and make important interceptions high up the pitch.



Additionally, his 180cm frame means he is no pushover and he frequently displays excellent physical strength in the defensive duels. He uses his physicality to hustle his opponent off the ball, something which saw him average 3.65 ball recoveries per 90 in 2023. 


The 18-year-old Colombian winger is certainly one to watch. His unique ball-carrying abilities make him incredibly exciting to watch, there is always a feeling that it’s a matter of when, not if he will make something happen on the pitch. 


Oscar Perea's future


Perea’s current contract expires in December 2024 and it is currently unclear if he will extend his stay at Estadio Atanasio Girardot. There have been tenuous links to Europe with reports linking him with a potential move to Borussia Dortmund at the end of his contract. 


However, nothing concrete has been reported, although it is well known that Perea is on the radar of several clubs in Europe. 


A move to Portugal’s Primeira Liga would be an excellent next step in his career, allowing him the opportunity to develop further before most likely moving to a top-five league.


What is guaranteed is his high ceiling and ability, and Perea and his agent will have plenty of options over the next 12 months.

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