Ian Harkes is an American soccer player who plays for the Scottish club Dundee United. He previously played for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Ian Harkes has been a Dundee United hero in recent weeks – and still hasn’t given up hope of completing his American Dream. The in-form midfielder has netted crucial strikes for United in the derby win over Dundee and the outstanding draw with Celtic. Harkes was also named the Scottish Premiership Player of the Month in September.
Harkes is good with both offensive and defensive transitions, where he acted as a point of ball retention for the team, and helped to initiate and monitor both transitions. He is not the quickest of players but makes up for it with his excellent vision, which he uses to play passes into the final third, and his remarkable positioning, which helps him defend well during defensive transitions. His heatmap indicates he has played in various positions on the pitch and has more of a free role.
The pass map of Harkes shows that he has been flexible with his positioning and has played centrally as well as on the left and right sides of midfield. He has a high number of passes in the opposition’s half and has a high xT with the passes that he played into the opposition’s penalty area. His pass map shows that he has been a good distributor of the ball, with his passes landing in every corner of the pitch. Harkes is an excellent passer of the ball, plays quickly, and makes short passes within his reach to ensure that the possession of the ball is maintained. He also showed a tendency to play quick balls into the final third and the opposition box to release his forwards.
Harkes has also been able to impose a threat on the opposition’s defense with the shots he has attempted on goal. He has attempted a total of 16 shots on goal and managed to keep 50% of his shots on target. Harkes is a tall player and can win most of the aerial duels he attempts. He has attempted 4.52 aerial duels per 90 minutes and has also won four aerial duels in the opposition half from set-piece situations. Most of the shots that he has attempted from inside the box have been on target. He has scored two goals so far, of which one has been from inside the penalty area.
Being a central midfielder, Harkes is often given defensive responsibilities, along with his general duties. He presses the opposition team with intensity and tries to force opponents to make mistakes or lose the ball. He is good with his tackling and made vital interceptions in the center of the field. Harkes also showed a tendency to drop deep and take up vacant spaces in the defensive line.
Ian Harkes is a smart central midfielder who likes to sit deep and help his team with both offensive and defensive transitions. He presses with high intensity to help regain lost possession. Harkes often gets onto the scoresheet too, with vital goals now and then despite playing in a deep role. He also recorded a decent number of assists. He is one of the driving forces for Dundee United’s league challenge this season. At 26, Harkes is at the prime of his career, and the performances he will put up this season will play a vital role in deciding whether Harkes will move to a team in the top five European leagues.