With names like Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi on the roster, Inter Miami’s overlooked star Lewis Morgan needs some love too.
When Phil Neville held his first press conference as Inter Miami manager, he stressed that he wanted to get his most creative players on the ball.
Although he wasn’t explicitly mentioned, it’s safe to say Lewis Morgan is one of these players. The Scotland international scored five goals and assisted five in his debut season for the Herons.
His performances in 2020 not only earned him club MVP but also a new three-year contract. As Inter Miami kicks off their season against the LA Galaxy this weekend, the 24-year-old will be a firm part of Neville’s plans.
High Expectations for 2021
Last year, Morgan was Inter Miami’s best player. In 2021, he won’t be required to carry the offensive load, but he’ll be a key part of the team’s attack.
Under Diego Alonso, Morgan was forced to stay wide. He was used as an outlet should Miami catch the opposition on a fast break. This lead to most of Morgan’s goals happening when the opposing team’s defense was on the back foot.
Unfortunately for him, that playing style wasn’t consistent to hold up through an entire season, and ultimately that ended up costing Diego Alonso his job.
With Neville, Morgan says that his role with the team has changed significantly:
It’s clear that last season Alonso wanted Morgan to get to the end line and cross as much as possible. Under Neville, we should see the Scot get involved in the attack as much as possible.
Where Does He Fit Tactically?
During last Sunday’s scrimmage, Inter Miami played a fluid 4-3-3. The formation gave both of Miami’s wide players (Morgan on the right, Robbie Robinson on the left) freedom to combine and stretch the defense.
Morgan’s best attributes are when he’s taking on defenders and using his pace to get by his man; Neville’s tactical setup allows him to do that and then some.
The 24-year-old will mainly be used on the right side, combing with Gonzolo Higuain who has the tendency to drop deep to help out in the build-up. Link-up play will be key here, as Neville prefers to retain possession instead of playing long balls over the top as Alonso did.
With his speed, quick first step, and ability to get balls into the box with precision, Morgan’s right foot will be a nightmare for defenders to deal with this season.
As the team grows with each game, look for Morgan to only get better. He has stated multiple times that he would like to improve his number going into 2021, on April 18th he’ll get the chance to do that.
He’s more determined than ever to make an even bigger mark on this league than he did last season.
For all the talk about Pizarro, Higuain, and Blaise Matuidi, perhaps Inter Miami’s true star is a 24-year-old from Greenock, Scotland.
Who would’ve thought?