Theodor Corbeanu: Profile, Expert Analysis, Tactical Overview & Video

Wolves Theo Corbeanu in action during the EFL Trophy match between Oldham Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Boundary Park, Oldham, England on 22nd September 2020. (Photo by Eddie Garvey/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Theodor Corbeanu: Profile

Name: Theodor Corbeanu

Date of birth: May 17, 2002

Nationality: Canada/Romania

Position: Winger/Centre-Forward

Height: 1.90m

Theodor Corbeanu: Introduction

Theodor Corbeanu is an exciting Canadian talent who plays in a forward role. Over 6 foot in height, he can play both centrally and in wider positions. His technical skill, combined with impressive strength, make the youngster a nightmare for opposition defenders. Also more than capable of tricking full-backs with a step-over or two, Corbeanu presents one of the most unique profiles in the game.

Theodor Corbeanu: Background

Born in Canada to Romanian parents, Theodor Corbeanu gravitated towards football, despite it being far from the nation’s most popular sport. Speaking to Tackle.ro, Corbeanu recently assured that, despite its lack of exposure, the quality of football in Canada is on the rise:

“In Canada, football is not as popular as it  should be. Other sports like hockey, American football, and basketball are more popular, but football is growing quickly and Europeans should not underestimate the ability of Canadian players, especially U21 and younger,” said the former Toronto winger.

After joining the Toronto academy, Corbeanu was part of the club during their days as an MLS favourite. Several former stars of European football joined the club’s ranks, leading to a competitive streak of form, and even a MLS trophy.

“My time at Toronto FC academy coincided with the greatest period in the club’s history. Players like Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vasquez and Jozy Altidore brought a very attractive style of football to Toronto which caught the eye of the footballing world,” said Corbeanu. “Unfortunately, this past season has not been great for the club, but this happens in football.”

Corbeanu travelled across the Atlantic to join Wolverhampton Wanderers’ youth academy in 2018. He has impressed since his arrival, and in 2020, after securing a place in the club’s under-23 squad, the attacker signed a new 3-year contract.

Wolves academy manager Scott Sellars said“We feel it was the right time to reward him for what he’s done. He’s trained with the first-team quite a lot and they’re pleased with his progress, so it’s a reward for his consistency.”

Despite having Romanian parents, and having lined out for the nation at youth level, Corbeanu has decided to represent Canada at senior level: “I started off with the Romanian national team, but now I’m going to play for Canada,” he explained during an interview with Wolves’ official website.

Expert insight on Theodor Corbeanu

101 spoke to Canadian football scout Mahith Gamage.

He might have featured for the Romanian youth teams, but Wolves and Toronto FC youth product Theo Corbeanu has verbally committed to represent his birth nation at international level – Canada. The right-winger and forward has been highly-rated within the Wolves set-up.

Theo Corbeanu’s profile is that of a very complete winger, which is something you don’t come across every day. In reality, he has a little bit of everything in him. He’s got the power in his game, which will likely never disappear.

 He can drive at players on the flanks and really go shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone. Along with that, he has the technical quality and the end product to make things happen for the team, which ultimately is the most important thing. While Jonathan David and Alphonso Davies will be Canada’s A-Lister’s in the long-term, there’s no denying that Theo Corbeanu can play a strong supporting character as Canada aim to reach new heights.

Tactical Overview of Theodor Corbeanu

The initial aspect which strikes you about Corbeanu is the unusual height he possesses for a player of his position. The wingers which dominate Europe typically possess a smaller frame. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane use their lower centre of gravity to wrong foot opponents, before accelerating past with ease. Reaching nearly 6’3, Corbeanu does not have this physical advantage. He does, however, use his strength and deceptive speed, combined with technical ability, to beat defenders and reach threatening positions.

Corbeanu is always looking to beat players and stride towards the touch-line in order to create a scoring opportunity or cut back.

Corbeanu is always looking to beat players and stride towards the touch-line in order to create a scoring opportunity or cut back.

Using his skill on the ball, Corbeanu beats his man with a series of step overs before striking the ball at the keeper.

Using his skill on the ball, Corbeanu beats his man with a series of step overs before striking the ball at the keeper.

When skill may not work, Corbeanu has another weapon available which the smaller wingers lack. Using his physicality, the Canadian muscles the opposition full-back, shielding the ball whilst progressing towards the touch-line.

When skill may not work, Corbeanu has another weapon available which the smaller wingers lack. Using his physicality, the Canadian muscles the opposition full-back, shielding the ball whilst progressing towards the touch-line.

Having successfully beaten the full-back, Corbeanu reaches the touch line and cuts the ball back towards Fabio Silva who has a great chance to score.

Having successfully beaten the full-back, Corbeanu reaches the touch line and cuts the ball back towards Fabio Silva who has a great chance to score.

Corbeanu can operate on either flank, and when on the left will often cut inside to find a shot or incisive cross-field pass. The Canadian’s shooting is a weaker area of his game which should develop as he matures, but Corbeanu has a good eye for space, and will often find teammates in threatening situations.

Operating on the left, Corbeanu cuts inside with his teammate making the incisive run with the Canadian could look to find.

Operating on the left, Corbeanu cuts inside with his teammate making the incisive run with the Canadian could look to find.

The original run from Corbeanu's teammate has been cut off. However, the Canadian progressive play further waiting for passing lanes to open and he spots a ball across the field stretching the defence.

The original run from Corbeanu’s teammate has been cut off. However, the Canadian progressive play further waiting for passing lanes to open and he spots a ball across the field stretching the defence.

Corbeanu’s sense of space and the positions of his teammates is impressive. Knowing the different passages of play and where his coach has instructed players to make runs is imperative for a wide man. Understanding how your associated full-back will move dependant on your position can speed up chance creation, and leave opposition defenders helpless.

Drifting in centrally, Corbeanu receives the ball from the left side. He could have the opportunity to take a shot at goal or return the ball. However, drifting inside he has taken the left full-back with him opening space on the Wolves right flank.

Drifting in centrally, Corbeanu receives the ball from the left side. He could have the opportunity to take a shot at goal or return the ball. However, drifting inside he has taken the left full-back with him opening space on the Wolves right flank.

Understanding the movement of his full-back Hoever, Corbeanu swivels as soon as he takes the ball under control to then pass the ball into the vacated space.

Understanding the movement of his full-back Hoever, Corbeanu swivels as soon as he takes the ball under control to then pass the ball into the vacated space.

Corbeanu doesn't get quite the desired connection which slows down the pass and had he turned and looked up the chance would likely passed. However, despite the poor purchase on the ball, because of the space available for Hoever the weak pass still reaches the full-back who gets an opportunity at goal.

Corbeanu doesn’t get quite the desired connection which slows down the pass and had he turned and looked up the chance would likely passed. However, despite the poor purchase on the ball, because of the space available for Hoever the weak pass still reaches the full-back who gets an opportunity at goal.

When playing centrally, Corbeanu’s reading of the game allows him to take part in quick interchanges of play, creating both opportunities for himself and others.

Abbey receives the ball centrally and plays a first touch pass into Corbeanu. Spinning and running into the space between defenders, Corbeanu spots Abbey's run.

Abbey receives the ball centrally and plays a first touch pass into Corbeanu. Spinning and running into the space between defenders, Corbeanu spots Abbey’s run.

Corbeanu plays an immediate first time ball back into the path of Abbey for the player to take a strike at goal.

Corbeanu plays an immediate first time ball back into the path of Abbey for the player to take a strike at goal.

Abbey scores with a high shot past the keeper. However, it is important to note that after the pass Corbeanu continues to move into an unoccupied space awaiting an rebounded or saved shot.

Abbey scores with a high shot past the keeper. However, it is important to note that after the pass Corbeanu continues to move into an unoccupied space awaiting an rebounded or saved shot.

Corbeanu’s versatility offers an extra dynamic to any team he represents. Physical yet technically skilful, the attacker can beat players with a piece of skill or, failing that, has no problem using his strength to out-muscle defenders who keep up with him. The 18-year-old’s final product needs improvement, which will come with additional development, but the future is undoubtedly a bright one for Corbeanu.

Theodor Corbeanu: Official video

Theodor Corbeanu: Social sites

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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