🧡 THREAD: Charlie Kelman steps up!

The British-born #USMNT youth player has left Southend for QPR. Last season was tough for Southend, and Kelman didn't get on the end of many balls in the box. At 1.69m he can't do much in aerials, either. Second striker might work better.

Kelman's involvement in Southend's most dangerous moves was rather low for a central striker, though he did take decent chances on average. He was active in both channels, a bit more on the left, usually linking up the play but also dribbling on the corner of the box.

Here are Kelman's shot maps. He scored a couple of longer shots from open play. From dead balls it looks like he wasn't always around the six-yard box, which isn't surprising given his height. Again, second striker looks best for him.

And here's a comparison with two players who've had similar styles in the Championship. Maupay is actually playing more second striker this season. Kelman will still need to receive more balls in the box to be effective. It's a work in progress; QPR is a good step for him.

P.S. We know Kelman is 18. We'll fix his birthdate asap!

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More from @smarterscout

29 Sep

Rhian Brewster is reportedly close to a move from Liverpool to Sheffield United. At first glance, the 20-year-old's stats from last season with Swansea don't look too impressive at a Premier League standard. But read on...

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Brewster was involved in a surprisingly high share of Swansea's goals while on the pitch despite being part of less than 40% of its shots. One reason was his finishing, which was well above par and partly made up for his low underlying output in attack.

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As Brewster's smartermap shows, he was active all over the attacking half for Swansea and got into good positions to shoot. He liked to shoot head-on from the GK's right and at more oblique angles from the GK's left. Overall he was more active in the right channel.

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29 Sep

We now offer ratings for head coaches in all of our 48+ leagues around the world. We measure effects on attacking and defending, style, and more.

For example, our ratings suggest Leeds United would not be in the Premier League without Marcelo Bielsa.

Here are Bielsa's average differences (per league match) in expected goals for and against versus our predicted results, given his players' performances in previous seasons:

2018-19 xGF +0.44
2019-20 xGF +0.23

2018-19 xGA -0.23
2019-20 xGA -0.27

In each case above, our statistical tests suggest with nearly 100% confidence that Bielsa offered a positive effect.

Interestingly, this was not the case at Lille, where Bielsa's numbers were not as impressive. So the fit and the ability to put across ideas are important!

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28 Sep

RΓΊben Dias has moved from Benfica to Manchester City for €68m, @DuncanCastles reports. Here are his stats at a Premier League standard – good attacking output and ball retention, great defending quality, awesome tackler, good in the air on dead balls:

But what's really exciting about Dias is his attacking. He was involved in 45% of Benfica's goals last season, which is huge for a RCB. He generated even more ball progression expected goals from receiving as from passing, too, taking high-quality shots (and finishing them):

Here's our smartermap for Dias last season. He got deep into the attacking half for Benfica, leaving room on the flank for the RB, and with Manchester City he should have opportunities to do the same. He even took some of those good shots in open play!

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26 Sep

Leeds may be signing Utrecht's Gyrano Kerk for around €10m. He improved last season and is an average attacker by a Premier League standard, a great finisher, but his ball retention was low – he's a big dribbler who may lack skill to beat PL defenders:

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Kerk is a rare winger (at least for the Premier League) in that he likes to dribble the ball forward from deep. He can hug the touchline or come inside and has an unpredictable mix of actions near the corner. His style at RW bears similarities to Sarr, Zaha, and Sterling.

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As the smartermap in the previous tweet shows, Kerk gets into good positions to shoot – better than average for a winger. That may be a bit more difficult in the PL, but he's still an outstanding finisher. It's part of why he was involved in so many goals for Utrecht:

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25 Sep
πŸ™‡β€β™‚οΈ YOUNG PROSPECTS πŸ™‡β€β™‚οΈ

At smarterscout.com, we use a unique algorithm calibrated to a decade of debuts in Europe's top five leagues to spot young talent. Premium users can see the young prospect badge, and Pro users can use it to search. Here are a few from the EFL:

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EFL Championship:

Bryan Mbeumo – flagged 2018-19 in Ligue 2.

Already close to average in attack for the Premier League, good in the air, great tackler, amazing finisher. That's why stats-driven Brentford let him take shots like these in open play. Scores from dead balls.

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EFL League One:

Luke Woolfenden – flagged 2019-20 in League One.

Already an average defender at RCB for the Premier League, great tackler. Quality at LCB as well, though lower ball retention. Look at the Premier League RCBs with a similar style to Woolfenden's. Great list.

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22 Sep
Unpopular (and unexpected) opinion, but our stats make Frank De Boer an okay coach. Here's % confidence in positive effects given his squads:

Crystal Palace
xGF 69%
xGA 57%

Atlanta United
xGF 39%
xGA 95%

Explanation of what's behind these numbers:

So De Boer probably has little effect on attacking either way but may improve a club's defending. It's notable that he was unlucky at Palace, where his squad created close to 5 xGF and didn't score. These metrics gauging just one aspect of his coaching ability, though.

We haven't heard great things about the other aspects of De Boer's coaching ability, but it seems like (a) he's not as bad as advertised, (b) expectations for him may be too high because of his playing career, and (c) the KNVB could still do much better than an average dude.

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