Worth £10 million: Expert analyst predicts Jesse Lingard’s future

by Red Billy

Jesse Lingard ‘is a No 10 who does nothing on the creative front that is required from someone in that position’, according to The Athletic’s football analytics expert Tom Worville.

The tactical specialist has noted Lingard’s decline over time in terms of productivity, having slumped from 0.35 expected goals in 2017/18 to 0.16 in 2019/20 and from 0.14 expected goals from chances created to 0.9.

As has been well documented, the actual goals and assists have dried up completely, leading to figures dipping from an average of 0.39 goals per game and 0.25 assists per game to nil and nil, respectively.

source: The Athletic

What is interesting about Worville’s analysis is that he compares Lingard with 28 other Premier League stars playing in the number 10 position and finds that in some areas, Lingard excels – but they are not areas that are normally associated with a number 10 – the Englishman’s preferred position.

Lingard ranks 28th out of 29 in attempted passes into the penalty area, 26th out of 29 in expected goals from chances created and 27th out of 29 in terms of long passes, but in statistics measuring more defensive performance he ranks 2nd in fouls, 2nd in carry distance and 6th in carry progress.

‘This adds a further dimension of weirdness to Lingard playing as a CAM — he does more without the ball than with it’ notes the analyst.

The expert then goes on to analyse the playing style of other Premier League clubs to see which would best suit Lingard’s strengths were the 27-year-old to move. Ruling out teams for whom he is deemed just not good enough, teams whose formation would not allow a number 10, teams that probably would not be able to afford him and teams that have similar players in that role already, Lingard is left with Arsenal, Wolves, Sheffield United and Watford as possible venues. Sheffield United seems to be the best fit of all.

Worville concludes that ‘Lingard profiles as a willing runner both with and without the ball, taking care of it when in possession as an able connector.’

‘He’s a No 10 who doesn’t create, a defence-first attacking midfielder whose passes are short and accurate instead of penetrative.’

‘He has all of the tools to be a useful rotation piece in a Premier League team, but there are few teams he’s a good fit for.’

‘At £10 million, he could have more suitors; at £25 million, fewer.’

United are hoping to make Jadon Sancho the next player to wear the famous number 7 shirt. But how much do you know about the players who have worn it before? Take our quiz below to find out.

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