Home » Numbers show why Jadon Sancho is a ‘Key contributor’ against parked buses

Numbers show why Jadon Sancho is a ‘Key contributor’ against parked buses

by David O'Neill

Manchester United turn to Jadon Sancho more than any other player when playing against settled defensive units.

That is according to data provided by @markrstats, who earlier tweeted the following:

“Manchester United faces low block less often than other big European clubs, but when they have to ‘break the bus’, Jadon Sancho is the key contributor”

The comment was accompanied by a graph measuring the likelihood of a shot or ‘deep completion’ within three actions based on who receives the ball.

With those statistics in hand, the data analyst concludes that the former Borussia Dortmund winger is by far the most effective player at United against deep defences.

@Markrstats defines a ‘deep completion’ as a successful pass into a 20-metre radius of the opposition goal.

The graph also only considers ball receptions that occur after a team has completed ten or more passes in the opposition half, to ensure that the resultant actions measured focus on the attacking side’s play against low block defences.

From the above data, when Sancho has received the ball after a 10+ passing sequence in the opposition half, it has led to a shot or deep completion roughly 7.4% of the time since the start of the 2021/2022 season.

That is comfortably higher than any of his teammates.

Fred ranks surprisingly high with around 6.9%, perhaps demonstrating his good form in a more advanced position last season.

No other player in the United squad ranks higher than 6.5%, with Bruno Fernandes a somewhat surprisingly low 5.75%.

It is a testament to Sancho’s close control and composure in the final third that he has become the de facto creator when the Red Devils come up against teams happy to sit deep.

He is an attacker comfortable playing in the eye of a needle, and so long as he keeps up the good work, assists will follow naturally.

Sancho is already starting to see the benefits in terms of goals, with three scored so far this season.

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