On transfer deadline day, West Brom had only one point and were yet to score a league goal three games into the season. With the team struggling, Steve Clarke made a flurry of new signings on deadline day, one of those being French wide man Morgan Amalfitano. Amalfitano has made a huge impact and has helped solved the lack of goals scoring two and assisting two in only four league games. How much can the French winger help West Brom improve on their best Premier League season since the 80s? Some of West Brom’s first choice wide men last season were Graham Dorrans, Peter Odemwinge, and Chris Brunt. How do they stack up against Amalfitano’s early form?
Amalfitano Passing and defensive work
While Amalfitano’s final ball has been fantastic so far this season, his overall passing has been average however as he is playing higher up the pitch there is a greater chance of losing the ball in areas that condensed with the opposition midfield and defence. Amalfitano has a lower passing percentage, 77%, than the other three players with Brunt at 79%, Odemwinge at 82% and Dorrans at 83%. A contributing factor to his low pass percentage may be the fact that a high percentage of Amalfitano’s passes are forward. 33% of Amalfitano’s passes were forward compared to only 24% for Odemwinge and 31% for Dorrans, although more of Brunt’s passes were forward at 39%. On the defensive side of the game, Amalfitano has won only 41% of his ground duels but has made one every 8.5 minutes. Odemwinge had very similar defensive numbers, making a challenge every 8.5 minutes and winning 52%, while Brunt and Dorrans were much less active. Dorrans made a challenge every 13 minutes winning 44% of them and Brunt making one every 15 minutes winning 46% of them.
Amalfitano’s finest quality is his final ball and he adds a nice touch of class to West Brom. Amalfitano has completed 33% of his crosses as opposed to 12% for Odemwinge, 25% for Dorrans and 30% for Brunt. Amalfitano has been great for West Brom creating a chance every 26 minutes and a clear cut chance every 166 minutes. Brunt created a chance every 38 minutes and a clear cut chance every 272 minutes, Odemwinge created a chance every 51 minutes a clear cut chance every 251 minutes and Dorrans creating a chance every 57 minutes and a clear cut chance every 587 minutes. Amalfitano’s final ball will be a big help to West Brom and maybe help them to push up the table.
Amalfitano Goal Scoring
So far, Amalfitano has brought a goal scoring ability from out wide that West Brom was missing in the second half of the season. Amalfitano has scored a goal every 166 minutes while last season Odemwinge scored every 254 minutes, Brunt scored every 1,090 minutes and Dorrans every 1,762 minutes. West Brom had Odemwinge for the first part of the season but after the fiasco on transfer deadline day he did not start another game that season. Amalfitano also has shown he has that extra touch of class specifically during the Manchester United game where he bagged himself an assist and an amazing goal where he ripped through the entire United defence. West Brom relied on Lukaku for a lot of their goals and they will hope they get a handful from Amalfitano this season.
Amalfitano should give West Brom some extra firepower and help make up for the fact that they no longer have Lukaku. After a fantastic season for the Baggies last season, they will hope Amalfitano helps them push up the table and improve on their eight place finish from last season.