Blackburn Rovers are currently in the promotion play-off spots. They can thank their main striker, Ben Brereton Diaz, for this. The Chilean is the league’s third-highest goalscorer, trailing only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dominic Solanke of Fulham and Bournemouth, respectively. This season has been Diaz’s best in his career so far, netting 20 goals until his injury in mid-February. He has not played since then.
Ben Brereton Diaz has scored 20 goals this season. He has not played for Blackburn Rovers since mid-February after rupturing his ankle ligaments. This injury means he is most likely going to miss the rest of the season for Blackburn. Still, in the matches he has appeared this season, he has scored at a rate of 0.66 goals per 90, which is slightly higher than Dominic Solanke’s 0.6, who has netted more times this season. Ben Diaz has also outperformed his xG per 90 of 0.48. His percentage of shots on target of 53.16% has been very good this season, which shows that he is very good at decision-making when it comes to shooting.
Seen above is the shot map of Ben Brereton Diaz this season until his injury in mid-February. All but one of his 20 goals have come from inside the box, showing that he was at the right place at the right time to finish off the chances created by his teammates. What’s more, one can see the angles of his finishes as well. Nearly every shot he has taken from right angle (90 degrees) has resulted in a goal. The shot map would have been a lot more cluttered had it not been for his ruptured ankle ligament, and Ben Diaz could have very well been the second-highest goalscorer this season ahead of Dominic Solanke.
Seen above is the pass sonar of Ben Brereton Diaz. Most of his passes look to be sideways instead of forwards, but this could be due to the laying up of chances for teammates. Diaz is at his most threatening during the last 15 minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the match, as shown in the xT timeline. Diaz has also been threatening when the location of the pass was just inside or outside the opposition’s penalty area.
Despite currently being in the promotion playoff spots, the season-ending injury to Ben Diaz must surely be a blow to Blackburn’s promotion playoff hopes unless someone else can step up in goalscoring for the team from Lancashire.