Despite challenging for a promotion playoff spot at one stage during the season, Coventry City could muster only a 12th place finish in the EFL Championship last season. While Viktor Gyokores and Matthew Godden were among the goals, the defence could keep only 11 clean sheets in 46 games, which is not good enough if the aim is to challenge for a promotion playoff spot. The Sky Blues have attempted to address the defensive department by signing Manchester City centre-back, Callum Doyle on a loan deal as the defender was instrumental in helping Sunderland get promoted to the second tier this season.
Doyle featured in 39 matches for Sunderland in the EFL League One last season as the Black Cats won promotion through the playoffs. He scored once and assisted thrice during his time on the pitch, which lasted for 3097 minutes. His rate of 0.05 assists is five times higher than expected and ranked him in the upper quartile. The Englishman was a reliable passer, completing over 80% of his passes out of his 42.8 attempts per 90. He took risks with ball progression, attempting more than seven and a half per 90, which was enough to be placed in the top 9%. In addition to completing 8.27 long passes per 90, he made 1.49 progressive runs per 90, ranking in the 89th percentile in the former.
Doyle attempted close to 12 defensive actions per 90 and won 83.63% of them. His win rate in defensive duels was close to 27% – good enough to be in the upper 30%. However, despite standing at 185 cm tall, he won less than half of his aerial duels and was placed in the bottom third among defenders. But the Englishman fared better in loose ball duels as he won close to 54% out of 4.36 attempts per 90, putting him in the upper third in both these categories. With 5.19 interceptions per 90 and 11.28 recoveries per 90, the 18-year-old was well above the median mark in both of these statistics.
As seen from the heat map above, Doyle was most active in the defensive third of the pitch for Sunderland. He would often provide cover for the left-back whenever the latter made advancing and overlapping runs into the attacking third. But Doyle would not make that many runs into the final third.
Most of the duels won by Doyle came in the defensive third and inside his penalty area. He won the majority of his duels in the form of 50/50s, followed by ground-based defending duels and aerial battles. He also won some duels in the midfield, though this happened only when Sunderland were attacking the opposition in the final third.
Callum Doyle is coming off a season where he played a important role in Sunderland’s promotion to the EFL Championship after a gap of four years. He was also pivotal in England’s recent victorious UEFA U19 Euros campaign. However, this is his first season in the EFL Championship, and he may take a little bit of time to settle in the Coventry City squad.