At the start of the 2021-22 season, West Bromwich Albion (WBA) were one of the favourites to be promoted to the Premier League as they had just been relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2020-21 season. But by the end, the West Midlands-based outfit finished 10th on the points table. To strengthen their promotion hopes, they have been linked to reinforcing certain positions on the pitch. One such player the Baggies are looking to bring to the Hawthorns is Luton Town’s right-back, James Bree. Here, we will dissect Bree’s performances for Luton.
Bree played 42 games for Luton Town in the 2021-22 EFL Championship season, totalling 3,730 minutes. He scored once and assisted six times, meaning he was involved in a goal every 533 minutes. Featuring as a right-back, the 24-year-old Englishman was highly influential for the Hatters team which surprised many, as they reached the promotion play-offs only to lose to Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals. Bree was mostly involved in the final third as Luton were one of the more possession-oriented teams.
Given above are the locations of the duels won by Bree in the 2021-22 EFL Championship season. Bree won a variety of duels, including 50/50s, aerial duels and ground duels. Most of the duels that he won came in the defensive third and in midfield, while the remaining occurred in the final third. The Englishman won a lot of 50/50s inside his penalty box, eliminating potential threats created by opponents. Bree won over two tackles and interceptions per 90 throughout the season.
Displayed above are the pass sonar, xT timeline and xT map of Bree in the 2021-22 EFL Championship. As seen above, Bree created significant threats from the right flank as well as some notable threats from the left wing. The Englishman’s xT score regularly exceeded 2.0, even touching 4.0 on some occasions, as he was the primary threat producer for the Hatters. Bree generated threats through progressive passes, passes into the final third as well as passes into the opposition’s penalty area.
Given James Bree’s performances for Luton Town this season, it is easy to see why he is being wanted by West Bromwich Albion. The Baggies may have to shell out a little more money than expected if they are to acquire the Englishman’s services, but West Brom can dream of a promotion challenge if this transfer is a success.