Watford’s stay in the Premier League ended after just one season as they were relegated straight back to the EFL Championship for the 2022-23 season. As a result, several high-value players at Vicarage Road want to leave the club, including Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr, to name a few. Should the Hornets sell all three, it would be a huge loss but also generate the funds needed to strengthen their squad. One man who could replace Dennis in attack is Peterborough United striker, Jonson Clarke-Harris.
Clarke-Harris featured for Peterborough United in 41 matches of the EFL Championship last season as the side was relegated. He played for 2,996 minutes, during which he netted 12 goals and provided three assists. This means he was involved in a goal every 200 minutes or so. As seen from the above heat map, Clarke-Harris was an active man for the Posh in the final third across the front line, taking part in the build-ups on the left wing, right flank and through the centre.
As displayed in the above shot map, Clarke-Harris scored all of his 12 goals from inside the box. Five of these came from the penalty spot. He attempted the vast majority of his shots from inside the box. He took 71 shot attempts and hit 32 of them on target, giving him a shot on target percentage of 45% and a conversion rate of 5.92 attempts per goal scored. He had a couple of big chances from close range saved by the opponents’ keepers.
Unsurprisingly, most of his pass receive locations happened in the final third, with quite a good chunk of these coming inside the penalty area. He drew more fouls than committing them. He rarely tracked back and put defensive effort, as seen by the number of touches inside his half. This lack of a defensive shift may have been one of the many reasons why Peterborough conceded 87 goals throughout the campaign.
Clarke-Harris’ average xT score hovered around the 0.3-0.4 mark for Peterborough United. Sometimes, he produced an xT of over 0.5, and most of these came in the opponents’ penalty area. Most of his xT was generated through forward passes, passes into the penalty area and being in advanced positions to receive progressive passes.
Should Watford lose Emmanuel Dennis this summer, then Jonson Clarke-Harris could be a decent alternative to the Nigerian forward. However, he hit double figures only once in his EFL Championship career and may not be of the required calibre to help the Hornets challenge for promotion.