Luton Town surprised a lot of fans in English Football in the recently concluded EFL Championship season, having finished sixth on the points table. This meant that the Hatters qualified for the Premier League promotion playoffs. One of the key men for Luton Town in the 2021-22 season was right-back, James Bree. He performed consistently well for the Hatters, but he has been linked to joining West Brom. The team from Bedfordshire may have to bring in a replacement if Bree does leave. One option could be Marlon Fossey, the right-back who played for Bolton Wanderers in League One on loan during the second half of the season. Here, we will dissect whether Fossey could be a good replacement for Bree at Kenilworth Road.
Fossey joined Bolton Wanderers on loan from Fulham during the second half of the 2021-22 EFL League One season. He featured for the Trotters as a right-back in 15 games, playing for 1,343 minutes in the process before his torn meniscus injury in March kept him out for the rest of the season. During his game-time on the pitch, Fossey scored once and assisted five times, meaning he was involved in a goal every 223 minutes. Previously, the former USA U-20 international played in League One for Shrewsbury Town. Fossey has been most influential in the final third, showing that he is an attacking full-back.
The above viz shows the locations of the duels won by Fossey for Bolton Wanderers in the recent EFL League One season. As expected, Fossey won most of his duels on the right wing. However, he won a variety of duels, including 50/50s, aerial duels and ground duels. He won some aerial duels but most of his victorious duels came in the form of ground duels and 50/50 loose ball duels. Most notably, the Los Angeles-born right-back has not won even a single aerial duel in the opposition’s penalty box, showing his lack of aerial prowess in the final third.
Given in the above visual is the xT map, xT timeline and pass sonar of Fossey in the recently concluded 2021-22 EFL League One season for Bolton Wanderers. Fossey generated most of his threats from the right-hand side of the final third as well as in the opponents’ penalty area. His xT score hovered just below the 0.4 mark, and most of his threat creation came from forward passes.
Marlon Fossey was a strong positive for Bolton Wanderers in the second half of the 2021-22 League One season as they finished in the top half of the table. However, he neither has the experience nor the ability to replace James Bree at Luton Town, especially as the Hatters look to challenge for promotion again next season.