Middlesbrough currently occupy the seventh position on the EFL Championship league table. This has been mainly due to their defense which is the seventh-best. It might not sound good, but keep in mind that three of the teams above them on the points table – Sheffield United, Luton Town, and Huddersfield Town – have conceded more. But here, we will be focusing on the top goalscorer of the team Matt Crooks. Matt Crooks, as a midfielder, has netted eight goals this season for the team from Northeast of England. He is just one goal away from equalling his career-best season, which was in the 2019-20 League One season for Rotherham United.
Matt Crooks has scored eight goals for Middlesbrough this season. This puts him in the 90th percentile for goals per 90. As far as xG per 90 is concerned, he is outperforming his output this season. His height of 190cm allows him to shoot with his head 0.44 times per game. What’s more impressive is he has an xG per shot of 0.189, which puts him in the 97th percentile. Around 40.54% of the shots he takes hit the target. He also has a dribble completion rate of 72.58% this season.
All of Crooks’ goals this season have come from inside the opposition’s penalty area, showing that he knows where to take his shots from. Only 10 of his shots have come from outside the box this season. He has taken 40 shots, and 16 of those have hit the target. This means Crooks has scored a goal once in five shots or once in two shots on target. He has rarely missed chances that had an xG of 0.4 or over.
Crooks has produced an xT value of over 0.5 from the very beginning of games until about the 80th minute or so, as depicted by the xT timeline. At times, it has exceeded 1, and he has even reached 1.5 at approximately the 50th minute of matches. Primarily, Matt Crooks has generated most of his xT from passes on the right wing in midfield as well as in the final third. Sometimes, he also created threats from the left-centre of midfield as well as in and around the penalty box.
Middlesbrough are in the top half of the table thanks to their teamwork, which includes Crooks’ goals. But if they are to make the promotion play-offs, they will need consistency.