Ipswich Town are in dire straits right now in EFL League One. They are in 19th spot in the league, grabbing just ten points from their ten fixtures. So far, they have just two wins, four draws and four loses. They are separated from the relegation zone by a margin of one point. Although they are leaking goals at the back, they have maintained a positive goal difference, a feat which can be attributed to their in-form on-loan striker Macauley Bonne.
The Zimbabwean international is in a blistering goal scoring form since his arrival from QPR. He scored in Ipswich’s opening day fixture against Morecambe and hasn’t looked back since. Although Ipswich had to wait a while for their first league victory of the season, Bonne’s goal scoring exploits have continued. They got their season up and running against Lincoln, courtesy of a headed goal by Bonne, which was enough to secure the win.
Bonne’s goal scoring stats are only matched by a hand full of players this season. He is joint-second among the top goal scorers in the league, having scored eight goals in nine league games. He leads in terms of goals per 90 averaging, 1.08 goals per game. In addition, his goal conversion rate and shot accuracy are some of the highest in the league. In the game against Sheffield Wednesday at home he contributed heavily in perhaps the cheekiest goal of the season, a goal reminiscent of former Tottenham striker Robbie Keane’s goal against Birmingham where he caught the goal keeper off guard, stealing the ball and slotting it past the keeper. In a similar manner, Bonne caught the Sheffield Wednesday goal keeper off guard, sneaking up behind him and stealing the ball before passing it to Scott Fraser who in turn found Chaplin who rolled the ball into the back of the net.
Let’s take a look at his stats this season to get a better angle of where exactly his strength lay.
In their recent 2-1 away defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley, Bonne was the only saving grace for Ipswich Town. The forward was calm and composed as he slotted the ball past Toby Savin, giving his side the advantage that looked to be propelling the Blues on the way to a victory. That didn’t happen, though, and, judging by Bonne’s demeanour after the game, this goal did little to console the forward who cares deeply for his hometown club. He had the highest xG in the game, while he also won the most aerial duels.
The above visual shows the areas of the pitch in which he prefers to receive passes. It also indicates his adeptness at receiving passes in multiple areas of pitch. In addition to his offensive duties, he sometimes drops deep in his half to support his defenders.
Bonne’s heat map shows the areas of the pitch where he is most active in. The red zones indicate his high work rate in those areas. He occupies multiple areas in the opposition half, comfortably switching positions to receive or to deliver passes. He is most active in the half spaces and on the right wing in the opponent half.
Despite playing fewer games than many other players in the league his shot map is impressive. The shot map indicates that he prefers taking the majority of his shots from inside the opposition box. He has a shot accuracy of 76% and a conversion rate of 47%, among the top in the league.
His expected goals places him in third spot in the EFL League One while his expected goals per 90 puts him in fifth spot.
It is without a doubt that Macauley Bonne is laying his claim at Ipswich Town’s striker spot. Despite his team’s poor form, he has continued his goal scoring form. Manager Paul Cook needs to fix his side’s defensive issues if they are to survive in the EFL League One, because scoring goals is the least of their concerns, all thanks to the Zimbabwean international Bonne.