EFL League One is one of the most competitive leagues in England right now. With only four points difference between the first placed and eighth-placed team, the competition for promotion is really heated.
Loads of talented players are at this level making it a hub for scouts. One player catching the eye is Morecambe‘s forward, Cole Stockton. The English striker is the leading goalscorer in the league with nine goals and has contributed directly to 11 out of 20 goals this season.
Morecambe has one of the best attacks in the division – but leaking a lot of goals at the back has seen them slip to 13th position in the league with eight points difference with league leaders Wigan Athletic.
However, it does not take away any credit from Stockton’ performance this season who has been a serious find and no questions are to be raised on his goal-scoring talent.
We look at some of his stats.
Stockton plays on the left side of the front two in the 3-5-2 system at the club. Not just a mere goal poacher, he has played throughout the pitch mostly on the central part of the attacking third, where a proper number 10 operates. The red zones in the above image show that. He has also spent a considerable amount of time on the left-wing while drifting often towards the right flank taking up spaces near the right side of the penalty area. The 27-year-old has also dropped a fair amount of times deep in his own half to help the defence and carry out the ball. Stockton has covered a lot of ground.
He has never been shy of taking shots and has tested the goalkeepers from different distances and angles a lot of times. Most of his shots have been inside the box while he has taken shots from distance as well. Stockton has scored nine goals so far, seven of them have been inside the box. Two of his goals have been from long range, averaging at a goal per 110 minutes in the league. His 60% shot accuracy and long rangers are proof of his precision. The forward has scored all of his goals from his favoured right foot.
Stockton has scored nine goals from an xG of 4.600 which is on the higher side of the league average. However, clearly overperforming his xG by miles the stats show that he has been able to score goals even when he could not get into great goal scoring positions, evidence of his accuracy, agility and eye for goal.
He has an expected goal contribution metric of 4.710 which is the league average, yet again he has overperformed this metric with the most number of goal contributions in the league. With nine goals and two assists, he has been directly involved in 11 goals for Morecambe, more than half of what they have managed to score. It is safe to say that Stockton has been their most threatening and effective player in attack.
With 15 shots on target, Stockton has scored nine goals. He has the best conversion rate in the league and his precision is second to none. The 27-year-old has been extremely clinical in front of goal and has tried to take full advantage of the chances he has got.
There is no lie when we say that if Morecambe want to finish anywhere near the promotion spots in the league, Stockton has to consistently keep on performing at the level he has in the first eleven games.
Stockton has improved a lot and is a real talent in front of goal – a lot of Championship teams should keep their tabs on the top scorer for a possible future transfer.