On 30th August 2021, Troy Deeney left Watford after serving them eleven years as a free agent, helping them secure a place back in the Premier League. He joined his favourite boyhood club, Birmingham City on a free transfer in the hope to help them achieve some feats in the EFL Championship.
The 33-year-old forward did join the club knowing the fact that he won’t be starting every game to make place for the other youngsters in the team. Still, he has played eight matches so far, but has not been able to reach the previous heights of his career with age catching up with him.
Birmingham City has not progressed well in the league yet sitting on 18th in the division with just four wins in 14 matches. With only two goals, Deeney has not been able to contribute much as well.
We look at his stats from the season.
The forward has started mostly as a lone striker in the 5-4-1 formation implemented at the club. With Birmingham chasing the ball for the majority of the time, Deeney had to drop deep a lot this season. He has spent most of his time near the centre circle as the first defensive line – the red and orange areas in the above viz show that. Though he has spent most of his time there, Deeney has covered extensive amounts of area up the pitch as well, when Birmingham have tried to attack. He has positioned himself in almost every space in the attacking third, mostly central outside the penalty area but also drifting towards both the flanks frequently, as well centrally making runs into the box.
In the eight matches he has featured in, Deeney has played only 99 passes. Averaging 22 passes and 36 touches per 90, he has not been real precise while passing the ball around registering an accuracy of 55%. The majority of his passes have been outside the opposition penalty area in the attacking third, mostly short and trying to link up with his teammates. He has tried to deliver crosses as well as play in through balls into the box a lot of times with the xT as high as 0.2750 on certain occasions. Deeney has not registered any assists so far.
Though he has spent a considerable amount of time in the midfield, Deeney has been able to get back in shooting positions real quick. All of his shots have come from inside the box. He scored only twice so far averaging a goal every 200 minutes, recently scoring against Swansea in the weekend. The Englishman’ precision is still omnipresent, keeping 63% of his shots on target but his conversion rate has seen a downfall.
Deeney’ positioning has still been one of the best in the league. His 93rd percentile ranking from xG per 90 and 95th percentile ranking from xG accumulated per shot clearly proves the fact that he has been able to get in great positions inside the box to launch shots while his finishing has let him down a bit. He poses a great deal of aerial presence ranking 97th percentile in the league from attempted headed shots per 90.
He might not be in the prime of his career anymore but there is no doubt in the fact that Troy Deeney’ experience and performances would be extremely essential for Birmingham to survive in the Championship.