Wigan Athletic ended their two-year absence in the second tier by winning the EFL League One title and thus, secured automatic promotion to the EFL Championship for the 2022-23 season on the final matchday. One man who has been responsible for this and should take credit for the Latics’ turnaround this season is Will Keane, the Irishman who finished as not only the Latics’ top goalscorer but the league’s as well. For context, Wigan narrowly escaped relegation in the 2020-21 season and now they have won the League One title. In this article, we will dissect Keane’s performances for Wigan Athletic this season in the third tier of English football.
Shown above is Keane’s shot map for Wigan Athletic in this season of the EFL League One. All of his 26 goals came from inside the opponents’ penalty box. Three of his strikes were from the penalty spot. Judging by the shot map, he scored more goals from inside the box than missing them. Very few big chances were missed by the Irishman. Keane attempted 96 shots and netted 26 goals, meaning his shot conversion rate was 3.69 shots per goal scored. Out of his 96 shot attempts, 38 of them were on target, which means his shooting accuracy for the season was 39.6%.
Seen in the above visual are the xT map, xT timeline and pass sonar of Keane. Occasionally, he managed to generate an xT value of 0.5 or more, but his average xT hovered around 0.2. Most of the threat he produced came from the centre in the final third. Keane also created threats from inside the box as the Irishman provided six assists in addition to his 26 strikes. Those six assists ranked him fourth in the Latics’ squad, behind Max Power, Callum Lang and James McClean. Most of the threat he generated came from simple forward passes.
Will Keane’s season at Wigan Athletic was his career-best, and there are already rumours linking him with a move away from the club based in the Greater Manchester area. Three clubs that have been rumoured to want the Irish hitman are Watford, QPR and Sheffield United. However, if Wigan are to survive and avoid the drop zone of the EFL Championship, they must do all they can to keep the 28-year-old at the club.