Wigan Athletic were promoted to the EFL Championship after winning the EFL League One last season. They spent two years in the English third division before earning a promotion. Wigan had a good start to the season as the team won five matches, drew four, and lost three. After this decent run of 19 points in 12 games, the team failed to capitalize on the start and lost 12 of the next 16 games played. Kolo Toure’s men have just earned seven points in the last 16 games and now sit at the bottom of the EFL Championship table. The supporters and the owners won’t be happy to go down after spending just one season in the Championship. They would rely on their striker Will Keane to help them ensure safety in the second division. Will Keane was their top goalscorer in League One and is still leading the chart for his team this season. We now look at some of the stats of the player that show how he could ensure safety for his side.
Will Keane plays as an attacking midfielder for Wigan Athletic. He was a former Manchester United player and has also played for clubs like QPR and Hull City. After his move to Wigan in 2020, the striker helped his side earn a promotion to the EFL Championship in just his second season at the club. This season, his form has once again been decent. The player has made 27 appearances and scored ten goals for his side. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player in comparison to other attacking midfielders in the EFL Championship. Keane has played 91% of the minutes played by Wigan Athletic in the league. His goal contributions and xG have been above average. The player is ranked highly for contesting and winning aerial duels. However, the player has struggled in other areas but is still his side’s leading goal scorer.
A handy goalscorer
Will Keane has found ways to find the back of the net since joining Wigan Athletic. He was the highest goalscorer for the League One champion last season, and this season he is trying to achieve the same feat. The attacker averages 1.47 shots per 90 minutes and has an accuracy rate of 42.5%. He averages 0.35 xG per 90 minutes. The xG map shows that Keane scored all the goals from inside the penalty box, with two coming from the penalty spot. Keane targets the centre of the goal and usually finds the back of the net. Another reason why the player has scored goals is due to his positioning. Keane gets on the end of passes inside the six-yard box and has managed to find the back of the net on occasions. Most of his goals have been scored from inside the six-yard box.
Last season, Keane scored 26 goals in 44 matches. He averaged 1.84 shots per 90 minutes and had a 44.6% accuracy rate. Keane’s xG rate was 0.45 per 90 minutes. If we look at the two images, we can see one thing in common, and that is his goal-scoring areas. Keane usually scores most of the goals from inside the six-yard box. Last season, he averaged 2.75 touches inside the opposition penalty box, and this season, it has dipped a bit to 2.2 touches per 90 minutes.
Even though Keane has found the back of the net, his team has struggled to keep the lead that was given by the striker. Most of his goals have been consolation goals. The striker will hope for some improvement in his side’s defence.
The creative side
A team expects their attacking midfielder to play more on the creative side. However, this is not the case for Will Keane. He plays more as a secondary striker and likes to get on the end of passes to score goals. However, he also has the ability to find a teammate, sometimes in dangerous goal-scoring positions. The player has provided two assists this season and is five assists behind his last season’s tally of seven assists. The above viz shows the shot assist map of the player. He averages around 0.4 shots and assists per 90 minutes in both seasons combined. The above viz shows that most of the shot assists have been provided from the right side of the play. The striker likes to dictate the play from the centre, as observed from the above viz. He will look to add more assists in the coming games.
Will Keane has a huge impact on the betting odds for Wigan Athletic. His inclusion in the side affects the 1×2 odds as well as the over/underlines. He is a goalscorer and a match-winner, so the over has a lower odds rate. When looking at the 1×2 odds, Will Keane lowers the odds for Wigan. In the event that the player gets injured or is not available for selection, then these odds are expected to rise.
Wigan Athletic are stuck in a tough situation in the EFL Championship. They are struggling to keep up with the pace and are ranked at the bottom. They heavily rely on Will Keane to score goals. Keane has scored three goals since the international break and will look to add more in the remaining games. He will hope that his goals help his side survive in the EFL Championship. As things look, Wigan Athletic are in a tough situation but have hopes of staying in the second division.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine