Friday, 4 October 2013

Player Analysis: Morgan Amalfitano

Amalfitano, potentially the bargain of the year!

By the Stats...
Price: 5.0
Total Score: 24
Average Score: 8
Selected by: 1.9%
Fixtures: ARSENAL, Stoke City, Liverpool, CRYSTAL PALACE, Chelsea

Career to this Stage

Aged 28, Morgan comes to the Albion on loan from Marseille. He has previously played for Sedan and Lorient where he scored 14 in a 102 appearances for the Ligue 1 side. After a slow start to his career in the attacking sense, Morgan has begun to contribute to the scoreboard much more generously over the last 5 seasons, with a general incline. He came to West Brom after Marseille simply had far too much depth in his role in the hole/wide attacking roles. 

Clarke had this to say about his new signing when he made his way to the club; 

"Morgan is a technical player with good quality on the ball. He also has fantastic work-rate and we believe his game is well suited to the Barclay's Premier League. Morgan’s arrival will increase competition in midfield and add more quality and depth to the squad.”

Amalfitano has had a blistering start to his career in the Premier League. He has had the amazing ability to distribute the balls into areas which at times are seemingly implausible to make. Also much to the surprise of Amalfitano fans, he has been hitting the net with much more frequency than we've come to expect. So is this a flash in the pan, or does Amalfitano have the goods to be a viable fantasy option throughout this campaign?

2013/2014 Stats

In general terms, the closer you are towards goal, the better your attacking production will generally be (of course there are the odd outliers like Torres!). With this in mind, lets take a look at his general positioning over the first 4 gameweeks;

Morgan is by and large, a chance creator. Over the French Internationals career, he has more than double the assists than he has goals. An extremely important stat to take in with this type of player is the minutes per chance created. Anything less than 40 minutes or so is fantastic. Amalfitano has averaged a chance created every 25.4 minutes! Phenomenal numbers! He has also made 30 final third passes in his first 3 games, which is quite a solid number even though his passing accuracy of 73.2% leaves a bit to be desired.

These are where the chances have been created from, to give you a greater perspective into the types of plays Morgan likes to run (assists in green);

As I suggested before, Amalfitano's bread and butter is to assist players, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he still doesn't mind a shot on goal from time to time. He has thus far averaged a shot every 64 minutes, with 75% of his shots being on target. Although we'd prefer that number to be a touch higher, the beauty is that at the very least, Morgan is attempting and to a certain extent making every shot count. 

Amalfitano has also been taking majority of the corners. Totalling 13 thus far, he has had 3 succesful ones, suggesting that there is a blatant assist potential from the dead balls as well.

To add additional fuel to the fire, Morgan has taken 5 of the last 6 bonus points, suggesting that the Bonus Point System (BPS) is rather fond of the way he goes about it. Potentially even when he doesn't make an attacking return, he may still receive some return from this category.

The major negative regarding the 5.0 FPL rated man, is the Albion's upcoming draw. As the 'By the Stats' Column suggests, trips to Stoke, Liverpool and Chelsea are going to be exceptionally difficult. Not too mention a home game against an Arsenal side who statistically speaking are stronger away from home than at their own stadium. The home game to Palace is the only respite. My thinking on this point regarding fixtures is that although this is a very difficult draw, Morgan may still be able to work his way out of it relatively strongly. He grabbed 13 points away to Manchester United. Out of the teams I mentioned, at the moment only Arsenal and Liverpool can have strong claims to form. Given his pricing, you could rotate him off and on the subs bench if you feel returns will be hard-pressed in these two games. After the next 5 or so, the draw does open up and his pricing will be far to hard to resist.


Obviously you have to take a few things into account.

He is undervalued for what he can provide, and he has shown early within his Premier League career that his playing style suits this league. The issue is that horrendous draw, which will make attacking returns harder to come by then they have in his first 3 outings. Nonetheless I feel that given he has only been picked up by an absurdly low 1.9% and given that his chance created per minute stat is fantastic, I'll look past his draw and bring him straight into my squad.

What do you think about Amalfitano? Do you think he's just a flash in the pan or someone who can really have an extended impact? Thanks for reading and I'd love a comment if you get a chance!