Chris Beesley points, Amadou Onana showed that he has added a new dimension to Everton’s midfield against Liverpool
Everton’s biggest signing of the summer Amadou Onana showed himself to be the man for the big occasion too with a dominant display in the Merseyside derby. Following the £33.5million acquisition’s full debut at Fleetwood Town in the Carabao Cup, Blues boss Frank Lampard said: “With young players you have to be a bit patient and I want to work with him. As a midfield player I can see things from the sidelines that I can help him with and his team-mates can help him with but we need to get there pretty quickly because he’s a big player for the future.”
Just 11 days later in the blood and thunder of a Premier League showdown against Liverpool, the 21-year-old demonstrated how he is rapidly stepping up to the plate. It was obvious against League One opponents that Scott Brown’s hatchet men had deliberately targeted Onana – three of them were booked for challenges on him alone – but while the Belgian’s cries of pain were clearly audible from the press box at Fleetwood’s tiny Highbury ground, the roar of the Goodison Park crowd masked any noise he emitted when being scythed down by a nasty high tackle from Virgil van Dijk that seemed a clear sending off in the eyes of many rather than the mere yellow card produced by referee Anthony Taylor.
Such rough tactics from opponents haven’t put off Everton’s colossus in the centre of the park from putting his body on the line though. Statistics from Comparisonator demonstrate how Onana produced above average numbers for Premier League players in his position in all six of their duels parameters.
The Belgium international contested eight defensive duels which was slightly higher than the division average of 7.63 but it was the fact that he won seven of them compared to an average of 3.96 that makes him stand out. It was a similar story for offensive duels, here his 15 contested soared above the average of 5.56 and resulted in eight wins as opposed to the average of 3.16.
Onana also used his towering 6ft 5in frame to good effect in aerial duels, contesting seven (the Premier League average is 2.43), of which he won four (the average is 1.33). He also put in a shift without the ball, completing 20 defensive actions (the average is 16.24) of which 18 were successful, a much higher figure than the average of 10.78.
Such as display was a far cry from Everton’s previous match against Liverpool when Allan, the player occupying the midfield holding role for Lampard’s side that day, was decried for his lack of successful passes. For the record, Onana, who is over a decade younger than the Brazilian, completed 23 of his 26 passes against the Reds, which is a success rate of over 88%.
Comparisonator is a football data comparison tool from 271 professional leagues around the world which compares players and clubs by utilising over 100 different parameters. Click here for more details.
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