Performance analysis in football: most improved players

Category: News

Thanks to our Driblab Score, we look at the most improved players over the last 9 months.


A little less than a year ago, we shared on our blog our way of measuring performance through the Driblab Score, an index developed by the Driblab team with which we can not only measure the performance of each player but also keep an eye on any progression or regression of their performance throughout the season or between a past season and the current one, a perfect excuse to ask ourselves which players have improved the most in the last nine months, thanks to the Driblab Score.

Vinicius Junior – Real Madrid

It is, without a doubt, the great explosion of a big team starter and Champions League candidate. Not only in finishing, where the Brazilian has put an end to his problems to make the best decision and define with serenity in front of the goalkeeper, but in physical continuity, ability to change the pace of the game and keep defenders on their feet (more than three touches in the opponent’s area per 90′ than last season). In every possible parameter, Vinicius has not only improved, he has doubled or tripled his output.

Florian Wirtz – Bayer Leverkusen

Until his serious knee injury, Florian Wirtz was the Bundesliga sensation. Playing 400 minutes less, his performance shows a spectacular progression in all kinds of game situations, mainly in what he is most skilled at and what he will cost a lot of money for in the future: creating chances from the assist, the finish or the goal. To that incredible production, he has added fewer turnovers.

Rafael Leao – AC Milan

He does winger stuff and striker stuff, and that makes him a top offensive weapon for AC Milan. And all of that has been done, on a regular basis, key to his leap in level, by Portugal’s Rafael Leao, who is fighting to lift a Serie A title that the Rossoneri have not lifted since 2011. For an attacker to complete more than three dribbles per 90 minutes and translate that into more than three shots and six touches inside the box is to have a sort of perfect attacker on your side.

Conor Gallagher – Crystal Palace

A midfielder with a goal in the Premier League is a passport to glory. Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea to Crystal Palace, has used his year on loan to develop into a midfielder with a fantastic ability to get on the scoresheet. Both his finishing map and his xG per shot show his ability to find quality shots and be accurate between the sticks. Great ability to place his shots.

Martin Terrier – Stade Rennais

One of the big stories within a Rennes side that boasts some of the most productive players in all of Europe, including Martin Terrier. For any coach to have a striker who generates, participates and assists but doesn’t score is a half-baked project. Martin Terrier has managed to multiply his goalscoring figures without compromising his ability to associate and participate, and that is what he has achieved under Bruno Génésio.

Players to watch

  • Sasa Lukic: one of the key players for Torino, the Serie A team that presses hardest all over the pitch. The Serbian has been much more involved in the construction of the game, and has been much better in one-on-one defence, key in the individual duels proposed by Juric.
  • Ivan Provedel: the most improved goalkeeper in the big five leagues in our ‘Goals Avoided’ metric: in 20/21 he conceded 49 goals without penalties having faced an xGOT (Expected Goals On Target) of 37.5, conceding 12 more goals than he should have based on the clarity of the chances conceded. This season, quite the opposite: 32 goals conceded for an xGOT of 42.
  • Marc Cucurella: Between his big impact at Brighton, Cucurella has 78% in tackles/was dribbled, up from 60% last year at Getafe. Overall, he is improving in absolutely everything, being a key player from full-back in Graham Potter’s team.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 200,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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