Three offensive metrics for valuing a wingback

Category: Team Analysis

We highlight the top ten wing-backs in three key metrics to measure their performance and importance in their team.


As we analysed just over a year ago, the three centre-back system has been, in recent years, one of the most followed trends in professional football. This change has meant, among many other things, that instead of two men on the flanks -full-back and winger- there is only one -carrier-, a figure that needs to be analysed in a different way, taking into account different metrics and situations.

While the three centre-backs allow the wide men to spread out more and get forward more often and higher than a full-back would, the demands on the player are equally very high from every point of view. In a way, they have to play as a full-back, as a midfielder and as a winger. For this reason, in this text we wanted to highlight three metrics, among the many that can be taken into account, which can indicate the relevance of a full-back in the team’s play.

Deep progressions

Number of times the player reaches the last fifth of the field (last 21 metres) plus the number of times the player has control of the ball in the last fifth.

This metric is a good way to measure how deep full-backs and wingers, and therefore also wing-backs, are. As the only wide men in many game situations, when the game progresses, they must accompany the progression of the play and get into the final metres to turn the defence and look for the cross into the box or the one-on-one.


The ability to dribble is a plus for players who start from so far back or who have to get into the final metres with the possibility of one-on-ones. While it is not the most important thing, we should bear in mind that there is more traffic on the inside and that dribbling tends to come more from the outside, which demands a certain one-on-one ability from wingers, more than is usually required of a full-back.

Ball progression

Power on the ball and passing ability is another of the qualities that characterise a winger. Depending on the profile and style of play, teams place more powerful players or players with better passing quality and ability, but both situations are captured in the ‘Ball Progression’ metric, which makes this metric essential for full-backs. Some of the best wing-backs in Europe are present in the top-10 of these three and many other metrics: Nuno Tavares, Nuno Mendes, Jimmy Cabot or Jonathan Clauss.

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
For Team Analysis we also recommend you:

Who can replace Ruslan Malinosvkyi?

Ruslan Malinovskyi could leave Atalanta next summer. With a hypothetical exit in mind, we look at five players who could replace him.

The great evolution of football: the average shot distance

There is no greater desire for statistical science than to be able to explain something complex and long-lasting in time with a single image. To be able to generate an immediate impact with a visualisation that condenses a story and its concept(s) in a second. And...

Directness: how direct each team is with their passes

We explain how our ‘Verticality’ metric works and visualise the data with the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Qatar 2022: La Gazzetta dello Sport collabora con Driblab (Italian)

In occasione della Coppa del Mondo in Qatar, Driblab non solo fornisce supporto statistico e di consulenza a tutti i suoi clienti, ma collabora anche con i principali media per far prendere sempre più coscienza delle statistiche avanzate attraverso progetti di ampio...

Il protagonista inatteso dei Mondiali in Qatar (Italian)

Il protagonista dei Mondiali del Qatar 2022 potrebbe essere lo stesso dei Mondiali di Russia 2018. I dati riflettono il suo dominio nelle competizioni internazionali.

Cercasi sostituto per Ruslan Malinovskyi (Italian)

Ruslan Malinovskyi potrebbe lasciare l’Atalanta la prossima estate. In vista di un’ipotetica uscita di scena, analizziamo cinque giocatori che potrebbero sostituirlo.

The unexpected protagonist of the Qatar World Cup

The protagonist of the Qatar 2022 World Cup could be the same as in the Russia 2018 World Cup. The data has been reflecting its dominance in international competitions.

Qatar 2022: style metrics of the 32 national teams

We selected eight style metrics to learn more about the 32 teams at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

The data that explain Luis Enrique’s Spain

We analyze how Luis Enrique’s Spain is coming into the World Cup and how the data shows its strengths and weaknesses.

The most offensive fullbacks in La Liga

We discover the most offensive fullbacks in La Liga and those who cover the most meters with carries, two metrics to measure the most important fullbacks in La Liga.


Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

Colaboramos con:


Hemos aparecido en:

Talk to our speciali