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Albion Analytics: Danny Welbeck

The striker signed a new one-year contract earlier on this week.

By Liam Tharme • 26 June 2021

By James Boardman
The striker netted six goals in 24 Premier League appearances last season.

Danny Welbeck has committed to the Albion following his best scoring season since 2013/14, having netted the most non-penalty goals (6) of any Brighton player in the last Premier League campaign.

His pedigree at this level is not to be understated. Welbeck has played over 13,000 minutes – equating to 150 full matches – across 13 different Premier League seasons, with last season (1,545) his best in terms of minutes played since 2014/15 (1,663). The Englishman's sixth and final goal of the season, at home to West Ham, was his 50th in the Premier League, with Welbeck averaging a goal every 270 minutes (three games) in the English top flight. 

The former England international's pedigree extends further, having appeared 42 times for his country, including at a World Cup and European Championships. His 25 goals in those appearances are evidence of his ability to consistently convert at the very top level.

Comparison to other Brighton forwards last season proves the value of keeping Welbeck for another campaign. He boasted the best shot accuracy (42.4%) and average shot quality (0.19xG per shot, almost double the club average), taking his shots closer to goal (12.4 yards) than any other Brighton forward. In all of those metrics, Welbeck ranked inside the top 20% of Premier League forwards last season.

Only Neal Maupay could match Welbeck for non-penalty Expected Goals plus Expected Assists (0.48) per 90 minutes played, whilst Brighton’s no.18 recorded more shot-creating actions (2.91) per game than Neal Maupay (2.83) and Aaron Connolly (1.37).  

From a finishing perspective, Welbeck’s versatility is invaluable. He was the only Brighton player last season to score with his left foot, right foot and head. Since the start of the 2014/15 season, his 24 Premier League goals have been split into seven headers, eight left-footed finishes and nine right-footed finishes.

Four of his six strikes last season were marginal goals, ones that changed the game state (from losing to drawing or drawing to winning). For those who put stock into the Expected Goals metric, Welbeck accumulated 6.8xG, evidence of his ability to not only get into high quality scoring positions but also finish at a rate close to average.

Welbeck ranked above the Premier League forward average last season for (per 90 minutes) goals scored, dribble completion rate, non-penalty xG plus xA, final third pressures, shot-creating actions and medium and long pass completion rates.

For Albion fans who want to put their faith in Welbeck next season, he will set you back £6m on the Premier League’s official FPL, having bagged 89 points last season, among the top eight Albion players.