News

Albion Analytics: Jakub Moder

The numbers behind the Poland international's time in an Albion shirt so far.

By Liam Tharme • 14 April 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Jakub Moder made 28 Premier League appearances before suffering an ACL rupture against Norwich.

Jakub Moder turned 23 last week and with his season ending abruptly due to injury, it seems like a good time to review the Poland international’s performance.

Moder has been a fairly central figure for Brighton this season, clocking the most minutes (1,701) of any Albion midfielder this season. This season, the Pole has played 63% of available minutes, starting 19 times, compared to just 19% of minutes last campaign, when he started on seven occasions.

The 23-year-old is one of 15 U23 debutants (aged 23 or younger at debut) under Graham Potter, and he ranks among the top five most used – in terms of minutes played – of that group.

Profiling Moder positionally is a difficult task, given Potter’s various systems, but 87% of his touches occur in the midfield and final thirds, so he is clearly a player who operates in advanced areas.

Understat have it that, across both seasons, Moder has played at least 250 minutes as a left midfielder, left wing-back, central midfielder and advanced midfielder, while also featuring in other roles. Consequently, comparing him to other players can be challenging, but fbref consider him best grouped as a midfielder.

Ranked against EU Top 5 League midfielders over the past year, Moder ranks inside the top 10% for (per 90) nutmegs (0.2), touches in the final third (25.6) and opposition box (3.6), final third pressures (5.6) and tackles (0.4), progressive passes received (4.5) and crosses (1.6).

Moder featured in Poland's successful World Cup qualifying bid (beating Sweden in the playoffs), showed his ability to be a final third threat at Wembley against England last year.

In some regards, Moder is a hard player to evaluate statistically, given his rate of touches is low for a midfielder (55 per 90 minutes, below the EU Top 5 league midfielder average). Instead, arguably his biggest threat is his off the ball movement, and ability to time runs beyond to create chances for himself, and others.

Straight sprinting has been found to be the most frequent action prior to goal-scoring in European top-flight football. Moder showed this ability with strikes in the cup against Cardiff and West Brom, and ranks third among all Brighton players this season for progressive passes received (91).

SofaScore rank these two games as Moder’s best in the blue and white. In those fixtures combined (134 minutes), Brighton’s number 15 recorded 109 touches, completed 48 passes, was directly involved in 6 shots (5 shots – 2 goals scored, 1 chance created – 1 assist), won 3 fouls, completed 3/3 tackles, cleared the ball on 3 occasions and won 3/4 aerial duels.

Among the Brighton squad, Moder stands out for his balance – he is the only Albion player to record over 100 pressures in each zone of the pitch, and ranks above the Brighton average this season for tackles, pressures, progressive carries, shots and xG. That said, Moder is still yet to score a Premier League goal, having taken 41 shots worth 3.3xG in the competition – but he is finding the right areas, which is important.

And as a player, he is showing evolution. Compared to last season, Moder’s per game totals for touches (55.6, was 51.3) and passes per game (31.2, was 27.8) have risen, as have his per 90 totals for progressive passes played (3.5, was 2.9) and received (4.8, was 3.1). His average of 1.5 shot-creating actions per 90 has jumped up to almost 2, and has 3 assists to his name this season, having not set up any goals last campaign. Additionally, a 3% increase in his press success rate (proportion of pressures leading to a turnover inside 5 seconds) shows it is not only in-possession where the Pole has progressed.