Albion Analytics: Joel Veltman's superb stats

A closer look at the numbers behind last season's runner-up for Player of the Season.

By Liam Tharme • 29 June 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Joel Veltman started 33 of Albion's 38 Premier League games last season.

Only Robert Sanchez (3,329) and Marc Cucurella (3,089) clocked more Premier League minutes for the Albion last season than Joel Veltman (2,874).

In total, across league and cup competitions, the Dutchman has made 71 appearances and conceded less than a goal per game (70 total, 0.98/game), keeping 21 clean sheets in total (30% clean sheet rate).

The Ajax academy graduate has played over 75% of potential minutes since signing for the club back in the Summer of 2020.

Even more impressive than the Dutchman’s availability is the positional variation within this playing time. Understat data has it that Brighton’s number 34 has featured at least ten times each as a centre-back, wing-back and full-back, featuring anywhere on the right-hand side in a Brighton back three, four or five.

Renowned as mister consistent, the experienced defender recorded a minimum of three tackles + interceptions in 33 of his 37 league appearances last season, also returning a pass accuracy of over 70% in all bar seven of his games (30/37).

In over two-thirds of games (25/37) he recorded a shot-creating action, with this triad of stats demonstrating the Dutchman’s versatility with and without the ball. Playing 21% of passes with his non-dominant left-foot, Veltman is one of the most two-footed players in the Brighton squad.

Last season, while on-field, he was involved in 30% of moves ending in a shot and 57% of goal-ending sequences, including setting up Maupay to assist the opener in the win at Everton, as well as firing home the equaliser on the final day against West Ham.

Box defending and one-versus-one duelling is certainly when Veltman is at his very best. Smarterscout grade him, as a right-back, at 91/100 in disrupting opposition moves, 91/100 in open-play aerial duels and 95/100 in recovering a moving ball.

Ranked against top five European League full-backs over the past year, the 30-year-old sits inside the top 20% for (per 90 minutes) tackles + interceptions (4.9), and Veltman sits inside the top 10% of his positional peers for aerial duels won (2.2), ball recoveries (10) and clearances (3).

Comparing his two Premier League campaigns, Joel Veltman’s 21/22 per 90 outputs improved on his debut season (20/21) in terms of pass accuracy (78.1% v 77.3%), tackles + interceptions (4.9 v 4.4), press success rate (31.1% v 29.5%), pass reception rate (95.9% v 92.9%), aerial duel win rate (62.2% v 57.8%).

SofaScore’s player grading algorithm rates Veltman’s best game from last season as the 1-1 draw away at Crystal Palace. The Dutchman had his seasons best performance that night in terms of pressures, successful pressures and tackles + interceptions (13). He did not better his seven progressive passes in another away game last season, including a delicate over-the-top pass to send Neal Maupay through for a last minute equaliser.