Albion Analytics: Solly March's five best stats

The winger signed a new contract with the club last week.

By Liam Tharme • 21 March 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Solly March celebrates his wonderful winning goal against Crystal Palace.

Solly March signed a contract extension to remain at the Amex until 2026 last week.

Here are five stats to celebrate the 28-year–old's fine form this campaign.

Second-half Solly

March’s match-winner at home to Crystal Palace was the first time that he had scored a first half goal in the Premier League. It came in the 15th minute on March 15th, fittingly.

All nine of his previous Premier League goals had been scored in the second half, with the average goal time being 60 minutes. In fact, including his three FA Cup goals since the start of the 2017-18 season, 11 of his 12 goals have been scored after half-time, with three goals in the 90th minute or later: Milwall (A) 90+5 in the FA Cup 2018-19; Manchester United (H) in the Premier League 2020-21; Newport County (A) 90 in the FA Cup 2020-21.

 Post-World Cup form

Since the Premier League restart in December, only Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland (both 10) and Harry Kane (8) have scored more goals than Solly March (7).

He ranks 13th in the league for shots taken in that time (28), at an average distance of 15.2 yards from goal, but March stands out for his finishing ability — only four players can better his 14 shots on target and a 50% shot accuracy rate is well above league average (36.7%).

From a creative perspective, March ranks joint-11th for chances created (22) but joint-fourth in terms of big chances created (9), underlining the double threat he has become this season.

Positional versatility

He is thriving as an inverted right winger in Roberto De Zerbi’s 4-2-3-1 but a feature of March’s play across his Premier League career has been his positional adaptability under different coaches.

Understat measure that six of his ten Premier League goals and three of 14 assists have been as a right winger, with 1,492 minutes across 17 appearances in that position — March makes a goal involvement once every 165 minutes as a right winger, better than one every two games. Impressively he has balanced expected goals (4.2) and expected assist (4.91) numbers in that position.

He has played over 1,000 minutes at both left and right wing-back, as well as left and right wing, with 629 minutes as a number ten too and 944 minutes as a sub.

One-club man

Only club captain Lewis Dunk (403) has made more appearances for the club across all competitions than Solly March (266). He ranks 13th in the entire Premier League among the longest serving players, having debuted over nine years and eight months ago.

March’s most starts and finishes in a Premier League season came in 2018-19, when he completed 16 full games — that total is already 14 this campaign. It is notable that this season is March’s best for proportion of minutes played (95.6%, with 43.1% average across his Premier League career) and average minutes played per game (86, 60 average in the Premier League).

Dribbling and carrying

As March’s game has evolved, there have been interesting changes to his ball carrying this season. His success rate (47.6%) is below 50% for the first time as a Premier League player, despite March now attempting dribbles (3.43 per 90) at his highest rate since the 2017-18 season (3.98) — he tops the Brighton charts for total dribbles attempted and completed (82 and 39) but ranks sixth among teammates with ten+ dribbles attempted.

This suggests he is either attempting more difficult dribbles, attacking higher quality defenders or picking his moments less effectively.

While he may be bleeding possession more, March is making more chances through his carries. He has 11 take-ons leading to shots this season, his most in a campaign since 2018-19 (15) in a counter-attacking set-up, and the most of any Brighton player this season.