It has been a tough time at Crystal Palace with Roy Hodgson leaving the club at the end of last season after four campaigns and Patrick Vieira replacing him as the new manager. A lot of senior players have also left the club in the transfer window and Palace certainly had a busy summer bringing in replacements.
Finishing in 14th in the Premier League last season, it is likely to be a challenging first campaign for Vieira. Starting the season with a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea, Palace have drawn their last two games against Brentford and West Ham, thanks to a Connor Gallagher brace in the West Ham match.
Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, impressed a lot of people last season with his loan stint at West Bromwich Albion and was specifically wanted by Vieira at Palace.
We look at some stats from the last two games to analyse his performance.
The 21-year-old English midfielder scored two goals from two shots against West Ham to help secure a point. He has managed to take four shots in total in the two games he started with an average xG of 0.35.
When looking at the above chart, the general rule is that the longer the bar the better the performance – you can see the league average in the middle and the % is the percentile rank the player is in.
With 0.92 goals per 90 he ranks in the 99th percentile in the league with two goals scored. He has an xG better than 92% of the players in the league which is quite impressive for a midfielder. He has attempted 1.846 shots per 90 with a percentile of 78th in the league.
He has taken four shots, three of them inside the box scoring from two of them and one shot just outside the penalty box. He has not taken a lot of shots but has tried to make the most out of them, everytime.
With an average xA of 0.19 per 90 he is in the 81st percentile while playing 80% of his passes into the attacking third. Certainly, Gallagher is a player with a lot of attacking intent trying to play forwards every time he gets the ball.
He has played most of his passes in the right side of the pitch in his own half. While in attack, he likes to stay on the right side trying to link mostly with the right winger and trying to play through balls into the box.
Gallagher has been really solid defensively for Palace winning 76% of his defensive duels ranking in 56th percentile in the league and 60% of his aerial duels ranking in the 78th percentile in the league. A team like Palace will really benefit from having a midfielder who wins a lot of balls back in midfield and keeps the possession with them.As we can see , Gallagher has won duels all over the pitch in both the halves with equal efficiency.He did intercept the passes in the opposition half couple of times with the intent to start a counter attack higher up the pitch.
Predominantly playing on the right side of the pitch, he has dropped deep a lot to help out in defence while also arriving late in the opposition box scoring goals.
A perfect young box-to-box midfielder, Connor Gallagher can prove to be extremely important for Crystal Palace this season if they want to fight for a top half finish this season under Vieira.
It will be extremely interesting to watch Gallagher and Eberechi Eze link up once the latter returns from his injury.
Connor Gallagher is surely a player to look out for this season.