Wolves have brought a few Portuguese talents to the English Premier League. Some players, like Ruben Neves, Daniel Podence, and Diogo Jota, have made names for themselves. This season, they signed another midfield talent in the form of Matheus Nunez. He was signed from Portuguese giants, Sporting CP and has impressed a few teams since stepping on the field in a Wolves shirt. As the season has gone by, the teams have monitored his performances and are thinking about recruiting him. One of the clubs that has recently shown their interest in the player is Liverpool. The Merseyside club is struggling in the English Premier League this season. They require some change in personnel if they want to finish this season on a high. We now look at some of the stats for Nunez that show why Liverpool are behind the Portuguese international in the transfer window.
Matheus Nunez has made 17 appearances in his first season at Wolves in the English Premier League. The 24-year-old has established himself as a regular starter and has one assist to his name. He plays in the centre of the midfield. The above viz shows the stats of the player in comparison to other attacking midfielders in the league. Matheus Nunez has performed decently in possession and attacking stats. Wolves have struggled throughout the season and are just sitting above the relegation zone. They had to defend their goal on most occasions, and this is one of the reasons why Nunez is ranked highly for defensive stats. He likes to contest duels and is good with his positioning on the field.
Why Wolves decided on buying the youngster?
Matheus Nunez played on the left side in the centre of the midfield for Sporting CP in Liga Portugal. He was a regular starter for the club and made 33 appearances. The 24-year-old scored three and had two assists. The above viz compares his overall stats with the other left central-midfielders in the league. Matheus Nunez played a big role on his side. He was ranked highly in the possession department. The player was more involved in attacking displays and had a high percentile rank for attempting dribbles as well as for managing to take touches inside the opposition penalty box. He impressed Wolves with his overall performances, which earned him a move to the EPL.
What Liverpool witnessed during this short spell in the EPL
Matheus Nunez plays on the right side of the midfield three for Wolverhampton Wanderers. The high-intensity zones in the above viz show that Nunez has attacked more from the right side. He has played on his favourite left side as well. The player is a box-to-box midfielder and averages 1.87 touches inside the opposition penalty box per 90 minutes. Last season, he averaged 1.2 touches per 90 minutes.
Matheus Nunez’s ability to play on both sides of the field helped him register his first assist in the English Premier League. The above viz shows the winger’s actions, which include dribbles, crosses, and intensity zones. Nunez attempts 1.2 crosses per 90 minutes and has a low success rate of 22.2%. The accuracy rate has been a bit low, but the player has a cross-assist this season. One of his strong points in the attack is his dribbling ability. This season, he manages 3.2 dribbles per 90 minutes and has completed 60.4% of them. Last season, he was more involved in attacking actions and attempted 5.37 dribbles with a 53.6% success rate.
Other than this, the player attempts 33.73 passes per 90 minutes with an 81.6% accuracy rate. These include 3.73 passes to the final third and 1.87 passes to the opposition’s penalty box. He also takes a shot or two in some of the matches and has an average of 1.4 shots per 90 minutes with a 23.8% accuracy rate. He is yet to show his best form for his new team.
More contributions to the defensive side
This season, the 24-year-old has a good percentile rank in the defensive stats. Nunez contests six defensive duels and 2.4 aerial duels per 90 minutes each. He holds a win percentage of 53.3% for defensive duels and 38.9% for aerial duels. Last season, he contested 5.92 defensive duels and won 66.1% of them. Along with this, he contested 2.2 aerial duels and won 48.5% of them. His performances have dipped a bit, but Premier League football is much more physical.
One of the areas where Matheus Nunez has shown consistency is in his ability to recover the ball. The midfielder averages 5.4 recoveries per 90 minutes, and 46.9% of them have been made in the attacking half. Last year, he averaged 5.6 recoveries and made 50.3% of them in the attacking half. The above viz shows the high regains made by the player in the English Premier League. These include 19 counter-pressing recoveries and six dangerous recoveries. Of these six dangerous recoveries, two have been made inside the opposition’s penalty box, and that is a good sign for the team. Liverpool also plays a high attacking line and a player like Nunez could be handy in recovering the ball easily.
Could he replace the long-time serving captain?
Liverpool will be shaping their midfield in the 2023–24 season. One of the players who could find himself on the bench next season is Jordan Henderson. He has been a bit injury-prone in the last couple of seasons and has lost a bit of pace. Henderson has made 16 appearances in the EPL this season, including ten starts. The above viz compares the overall stats of these two players. Liverpool plays an attacking style of football, and therefore Henderson has a good percentile rank in the passing and attacking domains. Nunez has the ability to work in defence, and that adds an extra edge to his game over Henderson.
Matheus Nunez’s inclusion in the squad is likely to have a small effect on the 1×2 odds as well as on the over/under lines. His inclusion in the team will make Liverpool more strong, which will decrease their odds. The over/under lines are likely to witness an increase or decrease in the odds rate.
Liverpool finished last season as the runners-up. This season, everything has changed for Jurgen Klopp’s side. They are sitting outside European places and are struggling to find their form. They need some new recruits that could help them get back to winning ways. Matheus Nunez is one of their primary targets in the midfield. With Naby Keita likely to leave in the summer, Nunez could be heading to Anfield.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine