Christian Norgaard moved to Brentford following an unsatisfactory spell at Fiorentina, where he made a total of six appearances. The move reunited him with Thomas Frank with whom he had worked previously during his time at Danish side Brondby. Norgaard started his career in his home country Denmark with BK Heimdal and Esperaerde IF, before joining Lyngby’s youth academy. Following that, he secured a move to Germany to the Bundesliga side Hamburger SV. Norgaard rose to prominence after he moved to Brondby. He was also selected to represent his national team in the Euro 2020.
Since moving to Brentford, Norgaard has been an instrumental part of Thomas Frank’s midfield. He integrated into the then Championship side seamlessly, making 45 appearances during his first season for the Bees. Although Brentford failed to secure promotion to the Premier League that season, Norgaard’s performances for his side were praised by his manager. Next season, the season in which Brentford secured the play-off spot and climbed their way to the Premier League, Norgaard was limited to 18 appearances in the Championship due to an ankle injury.
This season he has played all nine of Brentford’s fixtures in the Premier League. Described by his manager as a “late bloomer”, the defensive midfielder is an important part of Brentford side that has impressed in the way they have started life in the Premier League. The Bees are placed in 12th spot in the league, with three wins, three losses and three draws and are eight points clear of the relegation zone. Although some of their losses might not provide a fair assessment on their season so far in the league, as they have lost narrowly in those games. Brentford are especially tough at home, as many of the top teams have found out the hard way.
Let’s analyse some stats to understand Christian Norgaard’s role and impact for Brentford this season.
Norgard is a robust and defensively sound midfielder who contributes immensely during transitions. His awareness allows him to position himself correctly and intercept opposition’s passes. He often drops deep in his defensive half to support his defenders. Norgaard’s tactical awareness is also impressive as he is able to judge the situations in which to press the opponent or to track back. His defensive attributes are further highlighted in the chart above. He ranks among the top in terms of the majority of defensive metrics.
Norgaard’s pass map indicates the areas where he makes his passes. In addition to covering for his defence, he makes many threatening passes in the opposition half as well. He is an adept distributor of the ball who is capable of switching the play with his diagonal balls and long passes.
His heat map indicates the areas of the pitch where he is most active in. It also indicates his tireless work rate for his team. He is ever-present in the midfield. Even though Norgaard is a deep-lying midfielder, he often progresses forward and makes runs in the opponent half in order to disturb the opponents.
Norgaard’s duel map shows his defensive duels and aerial duels. In addition, it highlights the areas where he engages in those duels. His success rate in defensive duels is very high. His physicality allows him to come out on top in many aerial duels as well.
Norgaard ranks second in terms of defensive duels won and a respectable thirteenth in terms of defensive duels won per 90. The above chart further highlights his defensive attributes.
Christian Norgaard’s performances this season have indicated that he is capable of competing at the highest level. Although Brentford have suffered set backs in their previous two games, they remain a tough side to travel to. The Bees fans can expect a lot of great performances from Norgaard as the season progresses.