The Data Scout Miniblog – Leon Goretzka

Goretzka’s team Schalke are an above average passing side but most of this is built on defensive build up from the back three Howedes, Naldo and Nastasic rather than a fully functioning midfield.

Goretzka generally plays in a central midfield three alongside Johannes Geis and Nabil Bentaleb. My xP model says these three are average passers who aren’t too adventurous.

This may be due to the fact that Schalke’s attack is based heavily around the main wide men Kolasinac, Schopf and Choupo-Moting getting crosses into the box. Feeding them will require a lot of shifting it wide rather than a bunch of vertical passing.

As we see for a lot of cross-heavy sides, Schalke’s attack is fairly inefficient and they aren’t as high in the table as xG suggests they should be.

It’s somehwat suggestive of Schalke’s struggles going forward that Goretzka shoots as often and as well as the forwards in his team. His xG numbers look good. Here’s his shot map:

According to my xA model, Goretzka is also directly creating the most open play goal threat for the team. However, this is based on volume of final balls rather than their quality.

Defensively, Schalke are one of the more solid teams in the Bundesliga and Goretzka plays his part.

No video footage was harmed during the making of this blog.

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