There has been seen criticism about Felipe Anderson‘s performances this season among some sections of West Ham fans, but it certainly isn’t universal.
The fact that he hasn’t scored so far has led some to question whether he is a productive attacking outlet for the Hammers, but when you look at the statistics, it’s clear he has actually improved.
Anderson’s Passing Contributions In The Final Third Are Better
The 26-year-old is averaging 1.3 key passes per game his season, with 7.28 passes in the final third per 90 minutes. In the 2018/19 season, he made 0.58 key passes and just 5.87 passes in the final third.
This is a demonstrable improvement in terms of providing a threat in a key area of the pitch and this is borne out when we look at his chance creation stats.
Anderson Is Creating More Chances And Getting Involved In More Effective Areas Of The Pitch
The winger is having, on average, 3.51 touches in the penalty box per 90 minute this campaign. Last year, that number was down at 2.52. He is getting into dangerous on the ball and providing an end product too.
Anderson has fours assists already, averaging 0.52 assists per 90 minutes compared to only 0.11 in the 2018/19 campaign. His expected assists (xA) for the whole of last season was 7.31, he’s already at 3.18 and we’re barely three months into the season.
The Brazilian is Dribbling And Crossing The Ball More Often (With More Success)
Anderson is a proficient dribbler in possession, averaging above seven dribbles per match in both of his seasons at the London Stadium. However, he has a success rate of 63.8% this campaign compared to just 51.7% in his first season with the Hammers.
His crossing stats are the standout figures here, though, and while he is still averaging around 2.5 crosses per 90 minutes, his success percentage has increased from 34% to 52%. That may go down as the season goes on but that’s still a significant improvement.
The Only Thing Letting Him Down
Anderson isn’t getting into scoring positions. His xG per game this season is 0.17, which means he is not getting clear cut chances in the matches he plays in.
It was a similar last season where his xG was 0.14, but he did manage to score ten goals in total, which suggests he was putting away a lot of difficult opportunities.
With that being the case, Anderson has demonstrated that he is an excellent playmaker, rather than a goalscorer and supporters should perhaps focus on what he can bring to the team, rather than what he can’t.