On day 21 of Blogmas, I wanted to write about Iago Aspas. To me, he is kind of a culture figure within Spanish football, but I wanted to see how well the Spanish strikers were doing in the current 2021/2022 season with Celta de Vigo. So that’s what I’m doing.
I will look at Aspas’ shots and analyse where they come from, how well he is doing, and whether he still is a force to be reckoned with. I will do that by looking at the shooting metrics compared to his peers, but also investigating more into his shots. The data and video come from Wyscout and were retrieved on December 21st, 2021.
In the scatterplot above we can see the metrics shots per 90 and expected goals per 90. It tells us how big the probability of a shot being converted into a goal is and the actual shots We can assess how high the quality of a shot is and how likely it is that that particular shot will end up in a goal.
Aspas has an xG per 90 of 0,51 per 90 minutes from 2,45 shots taken per 90 minutes. It tells us how many goals Aspas is likely to score every 90 minutes. With these metrics, he is doing very well and performing way above average.
In the graph below you can see the percentile ranks of Aspas compared to the 47 players in my database. This shows in which percentile he is for every metric that belongs to the shooting side of the game.
As you can see in the graph, Aspas is good. He scores excellent in all the metrics against the players in his position who have played more than 600 minutes. Especially the goals and expected goals metrics, where he scores in the 85th and 91st percentile – as well as 93rd percentile in the touches in the box per 90. Overall he is doing really well, only not in the head goals per 90 metrics, he scores 32nd percentile there.
Iago Aspas has scored 8 goals in La Liga 2021-2022 season so far and had 39 shots in total. That is a goal conversion rate of 20,51%. The expected goal is 7,05 – which means that Aspas is slightly overperforming his xG In the visual above you can see the shot locations of every shot attempted in the current season. In red, you see the goals and in grey the shots. The size of the dot corresponds with the value of the xG.
In the last part of this shot analysis, I will look at three of Aspas’ goals which show different skill in each of the goals, and therefore shows the quality he has in this La Liga season.
In the video above you can see Celta de Vigo in their game against Espanyol. Aspas gets the ball on the right flank just inside of the penalty area and manages to fool the defender, which gives him an inch of space, and with his left foot pulls the trigger. His effort is precise and he manages to score via the post in the far corner.
In the video above, you see Celta de Vigo in their game against Valencia. Aspas again gets the ball on the right flank and tries to create some space for himself. In doing so he doesn’t go for his left foot to shoot, but goes to the right and makes a short dribble. In doing so he needs his pace and technical ability to hold off the defenders, but also to shoot the ball with his right foot: another good goal for Aspas.
In the video above we see Celta de Vigo in their game against Getafe. In this example, we Aspas not as a player on the flank trying to win a 1v1, but as a player making a run into the six-yard box to get at the better end of the cross. And this is exactly what he does. He anticipates a cross, makes a movement to shake his defender, and connects with it – converts it into a goal for Celta de Vigo.
Even at 34, Iago Aspas is a force to be reckoned with. It’s no coincidence that the striker is instrumental to Celta de Vigo’s attack and with him there’s always the possibility that he will score. A fascinating player.