I started writing this piece as a general scout piece, but in the meantime it has come to everyone’s attention that Luis Sinisterra has made a move to Premier League club Leeds United for a record fee for Feyenoord. In this article we will look closer to his 2021/2022 Eredivisie season with Feyenoord.
Luis Sinisterra has been instrumental to this year’s Conference League success for Feyenoord in which they reached the final, but also in the Eredivisie under Arne Slot — Sinisterra has proven himself to be one of the better players in the Eredivisie.
We will use data and video to illustrate how Sinisterra has done in the Eredivisie 2021/2022 and we will focus on the winger position.
- Seasonal stats
- Ball progression
- Expected threat
- Key passing
- Final thoughts
- Name: Luis Sinisterra
- Date of birth: 17–06–1999
- Nationality: Colombian
- Position: Left winger
- Contract expires: 30–6–2024
- Current club: Feyenoord
- Previous clubs: Once Caldas, Feyenoord
- International: Colombia (5 games)
Luis Sinisterra is a funny footballer in the sense that he can be described as having two different styles when is on the ball. He is good with the ball at his feet and is a master at dribbling. Beating his direct opponent(s) in a 1v1 is one of his strong suits, and after he uses his pace to get into a good position in order to provide a cross. In that sense, he looks like a classical winger.
But he can also be described as a playmaker on the wing. On the occasions that he does beat his direct opponents, but inverts — we see his ability as a playmaker. Going into the halfspaces, he allows full backs to overlap and provide passes there. Or, he tries to spot a runner from the central zones and provides the through ball and set the runner in a 1v1 with the goalkeeper.
Off the ball, he tends to be lost in his positioning and awareness. With being a winger at Feyenoord, he needs to be doing his defensive duties as well. There is no lack of mentality or drive, but due to his positioning being off — he gives himself a disadvantage going forward.
When we look at his season stats, we can see a few interesting things with Sinisterra. In the graph above you can see a percentile radar of Sinisterra based on a winger/wide midfielder template. It shows us how well Sinisterra is doing in certain data metrics compared to his Eredivisie peers in the 2021/2022 season.
We will go into details for the specific stats later for the absolute data, but in this part, we will look at how well he is doing in certain metrics and what that tells us about his playing style.
He is not someone who crosses a lot. While he does get in the position to cross, he likes to keep the ball low. He scores in the top 25% of every other metrics and bar the xA per 90, shots on target % and xG per 90 — he scores in 84th percentile and higher. In terms of data, he does exceedingly well in the Eredivisie at his position, compared to his peers.
In the image above you can see the positions in a 4–2–3–1 where Sinisterra can play. He is the best suited for the wide midfield/wingers role, where he needs to make runs down the line and in doing so provides passes for the attackers in Feyenoord’s side.
In the image above you can see a 4–2–3–1, but he can play as a wide midfielder in a 4–4–2, 4–5–1 or 4–1–4–1 too. If you play with three attackers in a 4–3–3, he will play higher up the pitch as a left winger.
The modern winger isn’t only concerned with dribbling and crosses — but he/she also needs to be comfortable on the ball and progress play from it.
In the scatterplot above you can see the progressive metrics of progressive passes per 90 and progressive runs per 90. Sinisterra does really well here as he scores above average in the progressive passes metric, and just above the progressive runs metric. There are only a few players better in progressing the ball.
Sinisterra is excellent at dribbling, but how does he do that? You can see that in the video below.
Expected threat (xT)
The basic idea behind xT is to divide the pitch into a grid, with each cell assigned a probability of an action initiated there to result in a goal in the next N actions. This approach allows us to value not only parts of the pitch from which scoring directly is more likely, but also those from which an assist is most likely to happen. Actions that move the ball, such as passes and dribbles (also referred to as ball carries), can then be valued based solely on their start and end points, by taking the difference in xT between the start and end cell. Basically, this term tells us which option a player is most likely to choose when in a certain cell, and how valuable those options are. The latter term is the one that allows xT to credit valuable passes that enable further actions such as key passes and shots. (Soccerment)
So how does Sinisterra contribute to attacking threat in the Eredivisie?
If we look at all these actions we can see Sinisttere is the third on the list of highest xT generated throughout the season via carries. He has an xT of 1,95. Only Tavsan (2,66) and Gakpo (2,00) are better.
Every player makes passes in a game, but which passes actively contribute to the progression and construction of an attack? You can see some of these metrics in the beeswarmplot below.
As you can see in the graph above, Sinisterra scores quite high above average in almost every metric, only not the passes to final third. He scores excellent in the assists per 90 and the key passes per 90.
As you can see in the heat map of passes above, Sinisterra does the majority of his passes on the edge of the attacking third and in the middle third. As we see here is that he passes the ball close to the line and roughly in the same zones on the pitch.
What’s interesting is how he makes key passes. He scores in the high average, but the intent of his through passes does tell a lot about how he can help in an attack.
Sinisterra does sometimes come in the position to shoot, but how does he do in the quality of shooting?
In the shot map above you can see from where Sinisterra has conducted his shots in the 2021/2022 Eredivisie season. He had 73 shots of which 12 went in goal. 46,6% of his shots were on target and he generated a total xG of 7,56 — the latter meaning that he is overperforming with +4,44.
Apart from shooting in the box, he loves to shoot from the left side inside the penalty box. More than half of his goals come from this area.
Not only did he score a lot in the Eredivisie, but he also provided 6 assists during the season. In the video below you can see his assists during the season.
Comparison with peers
I have compared Sinisterra to three players of rivals. As you can see Antony and especially Gakpo are better in most metrics. When compared to Karlsson, we can see that Sinisterra scores a lot better in the possession metrics.
Luis Sinisterra has had a difficult start at Feyenoord, but after adjusting to the culture of Rotterdam and Europe, he has started to become a very prolific player in both goals and assists. He also poses a great threat to any defence with his pace, 1v1s, and dribbles.
In terms of providing and contributing directly to a goal, he does really well with his goals and assists, and he is ready for a step higher considering his progress over the last 2 years.