Push Notification
Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Scouting Lyon’s academy – data analysis

Olympique Lyon are a top club in France and in Europe, they were crowned champions of Ligue 1 seven times in the club’s history, all of them in consecutive years from the 2001/2002 season to the 2007/2008 season. A part of the club’s success in winning these and other titles comes from their wonderful academy that has produced some great talents such as Karim Benzema, Alexandre Lacazette, and Anthony Martial, who are now playing for big clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United.

In this data analysis, we will use data and statistics to find the best talents currently in Lyon’s academy that could potentially take the step up and earn a place in the first-team. 

Methodology 

In order to make this analysis, we need to establish what our data pool will be. Since Olympique Lyon II is the only youth team that has data available on Wyscout for the 2019/2020 season, our choice must fall on the players on that team but with the required specifications.

Because Olympique Lyon II play in National 2, a league that is not widely covered, the data available has its limitations, therefore, we will only highlight players who have played at least 450 minutes this season to make our analysis a more realistic one.

After analysing all the players we will compile a shortlist with the best talents.

Defending 

Starting with the defensive statistics, we created a scatter plot that shows us aerial duels won% and defensive duels won% on each axis. The size of the dots was set to display the amount of PAdj interceptions per 90 giving us a view of the most important defensive metrics.

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Looking at the upper right quadrant we can see the players that are above average on both metrics displayed on the axes. Sinaly Diomandé stands out from everyone when it comes to aerial duels won with a great 73.03% win rate, he also pairs that number with a solid 62.16% rate of defensive duels won and the second best number of PAdj interceptions per 90 (8.33). Melvin Bard ranks 2nd in terms of aerial and defensive duels won with win rates of 63.89% and 68.97% respectively and first when it comes to PAdj interception per 90 with 8.54. Pierre Kalulu wins first place with his 75% win rate on defensive duels which way above his 52.27% win rate on aerial duels, in terms of PAdj interceptions he averages 7.58 which is a good number. Osseynou Ndiaye boasts an impressive 70.21% win rate on defensive duels which, much like Kalulu’s case, clearly surpasses his average 42.86% win rate on aerial duels. The Frenchman also displays an average number in terms of PAdj interceptions per 90 (4.39). Mathis Louiserre and Lilian Perrier also show good defensive numbers but they both left Lyon this season, therefore, they will not be taken into account.

Passing and ball progression 

In this section, we will take a look at the best passers in the team, the players that are able to circulate the ball and do it well. We will also take a look at the players that are the best at progressing the ball up the field through passing or carrying.

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

The name that immediately stands out in this first scatter plot that addresses passing metrics is Osseynou Ndiaye. The midfielder ranks first in passes per 90 (70.99) and also displays great pass accuracy (85.91%). Melvin Bard appears once again in high ranks with 65.46 passes per 90 and a pass accuracy of 86.18% but he is not the only one to do it, Sinaly Diomandé with 60.52 passes per 90 and a pass accuracy of 89.72% and Pierre Kalulu with 57.87 passes per 90 and a pass accuracy of 88.52% are also recurrent appearances from the defensive section. Oumar Solet also displays good figures with 62.51 passes per 90 and a pass accuracy of 88.13%

The next scatter plot shows us the player’s ball progression capabilities.

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Melvin Bard and Pierre Kalulu stand out once again, the two full-backs are the players with the most progressive actions per 90. Bard averages 10.75 progressive passes per 90 and 2.45 progressive runs per 90 while Kalulu averages 10.51 progressive passes per 90 and 2.13 progressive runs per 90. Other names worth mentioning are Oumar Solet with 7.07 progressive passes per 90 and 2.44 progressive runs per 90, Rayan Cherki with 5.31 passes per 90 and 2.34 progressive runs per 90, Yaya Soumaré with 5.35 progressive passes per 90 and 2.51 progressive runs per 90 and finally, Osseynou Ndiaye that reaffirms his passing abilities being the player with the most progressive passes per 90 (14.37).

Chance Creation and creativity 

Moving to more offensive statistics, we will now take a look at the player’s chance creation abilities and creativity. For this next scatter plot we created the metrics “Dangerous passes per 90”, by adding passes to the final third per 90, deep completions per 90 and passes to the penalty area per 90, and “Chance creation contribution per 90” by adding third assists per 90, second assists per 90, assists per 90 and key passes per 90. An analysis of these metrics will give us a good view of the player’s contribution to creating chances.

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Starting with the familiar faces, Osseynou Ndiaye’s first place when it comes to dangerous passes per 90 (16.76) should not come as a surprise by now, however, he doesn’t rank very high in chance creation contribution with only 0.14 in this indicator. Melvin Bard shows up once again in the upper right quadrant, with 9.34 dangerous passes per 90 and a chance creation contribution per 90 of 0.36, the Frenchman shows a similar profile to his fellow full-back Raphaël Ulrich who averages 12.35 dangerous passes per 90 and the same 0.36 chance creation contribution per 90. Much higher in chance creation contribution are Rayan Cherki and Modeste Duku Mbenga. Cherki contributes to the creation of 0.86 chances per 90 and averages 8.98 dangerous passes per 90, on the other hand, Mbenga is the player that contributes the most to chance creation with 1.51 contributions per 90 but makes much less dangerous passes (6.04).

Goal Contribution

Lastly, its time to take a look at the goal contribution each player has made for the team, in order to do so, we created the metrics “Goal contribution per 90” by adding goals per 90 and assists per90 and, “xG contribution per 90” by adding xGoals and xAssists per 90.

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

The scatter plot above doesn’t leave many doubts as to who stands out in tases metrics. Again, the two familiar faces Modeste Duku Mbenga and Rayan Cherki are the best two in goal contribution. Mbenga is number one in goal contributions per 90 with 0.84 and largely exceeds his xG contribution per 90 of 0.3 while Cherki is second in goal contributions per 90 with 0.81 and also exceeds his 0.33 xG contribution per 90 by a mile. An honourable mention has to be made to Reo Griffiths who despite not standing out in other section displays, a good goal contribution per 90 of 0.57 that is also higher than his xG contribution per 90 of 0.3.

Final Shortlist 

Rayan Cherki

Cherki is a 16 year-old centre-forward/number 10 and already a well known name around Europe for those who follow youth football. Following his great performances, he has been linked with several big European clubs and at such a young age he is definitely a talent to look out for. His percentile ranks chart below shows us just how good he was for Lyon II this season.

His standout attributes are:

  • Goalscoring
  • Ball progression
  • Chance creation 
  • Creativity

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Melvin Bard

The 19-year-old French full-back displays impressive numbers both defensively and in attack, he is also one of the best when it comes to ball progression. Already a French U20 international, Bard has everything to become a complete full-back for Lyon’s first-team. Check his percentile ranks chart below to see just how good he was this season fo this team.

His standout attributes are:

  • Ball progression
  • Chance creation
  • Defending
  • Crossing

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Osseynou Ndiaye

The 21-year-old midfielder from Senegal is a big physical presence in the midfield that can play in more defensive or more attacking roles. Ndiaye stood out has the best passer in the team while also displaying good numbers in attacking and defensive metrics. Check his percentile ranks chart below to see how he is compared to his teammates.

His standout attributes are:

  • Passing
  • Ball Progression
  • Defending

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Modeste Duku Mbenga

Mbenga is a 19-year-old winger that can also play as an offensive midfielder. The Frenchman was the player that displayed the best numbers in terms of goal contribution and chance creation playing a huge part in the team’s offensive output scoring one goal and providing four assists hence his inclusion in the shortlist. Check his percentile ranks char below to see how he ranks in other metrics as well.

Standout attributes:

  • Chance creation
  • Goal contribution

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Sinaly Diomandé 

Diomandé is a 19-year-old central-defender form Cote d’Ivoire. During our data analysis, he stood out in the defensive metrics, but also in the passing ones, indicating that he is a modern defender able to contribute to his team’s build-up while also being solid in defence. Check his percentile ranks char below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.

Standout attributes:

  • Defending
  • Aerial duels
  • Passing

Scouting Lyon's academy - data analysis statistics

Conclusion

This data analysis allowed us to identify some talents from the Lyon academy that already display good numbers in terms of statistics despite still being very young. Although data doesn’t give us a complete view of the player’s quality and needs to be complemented with gameplay analysis, it can serve as a very good indicator of the strengths and weaknesses of a player as well as some aspects of his style of play.

Lyon definitely have some exciting prospects on their academy that could potentially take the step up and maybe help the firs-team get back to glory in Ligue 1 and, who knows, the Champions League. I’m putting these five players on my ones to watch list and all of those interested in youth football should do the same.