Finding the best wingers in the OBOS-Ligaen – data analysis
In this data analysis piece, we will be looking out for the best wingers currently playing in OBOS-ligaen using statistics. The wingers’ evolution in football has been well documented where they once upon a time were only key to creating chances but not scoring goals. The modern-day wingers have changed the trend by getting more involved than their strikers in front of the goal.
In our analysis, we will be considering both the attacking as well as defensive attributes. We will be looking at players who registered at least 900 minutes of football in the 2021 league season.
We will shortlist the best options according to the statistics and data analysis. While there are some top talents that are noticed in the Eliteserien, some hidden gems go unnoticed in the lower divisions. In this piece, we look into the players who might make the jump to the 1st tier soon. Let’s dive deep into the analysis.
Wingers over the past 20 years have had their roles re-defined. Where once they were used for playing crosses into the box for strikers, the last 20 years have seen wingers being in more inverted positions and are more of a goal threat to the team than their strikers. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United and Real Madrid, Lionel Messi for Barcelona or even Mohamed Salah for Liverpool currently are some of the best goal-scoring wingers of the current generations.
Sigurd Haugen – The 24-year old from Aalesund. He recorded 0.73 xG per game last season and also scored 0.7 goals from it. Though he underperformed by a slight bit, his xG showed that his underperformance won’t be a matter for a long time and next season he would definitely post a higher number too.
Nicolay Solberg – The 30-year old right-winger from Fredrikstad. He recorded 0.38 xG per game last season and scored 0.54 goals on average which is a goal in every 2 games that he played in the league last season. He also seems to be having a sustainable level of finishing and can expect to carry the same next season.
Riki Alba – The 27-year old winger from Fredrikstad. He recorded 0.42 xG per game last season and scored 0.4 goals from that showing a slight bit of underperformance but something that won’t be long lasting and he can be expected to be more clinical in front of the goal.
Kristoffer Hoven – The 25-year old left-wing forward from Sogndal. He recorded 0.5 xG per game and scored 0.4 goals from that. Though his underperformance might be a little higher than usual he can still be expected to score more than enough goals given the amount of xG he accumulates per game.
The best wingers are also among the best playmakers and they need to make passes into the opposition penalty area and also need to be able to create good chances for their teammates to score.
Willis Furtado – The 24-year old winger from Jerv. He recorded 0.74 key passes per game and averaged an xA of 0.27 per game. Though he was unlucky where he was able to receive only 0.17 per game assists out of that.
Taofeek Ismaheel – The 21-year old from Valerenga. He recorded 0.67 key passes per game in the league last season. He also had an xA of 0.21 per game and got 0.15 assists from that which was closer to what he was expected to get.
Robert Undheim – The 29-year old winger from Bryne. He recorded 0.87 key passes from the league last season which was the highest a winger managed in the league last season. He also made shot-assists worth 0.19 xA per game which resulted in 0.16 assists per game.
Kristoffer Ødemarksbakken – The 26-year old winger from Aalesund. He recorded 0.63 key passes per game. He averaged 0.22 xA per game last season and managed to get 0.17 assists per game.
Simon Marklund – The 22-year old from Ranheim. He recorded 0.56 key passes per game in the league last season. He also averaged 0.26 assists per game which were 1 in every 4 games he played in with an xA of 0.2 which tells that his teammates were good enough to put his chances.
Activity in the box
In this section of the analysis, we’ll assess how active the players in the box are. We have shots per 90 in the y-axis and touches in the box per 90 in the x-axis. The colour shows the xG per shot, which allows us to differentiate those players who attempt speculative shots (red) from those who shoot from dangerous positions (green).
Sigurd Haugen – The Aalesund man recorded 4.08 shots per game while averaging 6.76 touches in the box per game. His shots also had an average xG of 0.17 which is a very good indictment about his ability to get into good positions while taking shots.
Taofeek Ismaheel – The Valerenga man had recorded 2.73 shots per game while recording 5.57 touches inside the box per game. Though he averages a decent amount of touches in the box, he doesn’t really get into good positions where his average xG per shot was just 0.1.
Kristoffer Ødemarksbakken – The Aalesund winger recorded 2.83 shots per game with 4.33 touches inside the penalty box. Even he prefers to take a lot of shots outside the box where there is generally less chance of scoring and this reflects in his xG per shot value which is just 0.1.
Nicolay Solberg – The 30-year old right-winger recorded 3.24 shots per game while averaging 4.08 touches per game in the box. He also had an xG per shot value of 0.11.
In this section of the data analysis, we have a look at the players’ ability to get past rivals and create things by themselves. On the x-axis, we have completed dribbles per 90 and on the y-axis, progressive runs per 90 (a continuous ball control by one player attempting to draw the team significantly closer to the opponent goal). Dribbling is an important attribute to a winger and his ability to get past an opponent can open defences in a much easier fashion.
Willis Furtado – The Jerv winger recorded 5.22 successful dribbles per game with 3.23 progressive runs per game on average. He also averaged 7.64 offensive duels per game in the league last season.
Taofeek Ismaheel – The Valerenga man had recorded 5.01 successful dribbles per game in the league last season and also averaged 6.7 successful offensive duels per game. He also averaged 3.66 progressive runs per game in the league.
Markus Aanesland – The 23-year old winger / forward from Raufoss. He recorded 4.74 successful dribbles per game along with 2.76 progressive runs per game in the league. He also made 5.51 successful offensive duels per game in the league.
Bilal Njie – The 23-year old winger from KFUM. He recorded 3.63 successful dribbles per game and also made 2.69 progressive runs per game. While he also recorded 6 offensive duels won per game in the league.
Despite the modern game developing to accommodate a lot of forward players being given the freedom and the fundamentals to do well in possession, the same modern philosophy of the game expects them to track back and defend for the team as a collective process.
Chris Cheng – The 20-year old winger from Stabaek. He recorded 6 defensive duels per game and 4.19 PAdj interceptions per game in the league last season. He also made 6.88 successful defensive actions per game in the league last season.
Willis Furtado – The Jerv winger recorded 6.22 defensive duels per game along with 3.63 PAdj interceptions per game in the league last season. He also made 6.83 successful defensive actions per game in the league.
Robert Undheim – The 29-year old winger from Bryne recorded 6.25 defensive duels per game in the league with 3.72 PAdj interceptions per game in the league. He also averaged 6.7 successful defensive actions per game.
Kristoffer Ødemarksbakken – The Aalesund winger recorded 7.44 defensive duels per game in the league with 3.34 PAdj interceptions per game in the league. He also averaged 6.75 successful defensive actions per game.
Enoch Banza – The 22-year old winger from Raufoss. He recorded 7.5 defensive duels per game in the league with 3.37 PAdj interceptions per game in the league. He also averaged 7.05 successful defensive actions per game.
Players to watch out for
Based on the data and the statistics we have shortlisted a few options to look out for in the forthcoming season where we expect these wingers to make bigger strides.
The Aalesund winger can also play as a CF and had featured in that position last season in a few games too. We can see his strengths from the image that he is very good in front of the goals and has very good off-ball movements to receive progressive passes from his teammates. This is one of the reasons why he has accumulated a lot of xG and though he has quite under-performed his xG he will definitely be able to do well next season and even he does he will be able to still score a lot more goals. He could probably look to increases his ability in terms of creating chances for his teammates.
The youngster has been one of the most exciting prospects in the 2nd division and also earned a move to FC Lorient which will happen in the summer window. But he will still feature for his side during their start of the season and many other clubs can still scout him and track his progress. He seems to be very good in terms of dribbling, creating chances and has also done well in terms of accumulating a good amount of xG that will eventually lead to him scoring goals in future.
A defensively sound player who has contributed well for his side defensively and did really well in terms of making good off-ball runs too for his side. He could be really useful for sides that have good creators and needs someone who can receive those and convert those chances. He could definitely increase his ability to create chances and be more clinical in front of the goal that might elevate his level soon.
The OBOS-ligaen possesses some fine wingers with most of them being young and with high potential. In this article, we have covered both the attacking as well as the defensive traits to discuss and list a few of the best performing players. A lot of players have been handpicked and have seen themselves playing in multiple top-tier clubs across the Scandinavian regions. We could see that the players we saw and discussed could also follow the same path and be successful at the top level.