This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
A cameo, but hopefully it leads to more of a starring role.
At least that’s what Jeremie Bela will be hoping his appearance against Fulham was like on the weekend.
Whilst 28 minutes of one game isn’t a lot to judge someone on whether or not they offer a long term solution, it does just give you just a little taste to see if they are at least capable of doing something at this level.
We spoke previously on FFC about how he was essentially the latest attempt to try and find Lukas Jutkiewicz a partner, and based off his brief appearance, there were some positive signs.
Taking a look at his statistics (taken from SofaScore), he had a 62% pass completion rate, made one key pass, but most importantly if he’s going to playing with Jutkiewicz, he managed to whip in 4 crosses in that time.
Given the striker’s prowess in the air, (winning an average of 7.8 aerial duels this season via WhoScored), it will certainly go a long way to helping him get on the scoresheet plenty this season.
Not only that, but his pace managed to cause the Fulham defence a little bit of a problem as well, as he won the team two fouls, so he’ll prove useful in getting them set pieces in attacking areas going forward.
If you take a look at his heat map from WhoScored as well, he was flittering about all over the place rather than sticking to just one flank or through the middle so he was certainly willing to put the effort in to get hold of the ball both in attack and defence.
Overall, there was enough there to make you think that there is a future for him at St Andrew’s. The best thing about the time that he arrived, is that he’s now got the international break in which he and the rest of the club can now spend two solid weeks getting him settled into the line-up.
If he is indeed going to be the solution that the Blues have been looking for, he needs to be able to not only keep these numbers up, but also prove that he can do it across 90 minutes rather than just as a ‘super sub’ to come on when they’re desperate.