West Brom signing Matheus Pereira can hit ground running by eradicating one part of his game

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

West Brom were one of the busiest clubs around on transfer deadline day last Thursday as they welcomed four new faces through the door of the Hawthorns.

Charlie Austin added a much-needed striker to their ranks but there were also deals for three wingers. Albion brought in Chris Willock and Grady Diangana whilst Matheus Pereira finally arrived after a large amount of hard work.

Luke Dowling confirmed negotiations had been ongoing with Sporting for four weeks before a season-long loan deal was finally agreed.

The Baggies have an option to buy the player for £9m next summer.

However, what needs to happen in order for him to hit the ground running?

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On the chalkboard

West Brom now have a host of wingers available to them as they continue their second season in the Championship.

Kyle Edwards was particularly impressive on the opening weekend, scoring a goal, whilst they also have the likes of Matt Phillips and Oliver Burke available in those areas of the pitch.

Yet, adding a further three options has given their attack added flair and extra dimensions.

Pereira enjoyed a productive loan spell with Nurnburg in the Bundesliga last term, scoring three times and claiming two assists but there’s a key part of his game he needs to eradicate.

Based on Understat, it appears as though the 23-year-old likes to shoot from distance. From positions outside of the box in 2018/19, he had 20 of his 29 attempts on goal from range.

Those areas can be seen below.

As demonstrated, only one of those shots resulted in a goal, something that’s a pretty disappointing return given the sheer volume of balls that left his foot.

Only three of them were saved whilst the remaining shots were either missed entirely or blocked.

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Per Whoscored, Pereira is a fantastic dribbler of the ball, completing 2.1 per game last season.

That will be a huge plus point to West Brom but he could fail to hit the ground running unless he becomes far more intelligent with the ball.

The shot map above shows he regularly wastes possession when in central areas and that’s something that will simply have to stop.

Considering the options Slaven Bilic has at his disposal, it could be the difference between whether he starts or not.

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