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…
Aston Villa’s 2-2 draw against Manchester United extended Wesley’s run of Premier League games without a goal or assist to six.
For most strikers, especially big name signings for top tier teams, this would be a pretty disastrous dry spell, putting their place in the team at risk.
An example of this comes from Sebastien Haller, who was dropped to the bench for West Ham United’s win against Chelsea, having failed to make a goal contribution in five matches.
While the current run will be of annoyance to Wesley, it can be argued that he is still making his mark despite his limited goal threat, leading the line in an unorthodox fashion.
He may not have scored against United, but Wesley was accurate with his shooting at Old Trafford, with one effort going on target and his only other one being blocked.
A lot can be said about his style of play from the amount of battling and defensive work he did, winning two aerial duels, successfully making two tackles and four clearances.
It is this sacrificial work rate that makes Wesley such an important player for Villa, offering something very different to many strikers in the Premier League.
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The suggestion can also be made that his overpowering presence can create space for his fellow attackers, with Jack Grealish’s wonderful goal to open the scoring against United offering an example of this.
While Anwar El Ghazi was running down the right-hand-side, Wesley made a movement towards the front post with Victor Lindelof as company. However, Aaron Wan-Bissaka felt the need to come over to support his defensive partner in a central position.
This meant that when El Ghazi’s overcooked cross fell at the feet of the captain, he had more time to set himself and was eventually up against Andreas Pereira, who he had already beat numerous times in the early stages.
Grealish still had a lot to do, but Wesley’s running into the box certainly helped to make things easier for him – with that and his overall game considered, while the Brazilian isn’t getting goals, he is certainly making an impact for his team.
In other news, Villa are open to selling one of their attackers in January.