Stathursday: Youngsters of the Year

Every Thursday, we zoom in on some interesting statistics provided by our data partner StatsPerform in the 'Stathursday' section. This week we focus our attention on the three 'Youngster of the Year' nominees: Sergio Gómez, Rabbi Matondo and Charles De Ketelaere.

The annual Pro League Awards are the culmination of the football season and an ideal opportunity to put the best players on the pitch in the spotlight. The gala takes place on monday. Players, coaches and directors of every club were able to vote on the best player of the season in various categories. In the ‘Youngster of the Year’ category Sergio Gómez (RSC Anderlecht), Rabbi Matondo (Cercle Brugge) and Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge) received most votes.

Spanish sprint machine

Sergio Gómez arrived in Neerpede at the start of the season with great credentials. And this FC Barcelona youth product has not disappointed. The Stats Perform data prove it. The 21-year old Spaniard scored six and gave no less than eleven assists, which means he was involved in 21.52% of RSCA's goals this season. Except for one assist and one goal, these statistics date back to before the winter break.

Even though he ran out of steam in recent weeks due to injury, no one in the Jupiler Pro League put in more sprints this season than Sergio Gómez. With 280 sprints, he does better than Dante Vanzeir (277) and Hugo Cuypers (270). The Anderlecht left-winger covered a total of 411.24 kilometres in 38 games. Only four players covered more ground. Sergio Gómez ran 48.54 kilometres at high intensity, only Hugo Cuypers (49.59) did better.

The revelation of the season uses his pace and running ability primarily to put team mates in position. Including corners, Sergio Gómez delivered 290 crosses. This means the Spaniard is miles ahead of second in the ranking and assist king Junya Ito (246). Sergio Gómez needs to work on his precision though, as only 52 of those 290 crosses were on target. His average of 7.63 crosses per game resulted in only 1.71 created chances.

Rapid Rabbi

The fact that Cercle Brugge was able to compete for a spot in the Europe Play-offs, instead of battling relegation, is thanks largely to Rabbi Matondo. After his first goal against KV Mechelen at the end of October, Cercle went on a winning streak of 24 out of 30. 21-year old Matondo - who came through the youth ranks at Cardiff, Manchester City and Schalke 04 - ended the season on 9 goals and 2 assists. 

This means the winger was involved in 22.45 percent of Cercle's goals. Only Dino Hotic (34.69%) had a bigger share in the goals in that team. Rabbi Matondo stood out last season for his explosive style of play. Only three players tried to get past a player more often than the young Welshman (129 attempts). Not always with the same degree of success, as he was successful 45 times. In that ranking Matondo drops to a - commendable - eighth place in the Jupiler Pro League.

Matondo does put his explosiveness and ball skill to good use. No player had more goal attempts than this dribbling sensation. His bursts resulted in no fewer than 39 shots on goal. In contrast, he only made 25 crosses. This undoubtedly has to do with the fact that Matondo is a lone striker and is expected to make the move himself. If Matondo is able to use his qualities to bring in team mates, a bright future awaits him.

Sergio Gómez and Rabbi Matondo are new faces in the Jupiler Pro League, but Charles De Ketelaere is not. The youth product of Club Brugge broke through last season and showcased his great talent again in the 2021-2022 season. This is also apparent from Stats Perform's data. With 14 goals and an xG figure of 12.52 goals, the Red Devil is not only goal-oriented, but also increasingly effective. 

De Ketelaere also played an important offensive role at Club Brugge. In addition to his 14 goals, he also gave eight assists, which means he had a foot in 27.85% of Club Brugge's goals. This underlines his importance in an attacking sense for the national champions. Hans Vanaken (25.32 %) and Noa Lang (24.05 %) are behind him. 

'CDK' has clearly added a string to his bow this season, because in addition to his efficiency in front of goal, his running and dribbling statistics are also among the best in the Jupiler Pro League. Last season he made 55 successful dribbles, only three players did better.

This versatile attacking midfielder covered 382.37 kilometres (14th in the data rankings), 41.4 of which were high-intensity runs (5th). He also made 92 crosses (14th). Impressive statistics, which support the fact that this Belgian talent has been unleashed.

This article was created with the insights delivered by StatsPerform. Our exclusive partner collects the most diverse performance data from all the matches in the Jupiler Pro League and 1B Pro League. The agreement with StatsPerform has three goals: technical support for our clubs, better quality reporting on Eleven Sports and stronger communication.

Among other things, our clubs will be able to rely on live tracking data, so trainers can make adjustments based on data during the matches. As for the television and communications part of the partnership, the Pro League and Eleven focus on creating added value for fans. The official data from StatsPerform offers fans a unique insight into the performance of their favorite club or player.

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