West Ham United loanee Edimilson Fernandes shone once again for Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon as he helped them to victory in Serie A away at Societa Polisportiva Ars et Labor, or SPAL, as they are more commonly known.
As well as scoring the equaliser for the Florence club on the brink of half-time in the 1-4 win, the Switzerland international put in another fantastic display as his team until the end of the 2018/2019 season made it eight matches unbeaten in all competitions. Join us as we carry out a statistics-driven tactical analysis on Fernandes’ eye-catching performance.
First of all in this analysis, we are going to take an in-depth look at the 22-year-old’s goal in the 44th minute at the Stadio Paulo Mazza. It was his second goal in the space of three matches under Stefano Pioli, his first strikes in Italy’s top division.
When it arrived, the relegation stragglers were one-goal-up and looking to make it to the break with their lead intact and hope to stake it out in the second half for a vital three points. However, the Viola pressure proved too much and they conceded with around a minute-and-a-half until half-time.
The man’s who’s started his last ten AFC Fiorentina games when available’s first goal of his season-long loan had come from outside the box in the league draw with Udinese earlier in the month. And so would his second, ironically, his only West Ham goal also came from distance.
Visiting striker Gerson Santos da Silva made a blistering run down the SPAL left side and into the penalty area via a one-two and managed to pull the ball back to left-back Cristiano Biraghi, under immense pressure. He would help the ball onto Fernandes, who was in acres space on the edge of the box.
The young attacking midfielder decided to pull the trigger first-time with his weaker left foot and as we can see from the below wyscout.com image, found the bottom left-hand corner with a blistering strike. Home goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano could get nowhere near the ball, not that he would have wanted to be behind the thunderous strike, anyway. The goal got Fiorentina back on track, setting them well on their way to the comeback, late thrashing to move within six points of Roma in fifth, in eighth place.
Next, and for the main phase of this analysis, we will be using our second and final Wyscout graphic, found below, to analyse Fernandes’ key general statistics from the match. They are contained in the below image.
As you can see, the graphic also features the career average general stats of the eight-cap Swiss international, above the figures from two days ago, it’s just those we’re going to be focussing on today. Although the career stats do make for an interesting comparison.
The first stat we’re drawn to for the 84 minutes he played in the right-centre of Fiorentina’s midfield in Ferrara before being replaced by Bryan Dabo is total actions and his rate of success in them. Here, Fernandes achieved an impressive 32 completed out of his 46.
While he could score one goal, his third since becoming a player in Europe’s top five leagues, he failed to provide an assist for any of the further three goals his team scored. But he did register another shot, albeit an unsuccessful one, and carry a dangerous expected goals rating of 0.61.
Being the wonderful passer of the ball he is, it’s no surprise to see a 90% short pass completion recorded from the win, to go with a 100% one for his longer, trickier passes. However, when the Swiss star of Portuguese descent was able to deliver his one cross for the one-sided encounter, it failed to reach its intended recipient.
One of two dribbles attempted completed is strong for any player in a match, especially a central midfielder. Though he will have been disappointed to only win three of ten duels and no aerial duels, despite it being excellent to be involved in that many in the first place for Fernandes.
It wasn’t just going forward and in the centre of the park that the FC Sion academy graduate stamped his mark on the contest, also helping out his defence with two interceptions. Couple this with just five losses and a pair of recoveries and the showing becomes all the more terrific.
One of the few shortcomings of Fernandes’ display involved our penultimate stat, yellow cards, picking one up after a mere eight minutes on the road. His disciplinary record whilst on loan hasn’t been the best, having been sent off in the 3-3 draw with Sampdoria in January. But he was able to avoid seeing red on this occasion.
Overall, there can be no questioning that these are wonderful match figures for the in-form central man to produce in his 23rd appearance for one of Italy’s biggest clubs. He’s steadily improved throughout the campaign and now to be at this kind of level of statistical performance in one of the hardest leagues in the world is superb for the player as he approaches his prime years.
In conclusion, our statistical tactical analysis today has found that it was through his outstanding statistical showing and goal to remember that Fernandes shone again for Fiorentina. In what is turning out to be a very productive loan spell at the side chasing European football.
Pellegrini, who will soon have to help make the decision over the starlet’s future and whether he’s going to be staying at London Stadium beyond the summer, will be increasingly encouraged by these kind of displays. It’s clear that, in this form, Fernandes would be a huge asset to his squad and if he was sent out on loan to come back an improved player, physically and mentally, the plan certainly seems to be working.
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Full-time Staff Writer for the Ronnie Dog Media Group, regularly edit and write articles on FBH, follow me on Twitter.