Three mysteries of the early Premier League season


Typically managers can flummox us, making choices that lead us to consider what we’re lacking and what’s taking place behind the scenes.

That is very true this early Premier League seasons in terms of three of the extra thrilling younger(ish) prospects in Europe over the previous few seasons (in addition to top-of-the-line finishers on the planet).

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

Adama Traore, Nicolas Pepe, and Donny van de Beek have both been main cash transfers or lived within the rumor mill. All three aren’t taking part in often for his or her golf equipment, whereas Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in a brutal stretch in terms of targets.

Let’s dig into their conditions, which really feel fairly mysterious after two months of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Arteta’s attacking quandary

Arsenal has scored one aim in its final 4 Premier League matches, that aim coming from the penalty spot when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his second aim of the Premier League season.

Yeah, you learn that proper: The Gunners’ captain and creator of 74 targets in 119 appearances for the North London outfit has two in eight early this season.

Aubameyang was held with no aim or an help 28 occasions in his first 66 PL appearances (43 p.c of video games). Aubameyang’s longest Arsenal league run with no aim or an help was three, which occurred 4 occasions previous to Mikel Arteta’s appointment.

It’s occurred 16 occasions in 27 appearances since Arteta was employed (59 p.c), together with two barren four-match runs and one other three-match stretch with no aim or help.

Throw onto the pile the issues with Nicolas Pepe, who has not gained the total belief of Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg, and now Arteta however is undoubtedly a terrific attacking expertise.

Pepe spoke out on his state of affairs at Arsenal on Wednesday and the inventive Ivorian is clearly hungry for an opportunity to show himself..

And if Pepe, Willian, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang aren’t delivering the products, shouldn’t the query be directed to the person orchestrating the assault?

Take into account this, too: Pepe’s first season in North London was higher in photographs, key passes, dribbles, and fouls drawn per recreation than each what he’s achieved early this season and what his struggling teammates are producing as nicely.

Arsenal’s Participant Comparability Software

Pepe was probably the most productive playmakers in Ligue 1 throughout his ultimate season with Lille, taking part in 80 or extra minutes in all however the season finale because the membership completed second beneath Christophe Galtier.

An thought to repair it? An prolonged run for Pepe on his most popular proper aspect, with Auba within the center.

Aubameyang has produced 1.428 targets per recreation at left wing throughout his time at Arsenal, and he’s averaging 1.62 targets per recreation at middle ahead.

Arsenal has performed a entrance three in all eight of its PL matches this season. Pepe has featured as soon as.

Fulham (W 3-0): Aubameyang-Lacazette-Willian
West Ham (W 2-1): Aubameyang-Lacazette-Willian
Liverpool (L 1-3): Aubameyang-Lacazette-Willian
Sheffield United (W 2-1): Aubameyang-Nketiah-Willian
Man Metropolis (L 0-1): Aubameyang-Willian-Pepe
Leicester Metropolis (L 0-1): Saka-Lacazette-Aubameyang
Man United (W 1-0): Aubameyang-Lacazette-Willian
Aston Villa (L 0-3): Aubameyang-Lacazette-Willian

This has to alter, if solely to place some form of worth again on Pepe within the switch market. Barcelona and Liverpool reportedly needed him, too. He’s 25 years previous. It’s price a shot.

What, if something, is unsuitable with Adama Traore?

That is one space the place we’re keen to entertain conspiracy theories. Did Barca’s sale of Nelson Semedo include a “Chill on Traore. We have to release wage after which we’re going to convey him house for large cash?”

That’s all we are able to guess. Traore’s third within the PL in profitable dribbles (24) and is finishing 75 p.c of his (the gamers above him are at 65.12 and 65 p.c).

After going 90, 90, and 62 minutes in Wolves’ first three matches, he’s gone 8, 25, 22, 14, and 30. His passing numbers aren’t good. His defensive acumen is best than Daniel Podence however the latter has been higher in assault.

Semedo is a greater all-around wing again than Traore, in order that possibility is gone, too. Nuno Espirito Santo has tried him at middle ahead through the years together with in opposition to Fulham this season however the Spaniard has one aim in 604 minutes.

A blip?

What’s Ole Gunnar Solksjaer doing with Donny van de Beek?

Van de Beek was probably the most needed younger midfielders on the planet throughout his time at Ajax, and the midfielder proved he wasn’t merely a product of a workforce of stars when he drove the Eredivisie aspect within the 12 months after it offered Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, and Kasper Dolberg.

Ajax offered Van de Beek to Manchester United this summer time, giving the Crimson Devils a flexible middle midfielder who can play superior or box-to-box.

Van de Beek has performed in 5 of six Netherlands matches for 343 minutes for the reason that begin of the Premier League season. He’s performed in 10 of 12 United matches however solely half-hour extra.

To this point we’ve seen him play bench-to-cameo within the Premier League, scoring on debut however taking part in 23, 1, 22, 14, 0, 15, and 0 minutes in his seven league matches with United.

It’s pretty clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels most comfy taking part in a 4-2-3-1, and that has not too long ago meant Scott McTominay and Fred within the middle of the park with the center of the ‘3’ is Bruno Fernandes.

The one departing from this in league play was a 4-3-1-2 with Paul Pogba on the left aspect of Fred and McTominay.

We might write about how Van de Beek’s anticipated targets/90 is third on the workforce behind Edinson Cavani and Fernandes, however that might be nearly disingenuous as a result of the child doesn’t play so the pattern measurement is foolish small.

However with Pogba’s xG/90 at a paltry .04, McTominay’s at .03, Anthony Martial’s at .11, and Daniel James at .14, we have now to surprise what United’s assault might probably lose by letting Van de Beek some extended alternatives to supply targets for a workforce but to seek out its prime recipe for achievement.

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