Review: Manchester City’s 2021/2022 signings

Manchester City
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Hayley Raso of Manchester City closes down Ann-Katrin Berger of Chelsea during the FA Women's Continental Tyres League cup final match between Chelsea women and Manchester City women at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on March 05, 2022 in Wimbledon, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The season has come to an end for Manchester City. After a rocky start, the Cityzens managed to grab third place and qualify for the UWCL. In doing so, they kept their rivals, Manchester United, from qualifying for the first time.

In this article, we will look at the signings that Manchester City made in the summer of 2021. Manchester City have signed two additional players in the winter of 2022. However, it is too early to make an assessment on the impact and roles of those players. We will use data to analyse and judge the impact of the summer signings on the Manchester City squad. we will also assess whether they can do better in the season to come.

Manchester City – Alanna Kennedy

Alanna Kennedy – data percentile ranks last 365 day vs CB WSL

Kennedy came in to strengthen the defensive ranks. When we look at her data, we can see a few interesting things. On the defensive side of the player profile, she isn’t performing at the level that perhaps would be expected. In fact, she performs below average on every data metric. Only the aerial duels stand out, where she is sitting in the 75th percentile.

For a defender, she scores above average on the goals per 90 metrics. But, where she really stands out, is in the passing metrics. She scores in the 95th percentile for attempted passes, in the 95th percentile for pass completion, and in the 92nd percentile for progressive carries. This indicates that she is very good at progressing the ball.

Overall, Kennedy has likely not reached her full defensive potential this season. However, this is something that can definitely be improved during the course of the new season. What is impressive though, is her ability to progress the ball up the pitch.

Vicky Losada

Losada did not have had the first season in Manchester she would have hoped for. However, it is clear that No.17 has had an impact this season. Her creative actions see her ranked well above average when compared to other midfielders. It is however important to note that Losada has not played as many minutes as other midfielders which can impact these stats.

Again Losada‘s passing stats paint a similar picture. The No.17’s passing data shows us that on average Losada will attempt more than 56 passes a game with a completion rate of over 83%. The 31-year-old also shows a real aptitude for carrying the ball up the field to create chances for her team. Her progressive passes and carries put Losada in the 94th and 85th percentile respectively.

The No.17’s defending is evidently the area with the most room for improvement. All of her stats place her below average when compared with other midfielders. Overall the season has shown glimpses of what Losada could bring to Manchester City however injury has perhaps prevented the 31-year-old from reaching her full potential.

Manchester City – Khadija Shaw

As Manchester City’s primary attacking outlet, Shaw has undoubtedly made her mark since joining Gareth Taylor’s team. Bagging 9 league goals, Shaw’s stats clearly demonstrate just how much of a goal-scoring threat the Jamaican is. Based on the graphic above, we can see that the 25-year-old is actually outperforming based on her expected goals. Across the season Shaw has been expected to score 0.77 goals per game and has actually scored 1.02 goals per game on average.

Shaw’s passing and defensive stats however clearly indicate where the striker could improve her game. Whilst her pass completion data places her in the 94th percentile of forwards, her passes attempted is far lower sitting at just 30%. This could be affected by Shaw’s role as a striker, players in this position are typically expected to take the shot on themselves as opposed to passing the ball to their teammates.

Shaw’s defensive stats are also not surprising when considering the player and their position on the field. The Jamaican’s primary defensive duty is helping her team on corners and we can see this is a task that Shaw is relatively successful in. Winning on average 2 aerial duels per game, the 25-year-old is in the 94th percentile of forwards for this aspect of her game. Blocks and interceptions however are evidently areas that Shaw could look to improve to help bring her game to the next level.

Ruby Mace

Looking at this graphic we can easily see that Ruby Mace has been one of Manchester City’s most consistent new signings. Whilst it is important to consider the total number of minutes played, Mace has undoubtedly made a positive start at her new club. The 18-year-old’s attacking stats put her far above average in almost every area of play besides goals scored. This however is not unusual when taking into account Mace’s usual position deep in the City backline. With 2 shot-creating actions averaged per game, could this be an area of the No.30’s gameplay that could be explored further this season?

Mace’s passing data also paints a similar picture. The 18-year-old’s passes attempted and completed both paints a positive picture with the centre back scoring above the 90th percentile in both of these areas. In fact, the only area that Mace doesn’t rank so highly is in her touches in the attacking penalty area. This however could once again simply come down to Manchester City’s style of play that sees their centre backs maintain a relatively high line throughout the game.

The No.30’s defensive data is once again positive overall. However, there are several areas within her defending where the 18-year-old undoubtedly has room to improve. Mace on average makes very few interceptions and blocks on average throughout a game. Whilst adding this into her play more frequently would allow Mace to become a stronger all-around defender the data once again has limitations in this area. Manchester City are a team who typically regain the ball very quickly after losing possession therefore leaving their defenders with far less last-ditch defending to do than a lower possession side.

Manchester City: Hayley Raso

Looking at Raso’s stats allows us to see just how influential the 27-year-old has been this season. The Australian international’s attacking stats we can see that she is performing at an extremely high level in this area of her game. On average Raso is responsible for more than 3 shot-creating actions per game, this places her in the 74th percentile when compared to other players in her position.

One area that which Raso’s stats are not quite so impressive is in her passing. Ranking in just the 28th percentile for passes attempted and 49th percentile for progressive passes. However, when making judgments it is important to consider the context. Manchester City typically play a very high possession game that often sees their forward players making longer runs into the box as opposed to making several passes which could allow their opposition to regain possession of the ball.

Raso is by the nature of her position, unlikely to play a large role in City’s defensive efforts. We can clearly see this in her stats in this area of her game. Her blocks and clearances put No.13 in the 5th and 6th percentile respectively when compared to other attacking midfielders. One defensive area that Raso excels in is her tackles. Averaging 3 per 90 minutes played, this puts the Australian into the 85th percentile of players in her position.

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