What the statistics say about Middlesbrough and Cardiff City target Kieffer Moore compared to Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher

Middlesbrough have identified Wigan striker Kieffer Moore as a summer transfer target – but is the Welsh international an improvement on the players already at the club?
Striker Kieffer Moore scored 10 Championship goals for Wigan last season.Striker Kieffer Moore scored 10 Championship goals for Wigan last season.
Striker Kieffer Moore scored 10 Championship goals for Wigan last season.

Manager Neil Warnock has described Boro’s recent goal-scoring record as 'disgraceful' after the Teessiders finished the Championship’s lowest scorers last season.

Yet the Boro boss also said it will be hard to find better options than Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher in this summer’s market.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So does Moore, who would cost around £2million and is considering whether to join Boro or Cardiff City, represent a better alternative?

In terms of goals scored last campaign, there isn’t much difference between Moore, who netted 10 league goals in 36 Championship appearances for Wigan, and Boro’s current strikers.

In fact, the 28-year-old netted less league goals than both Assombalonga (11 in 35 appearances) and Fletcher (11 in 43 appearances) in the same division.

It’s also worth pointing out the strikers’ shot statstistics from last season, with Assombalonga hitting the target 42.6 per cent of the time in the Championship last term.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That’s higher than both Fletcher (37 per cent) and Moore (32.9 per cent), although the Wigan man did average slightly more efforts per game.

A noticable difference comes when you compare the forwards’ aerial duels, which are somewhat predictable given that Moore stands at 6 ft 5 tall.

For Wigan, Moore averaged 15.54 aerial duels per game in the Championship, winning 56 per cent of them.

In contrast, Assombalonga was involved in around half as many air-bound battles, averaging 7.28 a match and winning 24 per cent of them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Meanwhile, Fletcher’s Championship average was 6.88, with the 23-year-old winning 34.2 per cent.

So the pursuit of Moore clearly suggests Warnock wants his side to play with a focal point who can bring others into play.

And despite his aerial prowess, the towering Welshman is also capable when the ball is played to his feet.

Moore attempted an average of 14.22 passes per game in the Championship last season, with an accuracy rate of 64.7 per cent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

That’s more attempted passes than Assombalonga (9.36, with a 76.1 per cent accuracy rate) and slightly less than Fletcher (15.22, with a 70.5% accuracy rate).

Yet many will agree Boro’s lack of goals isn’t just down to their attacking personnel, with style of play also a factor.

Last season, the Teessiders played the least amount of forward passes into the final third in the Championship, averaging 44.39 per 90 minutes.

Yet, aside from an 8-0 win over Hull, Wigan also struggled in front of goal, scoring 57 league goals compared to Boro’s 48.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Latics were also slow to pass the ball forward, averaging just 45.86 passes into the final third per 90 minutes.

Paul Cook’s side did attempt more long passes than most Championship sides, though, averaging 49.09 per game, compared to Boro’s 43.83.

Of course statistics don’t tell the whole story, as Warnock was quick to point out when discussing defensive targets last week.

Yet if Moore is to become Boro’s main man up top, he’ll be expected to provide an upgrade from those already at the club.

A message from the Editor:

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Hartlepool Mail website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.