A statistical profile of Rangers prized transfer target

Scott Allan, courtesy of SNS

written by – Rangers Report

It seems inevitable that Scott Allan is going to sign with Rangers….at some point.  Whether it be now, or in January, or this summer – he’s going to be donning that blue shirt of the club he has supported all of his life.  Of course, if the previous management team had any vision whatsoever this conversation would be mute because they would have snatched him up for free rather then re-sign Kyle Hutton last summer.  But I digress…

So is the Hibs star worth all the hoop-la?   The numbers say yes.

The winger, who can also play in the heart of the midfield, was easily one of the most productive players in the Scottish Championship last season.  He played in 32 matches (starting 29) & played in 2,493 minutes, which nearly doubled his career total.  Manager Alan Stubbs was initially reluctant to thrust the youngster into the lineup, but when he did – he was there to stay.

Goals per 90 Assists per 90 Points Per 90
0.07 0.43 0.51

If Rangers do sign Allan, they would not only add a playmaker to a squad that often is accused of being short on offensive flare – they would also be taking away a key producer from the only other team that will likely challenge for the league title.

Last season, on average Allan had a hand in Hibernian scoring a goal in every other game (0.51 points per 90 minutes).

The number that really sticks out is Allan’s twelve assists (0.43 per 90 minutes).  You may ask – is that a lot?  Well, if you look at the English Premier League assist leaders from last season, Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas led the way with 18 (0.56 per 90).  In second place, Arsenal’s Santi Cazoria chipped in eleven assists (0.33 per 90).  Different leagues, obviously, but it does illuminate how impressive Allan’s production was.

Scott Allan, courtesy of Getty Images

Additionally, there are indicators that Allan’s goal totals should increase, to an extent, in the future.  The first sign being Allan’s Expected Goal (xG) numbers from last season.  In the model that we will be using for expected goals, explained in more detail here, uses historical data to project how many goals a player, or team, had a chance to score given a shot’s location & with what part of the body the shot came from (headers v. kicked shots).

In the 2014-15 season, Scott Allan’s xG was 3.94 for the season, which projects out to 0.14 per 90 minutes.  Those numbers basically double Allan’s actual output of two goals.  Most of Allan’s shots come from outside the penalty area (71% of them last season) which historically produces a very low success rate.  Last season less then 10% of all shots in the Scottish Championship coming from that Low Danger Area actually ended up as goals.   Allan does his best work outside of the penalty area, hence the impressive number of assists & low number of goals.

Allan has the skill-set to to match those expected goal projections, especially if he is urged to shoot more.

In his previous three seasons in England, Allan played in 2,264 minutes.  That total is just 229 minutes less then he played all of last season.  His goal total in those three season was four, or 0.16 per 90 minutes – again double the totals from 2014-15.

Here are his shooting statistics from last season compared to the previous three in England.

Shots Shots per 90 Shots on Target Sh Acc Sh%
2014-15 34 1.23 8 0.24 0.25
2011-14 53 2.10 14 0.26 0.29

Allan’s shooting accuracy (the percentage of shots that end up on target) & his shooting percentage (what percent of the shots on target actually end up beating the keeper for a goal) are fairly consistent.   As it was pointed out earlier, most of Allan’s shots are from Low Danger areas & his accuracy & shooting percentage are never going to be on par of a forward simply due to the difficulty of where Allan is shooting from.

However, if Allan can push his shot totals up to the regularity he displayed in England (2.10 shots per 90 minutes), the likelihood is that his goal totals would follow suit.

The bottom line is that Scott Allan has already proved himself to be among the best playmakers in the Scottish Championship & the statistics suggest that he could double his goal output from last season – making any transfer from Hibs to Rangers a real game changer…for both teams.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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