Dan Potts vs West Brom: What the numbers said about the Luton defender's display at The Hawthorns
Unable to recruit a Kal Naismith replacement during the summer transfer window, it was unknown how the Hatters would shape up ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Nathan Jones hinted that the arrival of Alfie Doughty could pave the way for Amari’i Bell to occupy the left-sided centre-back role but it swiftly emerged that Dan Potts would be tasked with operating in that position.
Whilst Potts has come under scrutiny at times during his time in the Championship with the Hatters, he has become one of Luton’s most consistent performers during the early stages of this season.
Whilst caught out on a couple of occasions, Potts has become an increasingly important part of Luton’s season, with his display against West Brom displaying just how far he has come as a centre-back.
Here, using Wyscout, Potts’ performance against the Baggies is analysed…
Winning 67% of total defensive duels during the 90 minutes at The Hawthorns, Potts surpassed his average of 59% for the season.
Proving to be extremely useful in the air during the 2022/23 campaign thus far, both in an attacking sense and from a defensive standpoint, he was particularly dominant against the Baggies, winning 86% of his total aerials duels.
Recording a season-high in the Midlands whilst displaying excellent levels of anticipation, the 28-year-old made 15 interceptions last Saturday, which is four higher than the second-highest he has posted this term
Returning positive data for the number of clearances he made too, Potts cleared up nine times against the Baggies. The highest number he has managed since a 2-0 victory at Swansea City in August.
Given the levels of physicality and athleticism within Luton’s front line, playing more direct is a common theme this season, especially when you factor in the departure of one of the division’s best ball-playing centre-backs in Kal Naismith.
This has resulted in Potts, as well as the other Luton centre-backs, to return pass accuracy figures that are lower compared to last year, especially when playing away. Potts’ pass accuracy percentage was at 67% against the Baggies, just over 8% lower than his average for the season.
This notion of Potts, and his fellow centre-backs, playing in a more direct style is documented by the fact that that nine of his 30 pass attempts against the Baggies were into the final third.
Whilst the injuries that Luton have picked up within their defensive line over the last few weeks would suggest that backline options may need to be bolstered in January, the narrative that a Potts upgrade is needed is continuing to fade away.