Return of Elijah Adebayo: What the numbers say about Luton Town forward's showing vs Huddersfield
It was never a matter of if, it was a matter of when would Elijah Adebayo return to his very best and that answer was Huddersfield Town at home.
Luton Town’s top scorer from the 2021/22 campaign returned a fantastic all-round performance against the Terriers on Tuesday evening, with his partnership with Carlton Morris hitting new heights too.
Admitting that several off-the-field issues have hindered his progress during the early stages of the season, in an honest post-match conversation with Luton Today, his confidence seems to be back and it was a performance of very high-quality.
Displaying excellent levels of enthusiasm, physicality, technical ability and creativity all evening, it was a night that hopefully emerges as the turning point.
Looking at his performance in a little bit more detail using Wyscout, here, is what the data says…
Now, of course, it was Adebayo’s first goal of the campaign but when looking at his xG across the 84 minutes he played (0.58), it was his highest return thus far.
Adebayo’s physicality has continued to cause problems, even during the struggles he has faced during the early stages of the campaign but one thing that had become less frequent and less successful was his progressive runs. The towering forward completed two last night, which is over double his average this campaign.
Proving to be more involved in the final third than any game this season, Adebayo had six touches in Huddersfield’s penalty area, smashing past the average of 3.79.
Possessing a 20% success rate in his offensive duels, you would have to go back to Bristol City (eight games ago) to see a higher success rate, and whilst this is by no means massively impressive, he was seemingly dominant in the air.
Defensive and passing numbers
It was a performance where Adebayo thrived in an attacking sense, whilst he was excellent out of possession but he also made valuable contributions in other aspects.
Winning 75% of his aerial duels, he easily surpassed this season’s average, whilst he won 50% of his loose ball duels, which is around double his average from the 2022/23 campaign thus far.
Interestingly, the forward managed no passes into the penalty area or final third, in fact, he did not manage a forward pass, proving that it was a game where his physicality and marauding runs took centre stage.