Analysing Christian Pulisic and why big clubs covet his potential

Rather than at the World Cup in Russia a month later, the competitive part of Christian Pulisic’s season ended with a 3-1 defeat in Hoffenheim on May 12. Borussia Dortmund’s woeful trip to provincial region of Kraichgau was perhaps a fitting denouement: Overall, 2017-18 has been a frustrating 10 months for the 19-year-old American and his two teams.

After a superb start, which featured six wins in seven league games, autumn brought a raft of painful defeats that saw BVB coach Peter Bosz, a proponent of a radical pressing game, lose his job. Meanwhile and despite Pulisic’s best efforts, the United States fell apart in World Cup qualifying.37

New coach Peter Stoger gave the Black and Yellow more stability with a conservative set-up but Dortmund’s attacking game lost structure and fluidity in the process. Easily the second-best team in Germany with regard to squad quality, they barely finished in the top four: 55 points (down from 64 in 2016-17) with 64 goals scored (down from 72) and 47 conceded (up from 40) tells the story.

The lack of continuity at the managerial level hampered players collectively and individually, while the unseemly departures of Ousmane Dembele last summer and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in January did not do much for team spirit either. With the possible exception of Marco Reus, Borussia players were unable to show any sign of pronounced progress and Pulisic was among those whose performances nfl authentic jerseys

While 2300 minutes of Bundesliga game time — an increase of 53 percent from last season — speak of his growth in stature within the team, his overall output did not nearly go up at the same rate.

But an attacking midfielder’s duties go beyond playing the final pass and putting the ball in the net, so where does Pulisic rank when a more complex set of performance indicators are taken into account?

Former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Stefan Reinartz has created a scouting and player analysis model called Impect, which is used by more than a dozen Bundesliga clubs to identify talent.

Its main innovation lies in ascribing value to the number of players — specifically defenders — that are bypassed by other players, whether by passing forward, dribbling or receiving the ball. To evaluate performance levels, the data is cross-referenced with other position-specific actions,nfl authentic jerseys cheap then compared to others playing the same role in the same league.

The Impect results for Pulisic are somewhat surprising. Reinartz’s model had him at 49 percent in 2016-17, meaning that he was better than 49 percent of Bundesliga players with a similar attacking midfielder profile. In other words, he was almost exactly average. However, that overall number hides an interesting difference between attacking and defensive actions.