TOP PERFORMER

PREMIER LEAGUE 2019-2020

PLAYER FOCUS

Virgil van Dijk is without a doubt one of the best central defenders of our era. In this post we’ll analyze his game during the 2019-2020 season (before the covid19 pause) using performance data from Football IQ Performance Index.

In the first page of the player profile we have the Summary KPIs on the left & their respective breakdown on the right.

At a glance, we can see the two main categories he is excelling at,  a 98 rating in CRT Passing and an 83 rating in DEFENSE.

Now these Summary KPIs were created for scouting purposes, as the tip of the iceberg. So, not let the 83 rating in Defense misguide you.

Summary KPIs

When we take a look at the breakdown, we see that his defensive involvement is low compared to other center-backs in the Premier League – well, its only natural, Liverpool is a team that likes to dominate possession- which affects his overall rating (hence the 83 overall). However, his Defensive Efficiency rating wraps it all up nicely.

With a 100 rating,  he is the most defensively efficient center-back in the Premier League during the 2019-2020 season.

No wonder he is considered probably the best center-back in the modern game.

MACRO VIEW

Macro view of his performance metrics allows us to easily identify the type of action he attempts more often (Involvement), the type of actions he is more productive at (Productivity) & the type of actions he is more efficient at (Efficiency), across Passing, Attacking & Defending categories.

Involvement Overview

With at build-up rating of 100 he is the most heavily involved center-back in the Premier League at participating in his team’s  passing game, whether that means playing short (98) or long (91) passes.

A very interesting aspect of his passing game is that he predominantly tries to promote play (97) instead of retaining possession (10), with an impressive rating of 87 at Passing to Advanced Positions.

Defensive-wise, taking into consideration Liverpool spends significantly less time defending, low ratings at Defensive Contests & 1vs1 are to be expected. However, his 89 rating at Aerial Contests Involvement indicates he is a focal point in his team’s efforts to dominate in the air.

Productivity Overview

Not only is the most heavily involved center-back in the Premier League at participating in his team’s passing game, he is the most productive one to.

His productivity ratings at Promote Possession (98) & Passes to Advanced Positions (91) in particular are remarkable.

In defensive actions, his 76 rating in Interventions clearly indicates his ability to control space.

What’s even more impressive is his Aerial Contests Productivity (96), which -compared to a lower Aerial Contests Involvement rating- is a clear sign that his efficiency in the specific area has got to be very high. 

Efficiency Overview

Efficiency overview adds the final piece to the puzzle, explaining the high Productivity ratings we saw earlier, with a 94 rating at Promote Possession Efficiency and a 95 rating at Short Passes Efficiency.

Yes his Long Passing Efficiency & his Passing to Advanced Positions Efficiency could have been higher, but with such high involvement, its only natural to record a high number of unsuccessful passes, especially when we’re talking about creating from the back.

Now, what is truly impressive are his Efficiency ratings in the defensive department, where -despite his low involvement- he proves that when he has to intervene, he does it in style. No wonder he is the most efficient center-back in the league.

Passing, Attacking & Defending areas contain contextualized information about his actions in these departments, segregated into Overview & Breakdown slides. Enjoy!

PASSING

Passing Overview
Passing Breakdown

ATTACKING

Attacking Overview
Attacking Breakdown

DEFENDING

Macro view of his performance metrics allows us to easily identify the type of action he attempts more often (Involvement), the type of actions he is more productive at (Productivity) & the type of actions he is more efficient at (Efficiency), across Passing, Attacking & Defending categories.

Defending Overview
Defending Breakdown
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