Ryan Kent is a player who often divides fans. While he’s generally a popular soul, he doesn’t seem to be a universally-lauded winger who is loved for his contributions.
Indeed, the lad has quite a lot of detractors among our support who reckon he ‘could do more’ and doesn’t score enough.
And they’re right on that front – his goals last season were poor, just 3.
But when we look at assists suddenly his input is massive. 20, almost one in two for the season.
However, this isn’t the true picture.
Any winger worth his salt doesn’t measure himself by assists, or even by goals – there’s a stat few pay attention to which is absolutely the most important for any playmaker or winger: chances created.
See, assists rely on the guy you’re delivering the ball to, to do his job too – in other words, you get the assist if HE scores.
But what if you do all the hard work, lay it on a plate and the idiot still misses an empty net? Nothing, no assist.
But that’s not true. Because that comes under chances created or key passes.
And in those areas, Kent is among the best in the league. He’s created 10 big chances, along with an average of 1.3 key passes. And that’s domestically. Add in the UEL, it’s 5 big chances, 3 assists, and 1.3 key passes again.
But when we add all that together, big chances, assists, key passes – that’s when he stands alone.
He gives the overall strongest best all-round contribution of anyone in the SPL, even if no individual stat is the singular best.
And that’s why he doesn’t really get recognised these days.
It’s the stuff he doesn’t get measured on as actively, which when added to the stuff he does, which shows the indispensable nature of the lad.
He might not have the sexy stats you all want him to have, but if we were to lose Kent for any reason, you’ll notice the difference, big time.