We’ve seen the stuff about Ianis Hagi, with Rangers’ on-loan attacker proudly showing the world he sits 9th in Europe (well, Europe’s top five leagues) for ‘expected threat’ from players under 25 at current club Alaves.
On the surface this might seem a big deal, but it’s about as pointless and niche a stat as it gets, given his side is near bottom of LaLiga and his goals and assists this season are abysmal.
Now Ibrox Noise is no hypocrite – we explained some months ago how ex-winger Ryan Kent’s ‘chances created’ had him top of the pile in the SPL along with, at the time, Celtic’s Jota, and that this was a justification for why fans were being unfair towards Rangers’ ex-attacker.
But chances created is a completely different stat to ‘expected threat’ which is a brand new and completely made-up metric that has blighted football the past five years to offer some intangible nonsense about an attacking player’s qualities.
To offer a metric on expected assists and expected goals really is lies damn lies and statistics, and we don’t exactly trust it as an accurate measurement.
And on the real stuff we’d measure an attacker on, like actual goals and assists, Hagi has been rubbish out there, in a high-quality league for a team which is lower midtable, which is a good barometer to stand out in.
Hagi is yet another example of a Rangers player who’s gone to ‘bigger and better things’ and not actually done that well at all.
This is a lad, incidentally, who has 3 goals and 4 assists for his country, in 28 appearances. Nothing to crow about in the slightest.
We know he’s another one who’s got more popular the less he’s played, and many fans argue he shouldn’t have been let go.
But zero goals in the league, 1 assist, and 2 goals in the cup against a side in the SEVENTH tier of the Spanish national game doesn’t really scream to us of a player we desperately need back any time soon.
But sure, if xG and xA is your thing, knock yourselves out.