For all the hype over Lawrence Shankland, and there is a lot of it, a shock stat has emerged to put in context Rangers’ own Cyriel Dessers and the Ibrox side’s need for the Scotland striker.
And that simple stat is that only one player in Scotland actually has more shots on target this season than Dessers, and yes, that man is Shankland.
Shankland leads the way in shots total, 80, but only has 32 of those on target, while Dessers has 53 shots total, and has 26 of those on target.
In short, staggeringly, Cyriel Dessers is a much more efficient striker, wasting far far less of his shots by getting almost exactly half his attempts on target, while Shankland is much lower.
Ultimately the currency really is goals, of course, and Shankland has 14 of those to Dessers’ 8, but it’s extremely eye-opening to learn that Dessers is infinitely more efficient when it comes to getting the shots away and making the goalie make a save.
What does this mean?
Shankland is still a prize striker, 14 goals this season and Scotland’s top scorer tells its own story, but Dessers has been infinitely-more maligned than he ever deserved, and has produced a lot more for Rangers than fans used to think.
Does this mean we don’t need Shankland?
In reality, yes, we still do. He is clearly bagging more goals, that’s not up for debate, but he’s also a lot less efficient with the chances he gets.
He’s wasting penalties at the moment as well, and when we look at the forensic data, the real numbers, Dessers is actually, all-round, Scotland’s most in-form striker, as staggering as that is to say.
He’s a lot less wasteful than anyone else, and he is right on form now for being clinical.
Dessers has really turned it around and is arguably now in the form of his career.
Philippe Clement has definitely got the best from him.