Sunderland star once again linked with club exit as chances accessed

Patrick Roberts has been a shining light on Wearside.

Patrick Roberts’ future has been a significant conversation topic at the Stadium of Light, with the winger eager to reclaim his place in the Championship.
After trying to make an impact at Norwich City, Derby County, and French side Troyes in recent years, the star player appears to have settled at Sunderland.

Now on Wearside, Roberts and company are soaring high, with the Black Cats staging back-to-back play-off assaults following last season’s semi-final defeat.


Sunderland are in fourth place after the first ten league games of the season, with six victories cementing their position as early promotion candidates.

A run of five wins in their previous six games has undoubtedly prepared the way, with emphatic triumphs over Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday pleasing the Sunderland fans.

One of the division’s top scorers, it’s only natural to look at one of the Black Cats’ main players within the attacking quartet and discover why a recently relegated Premier League side is interested in obtaining his services.


Patrick Roberts’ season performance so far?

Scoring five goals and seven assists last season, an outstanding performance for a player who lacked final product in previous seasons, it is clear Roberts will aim to maintain, if not improve, on similar numbers this season.

However, due in part to injury, the 26-year-old winger has yet to make an impact in eight appearances this season, five of which have come as starts. In reality, Roberts is currently the joint-worst performing attacker in terms of XG, along with Alex Prithchard, with a -1.2 return and only 25% of his 12 shots on target.

While the numbers may appear unimpressive at first glance, Roberts contributes far more to the equation than just goals and assists.


With Tony Mowbray’s tactical flexibility and the need to adjust in the face of injuries, Roberts has played across the right-hand side, in both aggressive and conservative settings, as well as acting in a more central role on occasion.

Meanwhile, his in-game contributions have seen the Fulham academy graduate maintain a serious creative threat as well as his love to beat his man, averaging 1.8 key passes and 2.4 dribbles per game, according to WhoScored – numbers only surpassed by Jack Clarke with two key passes and three dribbles per 90.

Furthermore, Roberts has been instrumental in transitions and getting his team up the field in dangerous positions as quickly as possible, averaging 5.27 progressive carries and passes per game – a return that has only been surpassed by one regular starter, Jack Clarke, who has 8.66 progressive carries and 5.67 progressive passes.


Looking more closely at his passing, Mowbray clearly values Roberts’ ability to pick out a pass and retain possession, as he has the third-highest passing accuracy across the attacking frontline and the best of the wingers at 83.2% – a significant difference from competitors Clarke (73.8%) and Abdoullah Ba (74.6%).

The former, on the other hand, gives the most dangerous opportunities in the Sunderland eleven, with a predicted assist rate of 2.0 – Roberts, on the other hand, at 1.4 despite not recording an assist so far this season.

Off the ball, Roberts has demonstrated his persistence and determination, recovering 2.3 balls per game and winning possession high up the field with their relentless offensive line ready to punish at all times. However, he is still some distance behind Clarke and Ba in terms of successfully winning such tackles, with 1.34 and 0.97 per 90, respectively, while Roberts falls short with 0.55 – one of the lowest in the squad.

Ultimately, goals and assists will be desired and required throughout the season, but there are indicators that he is still contributing in all the right ways, and it would be premature to place too much emphasis on just 10 games into the season.


Patrick Roberts set to decide Sunderland future as ex-Celtic winger weighs  up transfer interest | The Scottish Sun


Is Patrick Roberts too vital for Sunderland to lose?


While no player is irreplaceable, losing Roberts would be a significant setback for Sunderland, especially if they are unable to reach an agreement on a new contract before his current deal expires this summer.

He has become a crucial component in this attacking machine, and Southampton’s late interest in the player this summer comes as no surprise, but the Black Cats have been wise in their signings recently, placing them in excellent stead regardless of Roberts’ future.

Southampton continue to monitor Sunderland winger Patrick Roberts, according to journalist Darren Witcoo, with the winger a long-term Southampton target.

An injury earlier in the season provided an opportunity for Abdoullah Ba to demonstrate his talent, which the 20-year-old has seized with both hands following a promising start to the season.


The former Le Havre wideman has two goals and an assist in six starts, scoring in the midweek match against Watford to keep his spot on the right side of the midfield. Meanwhile, the aforementioned data underline the two players’ distinct dynamics, while fellow winger Jack Clarke has been a remarkable performance in his own right once again, scoring seven times.

Quality of depth will, and has, shown to be pivotal for Sunderland and has ultimately shown that departure of one player, even the likes of former goalscorer Ross Stewart, will not derail their season with a top-six finish looking likely.

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