What’s Going On With… Andy Delort?

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Andy Delort scored 24 goals for Tours last season and earned himself, after a full summer in the shop window, a move to Wigan Athletic for a fee in the region of £2.5m. My initial reaction to this deal was relief because Delort’s protacted tour of the Championship had been long, drawn out and not yet encompassing Huddersfield. As such, that it was Wigan shelling out that much for him was welcome.

“I also need to pay tribute to his agent Roger Henrotay, who, despite higher offers from Wolves and Brentford, and just over the weekend QPR and Lille in France also came in for him, wanted to do what was in the best interest of his player,” Uwe Rosler, on Andy Delort’s signing.

So what did Wigan buy, then?

They bought a man who has scored more than five goals once in a professional league (that’s the rubric I used for the career stats, ignoring his time with the II sides in the amateur leagues) – though he’s young, so there’s no huge disgrace there (and he did get 12 for Ajaccio’s B Team in CFA2 before moving to Tours).

What he isn’t, though, is a guaranteed goalscorer and for £2.5 million, I’d want something a bit more promising than that.

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What have they got?

We’re not far into Andy Delort’s Wigan career, but it remains noticeable that he hasn’t scored in his 386 Latics minutes to date. Initially, I might suggest that is because he’s out of his depth at Championship level, but I’m not one to rush into that kind of statement.

It certainly looks as though he’s endured something of a step up between his previous career and his current one, but he’s 23 and that’s not something he won’t experience in future – his stated aim of getting to the Premier League ensures that.

A quick look at his effectiveness over that period tells a slightly different story, too, rather suggesting that although he’s nowhere near the finished article, he’s beginning to find his feet.

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As time has gone on, his shooting accuracy has increased almost week by week – after one shot on target in his first three appearances (236 minutes) he now has 3 in his next four (150); symptomatic of a man beginning to settle in, even if he’s missed the last couple of games.

Obviously, without a goal to his name, we can’t judge his appearances by that mark, but his shooting at goal indicates that he’s ‘due’, as much as a player can be; it is worth noting here that Wigan have taken (as a team) only 3% of their shots from within the six yard box, second lowest of any Championship team; while their 3.2 shots on target per game is third lowest, behind just (surprisingly) Charlton and (unsurprisingly) Leeds.

What does stand out amongst Delort’s numbers is that despite assuring his new team mates that he would never stop running and is always up for a match, his ‘duels’ statistics are pretty low – winning 11/34 (32%) of his headed contests and just 1/13 of his take-ons; not one for a trick with just 7.7% success rate there.

These numbers, seven appearances into Delort’s career at the DW Stadium, are inconclusive by their very nature – and will suffer particularly because of his side’s poor form.

That said, considering that the transfer was worth more than those for each of Lukas Jutkiewicz, Frazier Campbell, Ayoze (of Newcastle), Bojan Krkic, Marvin Emnes and Stefan Scepovic, I would say Wigan’s money could have been better invested elsewhere.

Maybe I should keep my trap shut, to be honest. Andy Delort is one of the players keeping Grant Holt out of the team and allowing his loan to Huddersfield.

Both the statistician and the Terrier in me say stick with him, though the latter would give it more time.

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