Caroline Weir: The stats that make her the ultimate midfielder

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It’s almost a foregone conclusion that Caroline Weir will go viral every year when the Manchester Derby is played.

She was nominated for the Puskas Award after launching a screamer into the back of Man United’s net in the 2019/20 season. Weir sent the footballing world into another frenzy this season. Her wonderful chip was the exclamation point in City’s demolition of United on February 12. 

Weir scored another golazo for Scotland over the international break. She slalomed by a number of defenders before scoring the third in Scotland’s 10-0 demolition of Cyprus.

Weir has become synonymous with scoring worldies. But to limit her recognition to the wonderful goals she scores would neglect the fact that she has taken her game to another level this season. 

The Scottish international was an integral piece to City’s success last season. This year she has become nearly undroppable. Which is no small feat considering the world class midfielders Gareth Taylor has at his disposal.

Goals and Assists

Weir has become one of the most dangerous midfielders in the WSL and in world football. City currently sit second to Chelsea in the WSL table. The Cityzens have one of the second best goal differentials in the league and have scored 46 goals. Weir has provided five goals and three assists in league play. 

She is tied in third on the team in both goals and assists. Weir and Stanway are behind Ellen White and Chloe Kelly in goals. Similarly, Weir is tied with White and Lauren Hemp behind Kelly and Lucy Bronze in assists. 

Compared to other midfielders in the league, Weir is one of the most impactful players when it comes to these two categories. She is in the 98th percentile of midfielders in both goals and assists, averaging .62 goals per 90 minutes and .37 assists.

Positioning and Penetrative Passing

The Scottish midfielder is able to produce these kinds of numbers for a couple of reasons. Weir is constantly on the ball. She gets about 64 touches per 90 minutes.

But it’s where on the pitch she gets these touches that makes her so effective. Weir is in the 99th percentile of midfielders with touches in the final third. She averages 32.86, or over 50%, of her touches in the attacking third.

When Weir is in the final third she can finish from almost anywhere but she can also create quality chances for her teammates and herself with her passing and dribbling ability.

Weir completes 85.5% which is remarkable considering the types of passes she makes. The City midfielder is in the 96th percentile of WSL midfielders with the most key passes and passes into the 18-yard box. She is tied with Alex Greenwood for the second most key passes (19) on Manchester City only behind Kelly.

Close Control and Quick Change of Direction

The attribute that really sets Weir apart from other midfielders is her creativity with the ball at her feet. Her close control combined with her ability to change directions quickly allow her to suck in defenders before releasing to an open teammate. Weir’s ability on the ball also helps her score wonder goals like she did against Cyprus.

Weir is tied for second-best on Manchester City in creating shots off the dribble (tied with Kelly, behind Stanway). She has created six shots with her dribbling and one goal. Weir is one of the best midfielders in the WSL with the ball at her feet and one of City’s most creative threats.

Weir will continue to shock the world with her incredible goals. But upon a closer look at her game, her ability on the ball is just as beautiful. Weir has turned into one of the most creative players in the WSL and has become a key cog in Gareth Taylor’s side.

Her ability to slice open defenses will be necessary if City hope to usurp Chelsea in the league or if they hope to become only the second English side in history to win the UWCL.

Stats retrieved from FBref.com.

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