Attacking play to excite from ex-Sunderland man touted for both Portsmouth and Derby County

A free agent with an eye for the spectacular whose stock is at a high.

By Jordan Cross
Monday, 16th May 2022, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 12:03 pm

That’s what Pompey will be landing in Luke Molyneux, in a season where he finished as Hartlepool’s top scorer, with his place as a key player at the club cemented after being named both fan and players’ player of the year.

According to the latest reports over the weekend Derby County and the Blues are keen on the former Sunderland man, after their relegation to League One.

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Delving into the data room underlines the progress Molyneux has made this season, as he establishes himself as one of the most promising attacking players in the lower leagues.

Using information from professional football data platform, Wyscout, it’s clear Pompey would be landing a versatile talent with an eye for producing something special.

Molyneux has spent much of this season operating as an inverted winger, playing down the right where he can cut in and unleash shots on goal as a left footer.

He’s also been used through the middle as a striker, mainly early in the season, returning 12 goals in all competitions as Pools reached the EFL Trophy semi-final and FA Cup fourth round.

Luke Molyneux (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Molyneux’s return has seen him outperform an expected goal total of 8.18 this season - perhaps a nod to his impressive finishing from long range.

It’s been goals more than assists which have been the staple of his game, with Molyneux returning just two assists from his 4,100 minutes of football - an average of 75.1 minutes per game.

In terms of going up against the rest of League Two, the man from Bishop Auckland compares favourably to his peers when it comes to his progressive runs and smart passes.

A total of 80 progressive runs for the season ranks him 26th in the division with 25 smart passes seeing him 29th of all League Two players.

Molyneux’s wing play stats saw him undertake 259 dribbles this season with 49.4 per cent of those completed, while 24.7 per cent of his 89 crosses were completed.

He completed 74.9 per cent of his 1069 passes, with 38.5 per cent of his long passes finding a team mate.

Molyneux took part in 1122 duels this season with a success rate of 37 per cent, with that that figure dropping to 25.7 per cent in his 210 aerial duels.

His total actions numbered 2,741 for the season, with a success rate of 47.6 per cent.