The stats prove Jonjoe Kenny can be a huge hit at Celtic

Jonjoe Kenny, Celtic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Jonjoe Kenny, Celtic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) /

Jonjoe Kenny has made a promising start for Celtic since coming in on loan to replace the outgoing Jeremie Frimpong at right back. He has been eased into the side facing two teams that have been struggling in the Premiership this season in Kilmarnock and Motherwell.

We wanted to examine the data (Wyscout) to see if any strengths in his game were visible in the short sample so far.

Coming in we hoped to see better crossing from Kenny when compared to Frimpong and this certainly has been the case. Kenny far outperforms Frimpong in this regard with 33.3% crossing accuracy compared to just 19%.

We hope this data metric can improve even further as it’ll be a real asset. We’ve seen an example against Motherwell were Kenny planted the ball onto David Turnbull’s head, creating a good goal scoring opportunity.

Defensively Kenny also stands out. He is of course far more dominant aerially than Frimpong, with aerial duel win % going in his favour, 80% to 29.6%. He is below Frimpong on defensive duel success, 55.6% to 66.3% which is surprising. However he performs 3 more defensive duels per 90 overall (8.66 to 5.19).

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This leads us to believe his positional awareness for the right-back position is far stronger. This is demonstrated by a larger amount of interceptions and clearances, perhaps indicating a better reading of the game, which is understandable considering his far greater experience.

What we lose out on Kenny is dribbling and progressing the ball. He has a dribble success % of 66.7% compared to Frimpong’s 54.1%. However, this masks reality as Frimpong was attempting 6.84 dribbles per 90 whereas Kenny lags behind on just 1.44 per 90. The Dutchman’s dribbling is a large asset that has been lost from the Celtic team and will be difficult to replace.

Overall, Kenny has had a good start to life at Celtic, he brings more offensive capabilities than Ajer at right-back and more defensive capability than Frimpong. This could prove helpful in providing more defensive cohesion and balance to the backline, which has been desperately needed for some time now.

Hopefully he is a player we see thrive at Parkhead and maybe one that we can get for next season if we are lucky.

*All the statistics were collected on February 10, 2021.