Over the years Leicester City have made some shrewd and impressive recruitments. One of those recruitments has been the summer signing of Patson Daka. Following the last season of Austrian Bundesliga, in which Daka finished as the league’s top scorer and lifted the title with RB Salzburg, many clubs showed interest in securing the services of the Zambian international. Despite entering late in the tussle to sign Daka, Leicester City succeeded and agreed to a five-year contract with him.
Although Daka was signed as a replacement for Leicester City’s veteran striker Jamie Vardy, the Englishman’s sensational form in front of the goal, which has seen him score nine goals in 15 appearances in the league, meant that Daka had to bide his time and wait for his opportunity. While he was limited to substitute appearances in the Premier League up until the recent game against Newcastle, Daka had featured regularly for the Foxes in the Europa League and put-up impressive performances, scoring five goals in six appearances before the Foxes crashed out of the competition. The Zambian striker’s highlight performance came in the 4-3 away win against Spartak Moscow, a game where he scored all four goals for his side.
Daka’s brilliant form in the Europa League was finally rewarded when he started his first match in the Premier League, a 4-0 win against Newcastle. In the absence of Jamie Vardy, the 23-year-old was impressive for the Foxes as he scored one goal and provided one assist. Daka admitted after the match that his first full home debut will be good for his confidence. The Zambian has now scored two goals and added a further three assists in seven league appearances and is looking ready to fill in for Jamie Vardy when required.
Let’s analyze his stats in the Premier League this season to gauge whether he can become the go-to striker for the Foxes.
Although most of his appearances in the league have been as a substitute, Daka has been impressive nonetheless, as indicated by his goal contribution of five in seven matches. The majority of his attacking and creativity stats are above the league median value. Daka averages an xG of 0.52 per match. His xG per shot and touches in the opposition penalty box are equally impressive as well. The Zambian is clinical in front of the goal, and his movement in the opposition box gives the defenders a hard time. His excellent positioning allows him to create space for himself to shoot.
Daka’s pass receive location indicates that he often drops in his half to receive passes and link up with his teammates. His strength and agility allow him to hold off the defender and lose his marker. Daka’s timing of his run and reaction makes him a brilliant poacher who can pounce on loose balls and use them to his advantage.
His heat map displays the areas of the pitch where he is most active. Although seven matches do not provide an accurate reflection of his work rate, Daka’s work rate is nevertheless impressive. His heat map above indicates that he drops deep to support his defenders during the counterattacks. He is very active on the pitch with or without the ball. Daka’s speed and acceleration allow him to cover vast spaces quickly.
Daka’s creative output is highlighted by his assists and assists per 90. He has averaged 0.84 assists per match and provided three assists in the Premier League.
Despite his limited number of appearances in the league, Daka has been impressive for Leicester City. While Vardy remains Brendan Rodgers’ first choice for the lead striker, Daka’s performances and stats have made it clear that he can be Leicester’s go-to striker in the foreseeable future.