Collectively, Palmeiras still failed to score in the 2020 season. Even though Vanderlei Luxemburgo spoke from the beginning of the year on presenting a pleasant and offensive football, the coach did not find the ideal style of play and left his position after the defeat against the Coritiba.
The poor performance can be seen in some statistics: until the 16th round of the Brazilian Championship, only Red Bull Bragantino played less games without conceding goals compared to Palmeiras. Offensively, the team is only the fourteenth in great chances created (22).
However, despite the poor performance already mentioned, striker Wesley is one of the few good news in recent matches. The young man of just 21 years has been gaining a following as a starter and demonstrates a lot of personality and technique in the midst of the chaos. Acting mostly on the left to explore the cut to the maximum, the tip, despite being right-handed, manages, even from the left flank, to explore the depth, as we see in the map below:
Wesley’s heat map in 2020 shows the trend of playing on the left side (Via: Wyscout)
According to data taken from SofaScore, taking into account only the last four matches played by the boy, Wesley has 1 goal, 3 assists, 11 dribbles in 13 attempts, 4 decisive passes, 3 great chances created and 16 submissions, statistics that differ from the rest of the starting team.
Even due to the difficulty of the tips to consolidate after the departure of Dudu, shirt 21 was the only winger who managed to grab the opportunities given by Luxembourg. So far, there have been 15 matches played as a player in Palmeiras professional football, 11 of them in the last 14 games of the team.
In numbers, when compared to the other fins of the position and even those with different functions, Wesley leads important individual statistics, despite being on the field less than half of the team’s games this season. The young man is the greatest dribbler of the squad in the Brazilian, with 19 feints, and draws attention with the 77% use in his dribbling. He is also on the list of athletes from Palmeirense with the highest number of correct submissions, with 15, consolidating himself as the fourth best finisher on the team.
However, what attracts the most attention is the number of assists. With five passes to goal, the silver of the house is the biggest waiter of the year, followed by Willian, Matías Viña and Gabriel Menino, who add up to four. Among the five assists, four of them were performed in the last six matches, against Sport, Bolivar (2x) and Botafogo.
Another highlight is the improvement in decision making in the conclusions of plays. If in the grassroots categories and in the period loaned to Vitória there was a great criticism of Wesley’s decisions, today, they are eased.
In the Bahian team, the attacker’s percentage of passing hits was only 71%, a number that, in Palmeiras, rose considerably – to 80%. With five assists in fifteen games, the striker practically doubled his mark from last season. In 2019, there were three passes to goal in 28 games defending the colors of red-black. In finishing, he improved his performance from 37% accuracy to 49% in the 2020 season.
Comparison between Wesley’s 2019 and 2020 seasons (Via: SofaScore and WyScout)
It is still unclear which coach will occupy the position left by Luxembourg, but one thing is certain: Wesley deserves the title and little by little he asserts himself in the attack alongside center forward Luiz Adriano.