Bruce Anderson has been one of the stand-out performers for Livingston, with six goal contributions so far in the season. Livingston are currently 10th in the Scottish Premiership table, and have had a poor start to the season but are unbeaten in their last four league games. Anderson has been involved in six out of the 10 goals that his team has scored. The 22-year-old switched Aberdeen for West Lothian during the summer and admits simply knowing where he’ll be playing his football is a huge weight off his shoulders.
The frontman, who signed a three-year deal with the Lions, had four separate loan spells during his time with the Dons. The striker needs stability in a single club, which will help bring out the best in him. He didn’t have this security while playing on loan in other teams and did not get enough playing time. Anderson enjoyed a spell on loan at Hamilton Accies the last term and although he was unable to prevent them from relegation, it was something of a turning point in his career. He was playing week in and week out, testing himself at the top level. He signed a permanent deal with Livingston, and that helped him feel confident and stronger.
Anderson has featured in 11 of the 12 matches Livingston have played so far. One of the biggest advantages of playing him upfront is the area he covers in the attacking third. Even though he plays as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system, he is present almost everywhere on the pitch, be it dropping into the midfield to receiving the ball deep or helping out the defense. He drifts towards the wider areas on the pitch, taking up places centrally outside the box. This makes it hard to mark him, and even when he is not directly involved in attacks, he keeps the opponent defenders busy.
Most of his shots have been from the right side of the pitch from inside the box. From a total of 11 attempted shots, he has scored three goals. With 27.27% accuracy, his precision in front of the goal has not been very prolific but has got the job done whenever needed. He has attempted only three shots from outside the box, which shows that he is a proper number nine who gets into positions inside the penalty area.
He has not been on the ball quite a lot, given that Livingston do not dominate possession that often. Most of his passes have been short and near the final third of the pitch. He likes to play smart passes by picking out players making runs into dangerous areas, therefore being involved in the attack. The forward has registered three assists so far and has the awareness to spot runs made by his teammates whenever he is in the final third. Most of the passes he has played into the final third have a high xT.
Anderson has received the most passes from Nicky Devlin, and these passes have recorded an overall xT of 0.45. Devlin plays as a right-back for Livi, and most of his passes played to Anderson are crosses that are put into the box. Anderson has the highest xT from the passes played to him by Max Stryjek. The 16 passes Stryjek has played to the striker have an overall xT of 0.533. Stryjek plays more long balls into the final third with Anderson as a target man, and these passes have a high xT because he can get into threatening positions.
The 23-year-old’s confidence suffered following the diabetic seizure he experienced during the defeat to Hibernian at Easter Road in August. But he was backed by his manager to prove he can be Livi’s answer as they struggled to score goals. The Scottish striker has scored twice and also provided two assists in his last four games for Livingston. He will play a vital role in deciding where his team will finish this season.