Last season, St. Mirren lacked a consistent goal scorer to make it to the top six of the Scottish Premiership. Their highest goal scorer was Irish midfielder Jamie McGrath, with ten goals in the league. It was evident from St. Mirren’s performances that they needed to bring a man up front who could provide them with the goals, and they did just that by bringing in Eamonn Brophy from Kilmarnock.
Since earning his first international cap for Scotland in a 2-1 victory over Cyprus, Brophy was often overlooked at Kilmarnock since he reportedly announced his desire to leave the club. After overcoming a foot injury at the start of the season, Brophy has been brilliant in the attack for St. Mirren. The forward has bagged five goals in 13 matches in the current campaign, and his performances have kept the Saints in contention for finishing in the top-six. Heading into the international break, they are placed at the eighth spot in the Scottish Premiership with three wins, six draws, and four losses in 13 games, level on points with sixth-placed Hibernian.
Brophy’s best performance in recent matches came in the fixture against Motherwell. After going two goals down, St. Mirren took the fight back to Motherwell via two goals from Brophy and ensured that they take at least one point from the game. Manager James Goodwin believes that Brophy deserves a call-back to the Scottish national side. Goodwin stated in a recent interview that Brophy has achieved fitness and has become sharper in the last four or five weeks.
Let’s dive into Brophy’s stats in order to understand his impact for St. Mirren this season.
Brophy has ranked highly in terms of attacking and creativity this season, with most of his stats surpassing the league median value. His most notable stats are xG per 90, shots per 90, and attacking actions per 90. He averages upward of four dribbles per match while also averaging more than nine attacking actions. Goodwin has deployed Brophy as a number nine, partnering him with either McGrath or Main in the attack.
Brophy’s heat map indicates that he has mostly operated in the half-spaces in the opponent’s half, with his highest activity on the left wing. He is also adept at switching positions, finding spaces near the opposition’s defense, and bringing in his teammates in the attack as well. Although deployed as a striker, Brophy is adept at playing as a winger or as an attacking midfielder.
Brophy’s best attribute is his finishing. He is described as a natural goal scorer who does not shy away from taking shots from outside the opponent’s box. With a striking partner beside him, Brophy can utilize his agility and movement to get in behind the defenders. As indicated by his shot map, Brophy likes to shoot from outside the box quite often, although he has been able to score just one from outside the opposition box so far this season, with the majority of his goals scored from inside.
Brophy is placed at eighth spot in the league in terms of xG. His xG value of 3.57 suggests that he is marginally overperforming his xG, although one of his goals was scored through a penalty. His average xG of 0.30 puts him at 21st spot in the league.
In Brophy, St. Mirren possesses a confident striker who is not afraid of taking his chances. He suits Goodwin’s style of play. While he can still improve in terms of his passing and link-up play, Brophy is nonetheless proving that he can get important goals for his side. If St. Mirren are to mount a challenge for a top-six finish, they need to create more chances for their main man upfront.