Elie Youan has proven his worth for Hibernian in recent weeks. The French forward joined the Scottish Premiership side on a season-long loan deal from St. Gallen and has taken up the role of leading the Hibs attack after their main striker Kevin Nisbet suffered an injury. The 23-year-old usually featured as a left winger earlier in the season, but has played as the centre-forward in the last four matches and scored three goals as Hibernian won three games and drew the other. Youan has also provided six assists in the Scottish Premiership, but prior to this stint as the centre-forward he had only netted once. Elie Youan’s consistent performances have now given manager Lee Johnson a selection dilemma as the main striker returns to fitness. Below are some stats from the current season to assess Youan’s contributions to Hibernian.
Elie Youan has played 25 times in the Scottish Premiership 2022-23, starting 20 matches. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other centre-forwards from the Scottish top flight. While his goal contribution and shots are at par, he possesses a very high rank for dribbles and penalty area touches. His contribution to the possession department is massive with a top percentile rank for the various passing parameters. He also helps the team in defence as shown by his excellent rank for defensive duel contests and aerial duels win rate.
Elie Youan has scored four goals for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership 2022–23. He has taken 48 shots thus far and accumulated a total of 4.79 xG. The French forward averages 2.27 shots per 90 minutes with an accuracy rate of 48%. The shot map shows that most of the attempts came inside the penalty box from the left side and the central area. He averages 4.7 touches in the penalty area and has scored all his goals inside the box. An area where he can improve is penetrating the six-yard box more frequently. Youan’s tall stature also allows him to contest aerial duels, particularly in the opposition half. He averages as many as 5.07 aerial duels with an impressive 47.7% success rate.
In addition to netting goals, the French forward has the mindset to create scoring opportunities for others. The above viz shows the shot assists delivered by Youan in the current Scottish Premiership campaign. He has recorded six assists thus far with an xA value of 3.92. It can be observed that some of the key passes are directed into the penalty box in the form of cutbacks and crosses. The others have been a few layoffs inside the box and in the final third. Currently, Youan averages 1.18 shot assists per 90 minutes and has also created five big chances.
Passing and creative gameplay
Besides contributing while going forward, the 23-year-old forward is good with the ball at his feet. He drops into midfield to play short passes and link-up play, while his ability to hold onto the ball is also essential for his team to progress forward. Youan attempts around 24.6 passes per match with an accuracy rate of 75.1%. Of these passes, 1.75 are delivered to the final third with 78.4% accuracy, and two passes reach the penalty area with 40.5% accuracy. Additionally, he makes 6.78 backward passes per match (91% accuracy).
As a forward, one of Elie Youan’s responsibilities is to stretch the opposition to create spaces for his teammates. His pace and directness cause trouble for opposing defences. He advances with the ball into dangerous areas by performing successful dribbles and making progressive runs in the final third, mostly on the left flank. On average, he attempts 6.35 dribbles per match (a 52.2% success rate) along with 2.94 progressive runs. He also does well at delivering lots of crosses into the penalty box (2.75 per match) with 24.1% accuracy.
Winning back possession
Another way the French forward contributes to the team is by recovering the ball in the final third. He puts pressure on opposition players inside their half and wins back possession for his team. This is evident through the 14 counter-pressing and four dangerous recoveries he has made. On average, the 23-year-old makes nearly 3.36 recoveries per 90 minutes. 48% of these recoveries have been in the attacking half, including five inside the opposition penalty box, three of which have resulted in shots.
Elie Youan has shown his calibre with some crucial performances for Hibernian in the last few weeks. Apart from leading the attack as a goal scorer, he also helps his team with his creative attributes and clinical abilities on the ball. Hibernian will expect the same consistency from the Frenchman for the rest of the season as they look for a strong finish to their current campaign.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine