Josh Ginnelly came through the ranks at Aston Villa’s youth setup, making his senior debut with Shrewsbury Town, following which he moved to Burnley, where he was sent on loan for three years. After his release from Burnley, he moved to Walsall for a year and then to Preston North End before finally securing a move to Hearts.
After missing out on many competitive games last season due to an injury, Ginnelly has made a bright start to the current campaign for Hearts. The English forward has already made 10 appearances in the Scottish Premiership and is enjoying his football. Ginnelly has been deployed as a winger for most of the season, but Liam Boyce’s unavailability due to an injury made manager Robbie Nielson change his position to centre-forward in the recent game against Dundee United.
Let’s dive into his stats to understand his strengths and gauge if he can cement his spot in Robbie Nielson’s lineup in upcoming matches.
Ginnelly’s attacking and creativity stats have been brilliant this season, with most of the stats surpassing the league median value. He has averaged more than two shots per match while taking more than four average touches in the opposition box per match. His most impressive stats this season have been average dribbles per match, offensive duels per match, and attacking actions per match.
Ginnelly’s pass map indicates the array of passes and the location of the passes that he has delivered this season. He is keen to receive the ball in threatening areas of the pitch and likes to run at the defenders. He possesses impressive strength, which allows him to hold off defenders and turn to make a pass or shoot at the goal. Ginnelly is also good at linking up with his teammates.
Ginnelly’s heat map indicates the areas where he has been most engaged in this season. In Nielson’s preferred 3-4-3 system, Ginnelly has been mostly deployed as a right-winger, although recently he was chosen to lead the line up in the central position, where he looked comfortable as well. Ginnelly has been most active in the wide areas in the opponent half and the half-spaces. His heat map highlights that he is also capable of switching positions with his teammates. He has rapid pace and energy to cover spaces on the right flank.
One area where Ginnelly can improve is his finishing ability. He often lacks the end product after carrying the ball forward. His shot map indicates that he is not afraid to take shots from the distance. Ginnelly has also been threatening inside the opponent box.
Ginnelly has displayed his versatility for Hearts by playing in multiple positions this season, indicating his manager’s faith in his abilities. If he can polish off his finishing ability and end product, he will be an asset for Hearts for the foreseeable future.