One of the top performers in the Scottish Premiership 2022-23 is Kevin van Veen, who plays for Motherwell as a centre-forward. The Dutch footballer signed for Motherwell in 2021 and has turned into an indispensable asset for the team. The 31-year-old is experiencing one of his best campaigns, having scored eleven goals and ranking joint-fourth in the Scottish Premiership scoring charts. His team Motherwell is currently ranked ninth in the standings and is fighting to survive relegation this season. Kevin van Veen’s goals have helped the team secure some vital points and stay ahead of teams like Ross County, Kilmarnock, and Dundee United in the race to beat the drop. Below are some stats from the current season to access the veteran forward’s contributions towards his team.
2022-23 season with Motherwell
Kevin van Veen has appeared 27 times in the Scottish top flight this season, starting 25 matches. Besides his clinical nature in front of the goal, he can link up play with his sound passing ability and create chances for others. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other centre-forwards in the Scottish Premiership. His attacking prowess is highlighted by his good rank for indicators like expected goal contributions, shots, and dribbles. He has a similar rank in the passing department for attempted passes and dangerous passes. In defence, Kevin van Veen does decently in terms of his positional sense and winning defensive duels.
The veteran striker is Motherwell’s top scorer this season, netting 11 out of the 32 goals by his team, with four coming from the penalty spot. He has taken 59 shots thus far and accumulated a total of 8.88 non-penalty xG with a 0.15 xG value for each shot. The shot map shows that most of the attempts came from the centre of the penalty area and close to the six-yard box. He has also shown the capability of shooting accurately from long range. Kevin van Veen averages 2.45 shots per 90 minutes in the Scottish Premiership, with an accuracy rate of 42.2%.
2021-22 season with Motherwell
Last season, Kevin van Veen made 32 league appearances for Motherwell and started 24 matches. He took 60 shots in total with a lower xG of 0.11 per shot, scoring nine goals and providing four assists as Motherwell finished fifth. He averaged 2.27 shots per match and had a lower accuracy rate of 40%. The pizza chart above provides an overview of his performances last season. He was contributing similarly while going forward, but his involvement in the build-up phase has increased this season as shown by his improved passing stats. Last season, he was more involved while defending and has taken up the role of leading Motherwell’s attack this term.
Creative and passing attributes
Kevin van Veen is a mobile centre-forward and performs dribbles and progressive runs to stretch opposition lines and break forward. According to the visualisation above, the striker attempts the majority of the dribbles in the final third and executes these actions with success near the penalty box. Currently, Kevin van Veen averages 4.03 dribbles with a 47.2% success rate and nearly one progressive run per match. Additionally, he enjoys 2.54 touches of the ball inside the penalty area per 90 minutes.
In addition to his goal-scoring prowess, the 31-year-old has the willingness to drop into midfield. He is good with the ball at his feet and likes to play short passes and link-up play. Meanwhile, his ability to hold onto the ball is essential for his team to progress forward. The Dutchman attempts around 15.85 passes per match with an accuracy rate of 70%. 1.98 of these passes are delivered to the final third with 52.8% accuracy, while 1.45 passes are directed to the penalty area with 33.3% accuracy. He also has the ability to release key passes, one of which has led to an assist this season.
Winning back possession
Another way the Dutchman contributes to the team is by recovering the ball in the final third. He puts high pressure on opposition players inside their half and wins back possession for his team. This is evident through the 32 counter-pressing and eight dangerous recoveries he has made. On average, the 31-year-old makes 2.4 recoveries per 90 minutes. 67.2% of these recoveries have been in the attacking half, including four inside the opposition penalty box, one of which has led to a shot.
Kevin van Veen has proven his significance for Motherwell amid a tough campaign in the Scottish Premiership. Apart from leading the team from the front as the main goal threat, he contributes with his creative attributes and also when out of possession. Motherwell will hope their veteran striker continues with the same consistency until the end as they look to pull themselves away from the relegation territory.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine