One of the noteworthy performers of the Scottish Premiership 2022-23 is Ryan Strain, who currently plays for St. Mirren as a right-back. The Australia international signed for St. Mirren last summer and has become an integral part of the starting line-up. He is a versatile full-back who can play on either flank and can also assume an advanced role if needed. The 25-year-old is stable in defence, helping his team keep five clean sheets thus far. However, he also shows a lot of attacking intent and has made some key goal contributions for St. Mirren. The Australian right-back is proving himself an indispensable player for the Saints and is also starting to be seen as one of the top full-backs in the Scottish top flight. Below are some stats that capture Ryan Strain’s performances from the current season to access his contributions to his team.
Ryan Strain has made 26 league appearances for St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership 2022–23, starting 25 times. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats in comparison to the other players featuring as right-backs in the current season of the Scottish Premiership. We can observe that Strain dominates in the attacking department by ranking highly for expected goal contribution, shots, and dribbles. The player also possesses a reasonable rank under possession indicators like dangerous and progressive passes. Finally, a couple of other areas where he impresses are in contesting and winning defensive duels.
As a right-back, Ryan Strain’s primary role is in defence, but he also enjoys going forward and contributing to the team’s offensive output. From the viz above, we can see that his average position along the defensive line is deep within his own half. He moves up and down the pitch and engages in a lot of defensive actions on the right side. The 25-year-old makes 4.91 interceptions and 0.64 fouls per match, highlighting his composed mentality. He contests 8.46 defensive duels per match with a high success rate of 61.1%. Furthermore, the right-back attempts 2.31 aerial duels per match with a decent success rate of 42.6%.
The Australian also contributes to the team by recovering the ball in the final third. He puts pressure on opposition players inside their half and wins possession back for his team, mainly on the right side. This is evident through the 47 counter-pressing and 11 dangerous recoveries he has made. On average, the 25-year-old makes nearly 8.16 recoveries per 90 minutes. Nearly 40% of these recoveries have been in the attacking half, including a few in and around the opposition penalty box, some of which have resulted in shots.
Contributions to attack
The right-back has scored three goals for St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership 2022–23. He has taken 22 shots thus far and accumulated a total of 3.69 xG, averaging 0.17 xG per shot. Ryan Strain averages nearly one shot per 90 minutes with an accuracy rate of 59.1%. The shot map shows that most of the attempts came from the right side of the pitch, and he has done well to penetrate the penalty box on occasion. He has also shown the ability to shoot accurately from a distance, with two of his goals coming on long-range strikes.
Another area where Ryan Strain has helped St. Mirren massively this season is by providing key assists and creating openings for the attackers. Thus far, the Australian right-back has provided five assists in the Scottish Premiership 2022/23. Currently, his xA rate per match stands at 0.19, and he is averaging 1.45 shot assists per 90 minutes. In addition, he has created six big chances thus far.
The 25-year-old also plays an important role in moving the ball around and connecting the plays. Strain attempts 32.34 passes per match with 70% accuracy. Additionally, he makes 5.6 passes to the final third and 4.57 passes into the opposition penalty box per match, which leads to key scoring chances for his teammates.
Ryan possesses the characteristics of a modern attacking full-back who can progress with the ball and breach the opposition’s defensive line with effect. He sprints up and down the right flank constantly and likes to attack spaces nearby and inside the penalty area, as seen in the above viz. The right-back has made 113 penetrating carries into the 18-yard box so far this season. On average, he makes 1.15 touches inside the opposition’s penalty area.
Playing as a fullback, Ryan Strain creates overlaps on his flank and also drifts into inside channels to deliver pin-point crosses. The viz above sheds light on his proficiency at putting crosses into dangerous areas inside the penalty box. The 25-year-old delivers 4.19 crosses per match with 36.7% accuracy. He also attempts 3.42 dribbles per match with nearly 59% accuracy and makes 1.2 progressive runs on average.
Ryan Strain has emerged as one of the top performers in a St. Mirren shirt this season. He is steady in defence as a right-back but also displays a lot of attacking prowess with his ability to deliver key goal contributions. St. Mirren will be expecting the same consistency from their Australian right-back as they will look to deliver a strong finish to the current Scottish Premiership campaign.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine