Pedro Goncalves is one of Sporting CP’s most promising players in Liga Portugal. During his debut season with Sporting CP in 2020/21, Goncalves was the league’s top scorer with 23 goals. He has also won the “Best Young Player of the Year” accolade in Liga Portugal for two consecutive seasons. However, he had to endure a tough season in 2021/22 marred by injury struggles, which resulted in diminished performances.
In Liga Portugal 2022/23, the 24-year-old attacker has once again emerged as the Eagles’ main man going forward. He has regained his “golden touch” with respect to scoring goals for his club this season. In 13 appearances so far, Goncalves has found the back of the net seven times and provided three assists. He is currently the leading goalscorer for Sporting CP and the league’s third-highest goalscorer. Let’s now look at some stats that show how Pedro Goncalves is returning to his best in Liga Portugal.
The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats against other players featured as left-wingers in the Portuguese top flight. Pedro Goncalves possesses excellent attacking and possession stats in almost all parameters. He ranks in the top 87.5 percentile for opposition penalty area touches and the top 83.3 percentile for shots and goal contributions per match. Furthermore, the attacker ranks in the top 91.6 percentile for passes received and accurate passes per match. Winning defensive duels is another area he does well in, with a good percentile rank of 70.8.
Pedro Goncalves attacking stats 2022/23
The above viz depicts Pedro Goncalves’ shot map in Liga Portugal 2022/23. We can observe that he takes most of his shots from inside the penalty box. All seven of his goals have come from inside the box, with two coming from inside the six-yard box. Goncalves has taken a total of 36 shots for an average of 2.8 per match with around 42% accuracy. His expected goals per match equate to 0.42, which is better than most other wide attackers in the league.
When compared to last season, Goncalves made 27 appearances in the league, scoring eight goals along with ten assists. He was taking 3.2 shots per game with about 41% accuracy. The shot zones across both seasons bear similarities, but his conversion rate and scoring frequency have improved greatly. The forward appears to be on track to expand his goal and assist totals in the 2021–22 season.
Goncalves uses his attacking pace and efficiency in the final third to turn possession into attacking opportunities. He is more of a direct player who likes to quickly move forward into the opposition half towards the penalty box. Looking at the visuals above, we can understand the type of progressive movements Goncalves likes to make. This season, the forward has made 44 penetrative carries with the ball, demonstrating how he uses the spaces between opposing lines to get involved in the action around the penalty area. He attempts around 3.1 dribbles per match with a 49% success rate.
The crisp passing ability of Goncalves
While Goncalves has taken up the role of getting goals at Sporting, he also has the ability to drop deep and build up attacking plays. The two visuals above map the player’s touches and passing actions for this season. We can observe that the maximum cluster of Goncalves’ touches on the ball are in wide positions on the left and in the central attacking areas in the final third.
On occasion, the wide attacker tends to drift to the flanks to create space for runners from the midfield. When he receives the ball out wide, he looks for a pass infield or tries to carry it towards the box. Goncalves averages around 31.4 passes, 3.3 progressive passes, and 2.1 long passes per 90 minutes. Furthermore, he enjoys 24 touches in the final third and 4.6 touches inside the penalty box per match.
Pedro Goncalves is enjoying an impressive season with Sporting CP and is on course to return to his best. He is regaining the consistency he’s shown previously and is on course to improve his attacking numbers from last season. In addition to his natural goal-scoring instinct, he possesses intelligent positioning and movement through which he creates spaces for his teammates and himself to attack. Even when he fails to get on the scoresheet, he contributes to keeping the play operating smoothly with his crisp passing.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine