Rafa Mujica has shone in an FC Arouca shirt in recent weeks. The former Barcelona youth joined the Liga Portugal outfit from Las Palmas last summer and is relishing his first season in the Portuguese top flight. The 24-year-old is the leading scorer for Arouca across competitions with 13 goals under his belt. He featured more regularly in domestic cup competitions. but amid injury concerns for lead striker Oday Dabbagh, the Spaniard has seen increased game time in Liga Portugal. Rafa Mujica’s brilliant form has helped Arouca climb to sixth in the standings, with his contributions proving crucial in securing important results against other teams vying for a similar spot. Below are some stats from the current season depicting the striker’s contributions to the team.
How has the Spaniard performed so far?
Rafa Mujica has played 18 matches in Liga Portugal 2022–2023, starting 13 times. He has scored seven goals thus far and is Arouca’s joint top-scorer alongside his teammate and competitor, Dabbagh. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats in comparison to other centre-forwards in Liga Portugal. Mujica has contributed well to the attack and also done reasonably well to find passes. He has also shown some defensive characteristics.
Rafa Mujica has performed decently for Arouca in the current Liga Portugal campaign and netted seven times. The striker has scored most of them from inside the penalty area, with a few coming from in and around the six-yard box. Mujica has been clinical in finishing the chances and also has the ability to win headers. He has taken 38 shots in total and accumulated an xG value of 6.97. He averages 3.31 shots per match with 50% accuracy and also contests 7.31 aerial duels, winning 38.1% of them.
Rafa Mujica’s role goes beyond being the target man for his team. He has taken 42 touches inside the penalty box, averaging 3.83 touches per 90 minutes. While in the final third, he occupies the half spaces between the opposition lines and tends to drift wide at times, more towards the left flank.
The striker’s rich run of form
After a couple of months on the sidelines due to injury, Rafa Mujica returned to action in February. He came on from the bench in a 2-0 loss against Sporting Braga and has featured in all four games since then. Manager Armando Evangelista made sure not to rush the Spaniard back into action, and the player reciprocated his boss’ trust by scoring important goals.
In the last four matches in Liga Portugal, Mujica has scored four goals. He scored a brace against Casa Pia, replacing Oday Dabbagh after the hour mark and kick-starting his run of form. He then started in the goalless draw against Boavista and scored against Vitoria and Pacos Ferriera in consecutive matches. Mujica took 15 shots in 286 minutes on the field and was on target seven times. The striker even had 18 touches inside the penalty box. The Spaniard’s form of late has been one of the reasons Arouca have climbed up to sixth in the table.
What more does Mujica offer?
The 24-year-old has yet to provide an assist for his side. He averages 12.01 passes per 90 minutes and has a 74% accuracy rate. The viz above indicates that Mujica likes to distribute the ball to the wide players and midfielders. More of his passes have been attempted on the left side.
As seen from the above visuals, Mujica likes to drift towards the left side of the field. He has done the same while penetrating the opposition’s penalty box. The striker has made 16 box penetration carries, with most of them coming from the left side.
Another strong area of Rafa Mujica’s gameplay is his defensive contribution. The striker likes to tackle and has given up quite a few fouls in the opposition’s half. He also has made a few interceptions in the final third, and these could prove crucial in setting up counterattacks. Overall, Mujica makes 2.52 interceptions and 2.26 fouls per match. He also contests 4.35 defensive duels per match and has a win rate of 46%.
Rafa Mujica is making his name in Liga Portugal. Since gaining promotion last term, Arouca have placed themselves in contention for European football next season, and the striker’s contribution to the attack has proven key. The team will be hoping the 24-year-old can continue with the same intensity and turn their ambitions into reality.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine