Tactics & Analysis

Wayne Routledge – the ‘incredible’ stat and why we had to offer him a new contract


Swansea City fans were relieved recently to hear the news that the club had offered winger/attacker Wayne Routledge a new one-year contract that the 34-year-old signed.

He was recently included on our released list which frustrated many fans with the vast majority of them seemingly wanting us to keep him here for at least another season.

It’s been quite a turnaround for Wayne after being the subject of much criticism during the last couple of years or so in the Premier League but after finally being given the green light to play, he showed his class in the Championship under former manager Graham Potter.

That green light to play was given thanks to the player himself. He was held back because his contract included a clause that triggered an automatic one-year extension on the same wage – something the club didn’t want to activate. He explained to BBC Sport though that he agreed to waive the clause, allowing him to play throughout the second half of the season.

Routledge explained how he spoke to the club to remove the clause:

“I had a clause if I played a certain amount of games it would trigger a new deal, but the way the club is financially it was never going to happen,”

“I felt I could help the team so I approached the club to see if we could take it out if it meant I could play.”

In a recent Twitter poll with 625 votes, 77% voted that he should get offered a new 1-year contract with only 8% believing he shouldn’t get a new deal.

Routledge has been a regular starterin the final few months of the season with Potter recognising his quality as a central attacker. He also drifted out wide to support attacking play down the flanks and to help up create goalscoring chances.

And it was creating chances where he really excelled. Despite only playing an equivalent of 20 full 90 minute matches, only one Championship created more “Big Chances” than Wayne Routledge all season – that was Hull’s Kamil Grosiki – who played the equivalent of 33 full 90 minute matches during the 2018/19 campaign.

Sheffield Wednesday’s Adam Reach, Nottingham Forest’s Joe Lolley and Rotherham United’s Michael Smith were the other players who created 12 big chances for their team.

Looking at the bottom chart in the tweet below, you can see that Wayne Routledge also average the most big chances created per 100 passes.

In terms of finishing big chances, the Championship average for converting them into goals was around 40%. Wayne Routledge converted 4 of his 9, with a conversion rate of 44.4%. Only Oli McBurnie fared better with a 57.7% conversion rate.

Wayne Routledge has most definitely earned his new one-year contract. He might be ‘getting on a bit’ now at the age of 34, but he’s showing that age is just a number and looks more than capable of producing the same quality next season.

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