By the numbers: Tough start but Nelson Semedo getting his eye in for Wolves

It has not all been smooth sailing for Nelson Semedo at Wolves, but the Portuguese now seems to be coming into his own.

Nelson Semedo of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)
Nelson Semedo of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)

The big-money signing from Barcelona – £27.5million before bonuses – has put in a series of more assured performances as of late after blowing hot and cold in his first few months at the club.

His statistics make for good reading as well. So, here are the numbers behind Semedo’s time at Molineux so far.

Top tackler

First and foremost, the 27-year-old leads the way for Wolves when it comes to tackling.

He has made 56 successful tackles, which notably puts him above each of Ruben Neves (53), Joao Moutinho (48) and Leander Dendoncker (29).

The stat becomes more impressive when you factor in the whole of the Premier League as well.

For all defenders in the top flight, he is joint-fifth with Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters while Manchester United man Aaron Wan-Bissaka (71) tops the list.

And across all positions in the Premier League, Semedo is joint 11th – only one tackle behind renowned ball-winning midfielder N’Golo Kante, of Chelsea.

On the down side, he has given away 32 fouls – also the most of any Wolves player – including the late penalty in the loss to Villa in December.

But he is also high up in the list when it comes to interceptions, with 32 and only behind Neves (47).

You certainly cannot accuse Semedo of backing out of challenges. He tackles frequently, and pretty successfully on the whole.

Strong dribbler

In recent weeks especially, Semedo has not been afraid to surge forward and make his presence felt in the final third.

He has used his pace to nice effect, too, with his dribbling numbers catching the eye.

With 42 successful dribbles to his name, the former Nou Camp man is third in the Wolves chart.

Predictably, Adama Traore is the runaway leader in that regard – his 91 successful dribbles again making him the most dangerous dribbler of Europe’s top five leagues (Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 the others), as the Spaniard was last season.

Pedro Neto is, unsurprisingly, second for Wolves with 56.

Semedo is one of the most proficient dribblers at the club, and across Europe’s big leagues when it comes to defenders (AMA)

But that means Semedo has out-dribbled tricky customer Daniel Podence (36), which is no small feat.

And again, when you look at the numbers on a wider scale, Semedo comes out favourably.

He is the best of any defender in the Premier League in terms of dribbling.

Semedo is also the second-best in Europe’s top leagues, only behind Huesca’s Javi Galan (78).

The Portugal international will now hope to turn that dribbling prowess into more goals and assists in the coming months.

Doherty comparison

Coming in as the replacement for Matt Doherty, who was sold to Tottenham last summer, it is fair to say that they are different types of players although they share the same position.

Comparing Semedo’s contribution this campaign to Doherty’s last term, the Irishman has the attacking edge – more goals, assists, shots, passes forward and chances created.

Doherty’s aerial battles won (133 to Semedo’s 26) stands out as well.

Semedo, though, has been a more efficient passer, made more tackles and got in more blocks.

Interestingly, they are level on clearances (47).

For a time, selling Doherty and bringing in Semedo at a significantly-higher fee looked like a bad piece of business.

But performances over the past several weeks, and the numbers for the season as a whole, show Semedo is moving in the right direction and could be a real force.

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