Newcastle and Chelsea tried to sign Everton forward Anthony Gordon last summer and now the Magpies have landed their man – but why is the 21-year-old in demand?
Gordon has completed a £45m move to Newcastle, which makes him the Magpies’ second most-expensive signing in their history.
Here, we take a look at what the England U21 international could offer Eddie Howe’s squad…
The winger has only made two substitute appearances since the defeat to Wolves on Boxing Day and was an unused substitute in last weekend’s defeat against West Ham.
Despite having limited game time since November, Gordon remains the club’s joint-top scorer with three league goals and has also fired a team-topping 16 shots on target.
Expected goals explained
Expected goals (xG) calculates how many goals a player should have scored, based on the quality of chances presented to them.
Among fellow U21s in the Premier League, the chart below reveals how Gordon is out on his own when it comes to hitting the target per 90 minutes and shooting accuracy – while only Bukayo Saka outguns him for open-play expected goals (xG).
While the heat map above clearly shows how Gordon has operated primarily down the right flank this term, the youngster fires most of his accurate shots from the left side of the penalty box – scoring two of his three goals from this area.
His ability to cut inside and shoot from inside opposition boxes, between six and 18 yards out, is typical of the modern inverted forward, and it’s worth remembering Gordon is playing at a club who have scored only 15 league goals this term – only Wolves have scored fewer.
As a result of frequently shooting from the left side of the opposition box, the majority of his attempts are fired low with his favoured right boot – to the goalkeeper’s left corner.
Energy and speed
Arguably, Gordon’s primary strength is pure speed and energy, having clocked the second-fastest burst of pace in the Premier League this term at 36.61 km/h – bettered only by new Chelsea signing Mykhailo Mudryk.
The graphic below plots Gordon’s physical exertions against all his current Everton team-mates and Newcastle players this season and reveals how he also ranks among the elite for sprints – behind only Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron.
Powerhouse clubs are attracted to the England U21 star’s pace, energy and eye for goal, while his tender years offer considerable scope for development. Meanwhile, his three-day absence from training appears to indicate his future at Goodison Park could be coming to an end.
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Who will be on the move this winter? The January transfer window opened on Sunday January 1, 2023 and closes at 11pm in England and midnight in Scotland on Tuesday January 31, 2023.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.