Fantasy Premier League

Why Johnson could be among best FPL midfielders in 2024/25

By The Scout 14 Jun 2024
Brennan Johnson, Spurs

The Scout delves into the expected goals data to show how Spurs attacker could reach next level this season

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The Scout is identifying players who could improve on last season's displays and have an even bigger impact when 2024/25 Fantasy Premier League begins.

Brennan Johnson (Spurs)

The Tottenham Hotspur attacker took a while to settle following his switch from Nottingham Forest last summer.

Having started – and blanked – in each of Spurs’ first three matches, Johnson was named in their first XI in only two of their subsequent eight contests.

He managed just a single assist in the opening 11 Gameweeks for Spurs, courtesy of an appearance off the bench against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 10.

However, the 23-year-old became far more influential in 2023/24 as Spurs’ first season under Ange Postecoglou progressed.

From Gameweek 12, his total of 11 assists ranked second only to the 12 of Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon among all players in Fantasy.

Johnson also scored five goals in that spell, meaning he was involved in 16 goals – a tally bettered by only seven other midfielders in the final 27 Gameweeks of the season.

Essentially, he scored or assisted every 121 minutes across that period, compared with just one assist in 380 minutes beforehand. 

Johnson's 2023/24 season assessed
Statistic Gameweek 1-11 Gameweek 12-38
Appearances 8 27
Goals 0 5
Assists 1 11
Mins per goal/assist 380 121
Points 14 117
What do the underlying statistics tell us?

Analysing Johnson's displays over Gameweeks 12-38 give a better idea of his growing impact on Postecoglou's side.

His 47 shots and 41 shots in the box both placed second only to Son Heung-min, who went on to record his third 200+ point season in the last four campaigns.

Johnson's total of 19 big chances in that run was at least seven more than any team-mate but he was let down by his finishing skills, converting only 10.6 per cent of his shots.

Spurs' main goal threats, GW12-38
Statistic Son Johnson  Richarlison
Shots 55 47 40
Shots in box 44 41 35
Big chances 12 19 11
Shots on target 24 17 18
Goal conversion 16.4% 10.6% 25.0%

Johnson's all-round style of play meant he was again among Spurs' top three performers for both key passes and big chances created in that period.

His 42 key passes were only one off Dejan Kulusevski in second place, while the pair were identical for big chances created on 11 apiece - just four behind premium-priced Son at the summit.

Spurs' main creators, GW12-38
Player Key passes Big chances created
Son 50 15
Kulusevski 43 11
Johnson 42 11
Porro 40 10

Assessed against his Gameweek 1-11 showings, it's easy to see that Johnson made significant strides in improving his all-round threat.

His minutes per shot quickened from 66.2 to 41.6, while his minutes per key pass rose even quicker, from 99.0 to 47.4.

Arguably the most encouraging number here is Johnson's improved frequency of big chance involvement.

He had one big chance and created three more in the opening 11 fixtures, an average of 95 minutes per involvement. But this sped up by more than 30 minutes after Gameweek 12 to 64.7 minutes per big chance involvement.

Due to his upturn in gilt-edged scoring opportunities, Johnson either scored or assisted 37 per cent of Spurs' goals in the final 27 Gameweeks of 2023/24. Prior to that, his lone assist meant he was involved in a mere 10 per cent of their goals. 

Johnson's attacking threat compared
Mins/per Gameweek 1-11 Gameweek 12-38
Shot 66.2 41.6
Shot in box 76.0 47.4
Big chance 126.7 102.2
Key pass 99.0 47.4
Big chance created 380.0 176.5
Big chance involvement 95.0 64.7
Goal involvement 10.0% 37.0%
How does he compare with other midfielders?

The expected goals data "per 90 minutes" helps to paint a clearer picture of how Johnson fared against other players in his position from Gameweek 12 onwards. 

His Expected Goals (xG) average of 0.45 per 90 minutes was more than team-mate Son's 0.33 and was bettered by just five other midfielders.

Johnson also recorded an Expected Assists (xA) of 0.17 per 90 minutes which, combined with his xG, gives him an expected goal involvement (xGI) of 0.62 per 90 minutes.

That earned him eighth place in his position in Fantasy, just behind the 0.63 of Arsenal's Kai Havertz and eclipsing Son's 0.61 as Spurs' top performer.

Top-ranked midfielders xGI per 90 minutes, Gameweek 12-38
Player xG xA xGI
Salah 0.74 0.25 0.99
Palmer 0.62 0.30 0.92
Saka 0.52 0.34 0.86
Olise 0.38 0.35 0.73
De Bruyne  0.18 0.52 0.70
Eze 0.44 0.25 0.69
Havertz 0.47 0.16 0.63
Johnson 0.45 0.17 0.62
Son  0.33 0.28 0.61

Overall, then, it's clear to see Johnson's all-round influence on the Spurs attack clearly grew as the season progressed.

The xGI data highlights the elite company he is keeping when it comes to high-quality scoring situations. If the 23-year-old can sharpen up his finishing skills, there's every chance he could deliver double-figures for both goals and assists in the season ahead.

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