Talking Tactics

Brooks' skills can boost AFC Bournemouth forwards

Adrian Clarke 12 Jul 2018
David Brooks, AFC Bournemouth

Adrian Clarke says new boy from Sheffield United should enhance the potency of Callum Wilson and Jermain Defoe

Adrian Clarke analyses the tactical impact Premier League summer signings will have on their clubs.

David Brooks

Outside the top six, no Premier League team created as many chances or had more shots on target last season than AFC Bournemouth.

Under Eddie Howe the Cherries continue to be one of the competition’s most adventurous sides.

Their philosophy should mean that Brooks fits in perfectly at Vitality Stadium.

Most creative clubs in 2017/18
Chances created Shots on target
Man City 504 Man City 265
Liverpool 489 Arsenal 234
Chelsea 486 Liverpool 233
Spurs 467 Chelsea 220
Arsenal 446 Spurs 216
Man Utd 377 Man Utd 178
AFC Bournemouth 348 AFC Bournemouth 158
What type of player?

Signed from Championship side Sheffield United, Brooks will supplement the attacking qualities AFC Bournemouth already possess.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder will provide plenty of skill and guile inside the final third.

He attempted 7.93 dribbles per 90 minutes last season and relishes one-v-ones in central or wide areas.

By comparison the Premier League’s most prolific dribblers, Wilfried Zaha and Eden Hazard, attempted 8.06 and 6.29 respectively per match last season.

Brooks has end product, too. He scored three goals and created a chance every 37 minutes last season as a No 10 for the Blades.

Where is he most influential?

He is at his best in pockets of space between midfield and attack.

That means he is likely to compete with Joshua King, Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe for a starting place in support of the main striker.

From that position he has the quality, particularly with his left foot, to release Callum Wilson and Jermain Defoe

Both centre-forwards enjoy making runs in behind the opposing defence and Brooks could be the player with the best ability to find them.

Brooks v AFC Bournemouth creators
2017/18 King Stanislas Ibe Brooks
Mins/chance created 64.5 54.0 55.5 37.0
Mins/assist 817.6 648.0 333.3 287.0
Mins/goal 306.6 259.2 1,000 382.0
Brooks trickery

AFC Bournemouth supporters will enjoy Brooks’s positivity and trickery on the ball.

But at 21 years of age and with no top-flight experience, patience may be required for him to settle in.

Brooks may be best deployed initially by Howe as an impact substitute. It is a role he performed well last term, with only nine of his 30 appearances coming as a starter.

Once he settles in, the Welshman can became an integral figure in the Premier League.

Looking at his profile and style of play, Brooks appears tailor-made to develop under Howe.

Tomorrow: Dominant Diop can strengthen Hammers defence

Also in this series

Part 1: Fredericks pace offers a threat for West Ham
Part 2: Decisive Leno a welcome addition for Arsenal
Part 3: Maddison can give Leicester creative spark
Part 4: Murphy can produce the spectacular for Cardiff
Part 6: Diop's power will bolster West Ham defence
Part 7: Mahrez will add to Man City's goal threat 
Part 8: Seri's skills are tailor-made for Fulham
Part 9: Balogun will bring bite to Brighton's defence

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