Matt Doherty is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a right-back for La Liga club Atletico Madrid and the Republic of Ireland national team. Matt Doherty has signed for Atletico Madrid after Tottenham Hotspur terminated his contract by mutual agreement. His move from the Premier League to La Liga has come at the age of 31 years old, having played in three seasons for the North London side. Before that, the man from Ireland was part of a successful Wolverhampton Wanderers side, where his impressive performances earned him the move to an in-form Spurs. In his first season in North London, he impressed under Jose Mourinho and was not far behind Nuno Santo and current Tottenham manager, Antonio Conte in the pecking order. His performances on the right flank have gradually improved over the years. A move to Atletico Madrid came late in the season, but it is a step up in his career. Below, we look at some of the stats for the player and try to analyse his display on the pitch.
Doherty for Spurs
Doherty played as a right wingback for Spurs. The viz above shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other right-wing backs in the Premier League for the 2022–23 season. He has played 12 matches for his club and has performed extremely well in terms of his defensive performance. He also fares well when it comes to maintaining possession and making accurate passes. He has also managed to find success getting touches in the final third and in the opponent’s penalty area.
Matt Doherty will add a great deal of defensive solidity and reliability to Atleti‘s backline. He is good at both reading the game and making tackles, as well as being able to step up to intercept passes and clear danger.
Performance on the right flank
The Irishman is a threat going forward with his ability to get forward and whip in dangerous crosses for his teammates. The above viz shows Doherty’s winger actions in the Premier League in 2022/23. It can be observed that most of his intensity is on the right flank of the middle and final third. The number of successful dribbles on the right flank of the final third is decent. He averages 2.37 dribbles per 90 with a success rate of 52.1%. He also makes 0.87 progressive runs per 90. His tendency to take frequent crosses and his ability to deliver them accurately is also demonstrated, and he makes 2.37 accurate crosses on average. Additionally, he has made 20 penetrating carries and is a threat to the opposition when it comes to making movement into the box.
Doherty is also a leader who can help organise and communicate with his backline, something Atleti have been missing in recent seasons. The above viz shows the defensive territory of the player. It indicates that Matt is involved in a lot of defensive actions in the defensive and middle thirds. Being a right-back, he covers the right flank in the defensive and middle third of the pitch in terms of his defensive area. Overall, he has a win percentage of 61.6% for defensive duels and 66.8% for aerial duels per 90 minutes. He also makes interceptions inside his own box as well as in his defensive third. He makes 4.23 interceptions per 90 and 7.72 recoveries in the final third per 90.
Doherty in his previous season for Spurs
The viz above shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other right-wing backs in the Premier League for the 2021–22 season. He has played 15 matches for Spurs and has performed extremely well in terms of his offensive performance. He fared well when it came to maintaining possession and making accurate passes. He has also managed to find success getting touches in the final third and in the opponent’s penalty area.
Overall, he has shown consistent performances in most of the departments over his couple of seasons in the Premier League, and therefore he is a player who is extremely seasoned and consistent on the pitch, who rarely shows a drop in quality of performance on the pitch, and who has maintained similar stats as seen above over his Premier League journey. The only major drop in performance as compared to his current and last season can be seen in terms of his offensive contributions. In the 2021/22 season, he managed to contribute highly in terms of goal contributions per 90, xG per 90, and even shots taken per 90 minutes. Whereas, he has improved in numbers in terms of winning defensive and aerial duels.
In the end, it depends on what the coach asks of the player, the overall team structure and squad, and the instructions given by the coach to go all out or play a bit more conservatively on the pitch. The same is most likely to take place under Simone, who is a defensive-minded coach and seems to be impressed by the player’s consistency in defence.
Seasoned option for Simione
When comparing Doherty for Spurs and Molina for Atletico Madrid, it is clear that both players bring different qualities to the pitch. Doherty is a more defensive-minded player who is excellent in the air and provides a strong defensive presence. He is also a great passer of the ball and can start attacks from deep. Molina, on the other hand, has a slight edge in terms of winning defensive duels. Doherty has better numbers in goal contribution and maintains better positional awareness during the match.
Overall, Doherty is a versatile fullback who can play both sides of the pitch with equal effectiveness. His ability to get up and down the pitch, link up with the midfield, and provide good crosses into the box makes him a valuable asset to any team. Matt Doherty’s transfer to Atleti’s backline will bring a vast array of defensive qualities and attacking potential. His reading of the game, tackling, intercepting, and crossing are all top-class, while his leadership qualities will be invaluable. If Atleti can make the most of his abilities, they could finally have the backline they need to compete at the top of the table.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine