Just how much of a loss is Scott Allan for Dundee?

Just how much of a loss is Scott Allan for Dundee?

By Niall Murray

It was a transfer window to forget for Dundee. They lost their prize asset, as Jack Hendry completed his much-anticipated move to Celtic. Although Scott Allan’s departure to Hibs may prove to be the real sucker punch for Neil McCann’s side.


Allan has rediscovered the sort of form that earned him a move to Celtic Park in the first place. Hibs’ gain is very much Dundee’s loss and there’s no doubt he’ll be missed by the Dens Park side.


Hendry is a very talented young defender, but, as we’ve pointed out previously, Dundee have other defenders who can potentially plug the gap. Allen is a different prospect altogether.


He’s the creative heartbeat of Neil McCann’s side which is surprising given that he’s only started eight games this season. Just how much of a loss is he? We looked into the numbers to find out.


Scott Allan as a provider


Put simply, Dundee will undoubtedly be negatively impacted by Scott Allan leaving. He’s a talented playmaker who can pick a pass; the kind of player that is hard to come by. McCann will be relying on a few more of his midfielders and forward players to turn creator now that Allan is gone.



The graph above compares Allan’s assist stats to those who have played in a similar position this season. The 26-year-old hasn’t just played in central midfield, he’s filled in on the left and right wing as well as in a more advanced attacking position.


We’ve taken a look at not just assists, but also expected assists in the Scottish Premiership this season. The results emphasise Allan’s impact on this Dundee team.


He’s got the most assists out of this chosen batch of players with three. Sure three of his teammates are just one assist behind him, but it’s when you look at assists per 90 minutes that things become clearer.


Allan averages 0.4 assists per game whereas the nearest after that is Roarie Deacon with 0.16. Faissal El Bakhtaoui (0.13), Glen Kamara (0.09) and Paul McGowan (0.06) all pale in comparison.



Similarly, Allan also comes out on top when we look at expected assists (xA). In essence, xA measures the quality of chances that a player creates based on the expected goals of the shots that they set-up. 


Allan has an overall xA of 4.2 and a xA per 90 minutes of 0.56. This tells us that were he in a team that took more chances his assist haul would be higher. This might just be the case going forward given that he’s now at Easter Road.


What else did Scott Allen bring to Dundee?


As previously stated, Allan is a wonderful passer of the ball. This is one his main strengths and something that McCann’s side will certainly miss in the second part of this campaign.



The numbers above highlight Allan’s contribution to this Dundee side. He performed more 1-on-1 dribbles per 90 minutes than any other player at the Dens Park club (3.4). In fact, he’s ranked 9th in the whole of the Premiership.


Similarly, he provides an average of 0.74 key passes per match. That’s a pass that leads to a shot on goal. Allan is one of the best in the top flight at this. That said, what is encouraging for Dundee is that young Jesse Curran also has an impressive key pass rate (1.55).


Another area where Allan shines is through passes. No player in all of the Scottish Premiership produces more through passes on average per 90 minutes. McGowan is the nearest on 1.14, but every other player who has played in a position Allan has occupied this season is nowhere near him.


The worry for Dundee is that if their strikers are struggling to score with Allan in the team then how will the manage without him? After all, he is their main source of through passes and plays a big part in the number of key passes in McCann’s team.


That said, they’re in a decent run of form, winning five of their last ten games and are only three points off the top six places. Moreover, Ross County are really struggling and are being cut adrift at the bottom of the table.


Furthermore, the Dark Blues will be hoping the likes of Curran can continue to improve and that new signing Simon Murray can be more clinical in front of goal.

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