Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney notched his fourth goal in three Premier League matches as Manchester United beat Liverpool 1-0 in Gameweek 22. In that period he has scored double the number of league goals he had recorded in the first half of the season.

In the nine seasons of the current Fantasy Premier League era, Rooney has scored between 11 and 14 goals in six of them. With his goals in 2016, he now on course to make it seven in ten if he can steer clear of injury and suspension. But could he go on to an even better total if he can sustain this sudden uptick in scoring?

Wayne Rooney GW1-22 2015-16

Before I dissect the chart, please note the FPL game credits Rooney with an assist against Tottenham Hotspur in Gameweek 1 that is not shown here.

An interesting detail in the chart is the number of shots, shots in the box and shots on target Rooney recorded against Swansea City in Gameweek 20. His numbers in that game are an exception for this season, rather than the norm.

Excluding the Gameweek 21 penalty because of the higher conversion rate for spot kicks, Rooney has been a little fortunate in the past couple of gameweeks to score two goals from two shots on target and two shots in the box. However, over the season, his goals to shots on target and assists to chances created ratios pretty much match the league average. The only metric which strays from the norm is the proportion of shots he hits inside the penalty box, which is below what we might expect for many Premier League forwards but about normal for Rooney.

Embed from Getty Images

The England international has converted between 36 and 44 per cent of his shots on target each season over the last four years, so he could potentially drive this season’s conversion rate a little higher. However, in terms of the number of shots and shots on target he has hit this season, Rooney is in the third tier among Premier League forwards with seven players ahead of him for shots on target and eight players beating him for shots.

As a premium forward, who still costs 9.9m despite being in 900,000 fewer teams than he was at the start of the season, most FPL managers will want more output than Rooney has offered over the course of this season. His short term form is good, but too good to sustain at this level for long. I suspect he is likely to end up with a seventh season scoring about a dozen goals unless he starts to produce more performances like the Swansea game.

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