North East UK news The key stats that show why Sunderland made Bailey Wright's loan a permanent move MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Bailey Wright played just five games before his injury while on loan, but he did enough to earn a permanent contract at Sunderland
Breaking News ! Bailey Wright made only five appearances for Sunderland during his loan spell last season, but did enough to impress and earn a permanent contract. A free agent this summer after leaving Bristol City, Wright always arrived at the Stadium of Light in January with the intention of earning the permanent deal which he ultimately now has. And despite making just five appearances before suffering ankle ligament damage that ended his season five games prior to coronavirus unexpectedly ended Sunderland's, it's clear to see why Phil Parkinson was so keen to have Wright back at the club next season. The 28-year-old Australian international was captain of the Robins and his leadership skills were clear to see at the heart of Parkinson's three-man defence. Making his debut at Tranmere, Sunderland picked up a 1-0 win to end a brilliant January that would see Parkinson voted manager of the month. Then followed a blip as they began February with defeat at promotion rivals Portsmouth, before a strong run saw them defeat Ipswich, Rochdale and Oxford, keeping clean sheets in all three. It meant that in just five appearances for Sunderland, Wright had helped the Black Cats keep four clean sheets, with victories coming in all four. Read More Related Articles Sunderland sign Bailey Wright on a permanent deal after successful loan spell last term Read More Related Articles The Sunderland players who face a big pre-season as they look to make an impression The numbers can't tell you just how influential he was, as his leadership skills shone, with Jordan Willis and Tom Flanagan looking better for having him orchestrating them too. It's no coincidence that after being stretchered off late on at Oxford, Sunderland's ultimate dip began. They started well enough, with Alim Oxturk replacing Wright for a 3-0 home win over Bristol Rovers - a clean sheet, but a scoreline that probably flattered Parkinson's men on the night. But it quickly went downhill from there. In what would ultimately be the final four games of the season, Sunderland drew with Fleetwood and Gillingham and lost to Coventry and Bristol Rovers. No clean sheets and two points from a possible 12. No one could have guessed it coming away from Bristol that Tuesday evening, but that record would prove so costly, with coronavirus resulting in an early-season curtailment and the final league positions being decided by a points-per-game ratio model. Had that come after Oxford, Sunderland would have gone up automatically. Had they picked up just four extra points from the final four games they'd have gone up automatically too, while two extra points would have at least secured a play-off spot. Instead, the record books show an eighth-place finish - the lowest in the club's history. You can't underestimate just how crucial the loss of Wright was to that. It's why Sunderland have moved to sign him on a permanent basis this summer, despite a career that has suffered more injuries than Wright would care for. Parkinson will hope his medical and sports science team can help negotiate Wright through the upcoming campaign. As the above stats show, they're a better team when he's on the pitch. But what about as an individual? What else does he bring aside from the leadership qualities? Taking data from stats specialists WhoScored.com we see that Wright was heavily involved, averaging one tackle, one interception and one shot block per game, on top of five clearances too.
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It's his ability on the ball that make him such an asset too. Calm and composed, in his five games for Sunderland his pass accuracy was the highest of all of Sunderland's defenders, with an average of 62.98%. Factor out the bad day at the office for everyone at Fratton Park, and Wright's pass completion rate in his other four games was 69.05%. Perhaps the best day for outlining his ability on the ball was the 3-0 win over Rochdale - a day this reporter described how the centre-back channelled his inner David Beckham, writing at the time: "Finding O'Nien in space down the right flank, Wright's ball was perfect for pace, precision, spin and length. Prime Beckham would have been proud of it." That game saw him complete an incredible 93.9% of his 49 passes that day. That Beckham-esque pass was one of nine deemed as a long ball by WhoScored, with eight of those finding their intended target. Wright very quickly became a key player for Sunderland. He averaged a 7.001 rating from WhoScored in his five appearances, with Portsmouth the only time he wasn't rated over 7/10. Without Portsmouth, his overall rating went up to 7.18, and he was voted man of the match in the key 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town. With all of the above considered, it's easy to see why Sunderland have taken the risk and have handed Wright a permanent contract.
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