Wigan Athletic’s deadline day business was your typical ‘London Bus’ scenario; we waited ages for 1 and then 2 came along together! Forward Anthony Scully was joined by Huddersfield Town’s Rarmani Edmonds-Green who arrives at the DW Stadium on a season long loan.
In his own words he’s a ball playing Centre Back that loves the defensive side of the game, music to the ears of Latics fans who have been desperate for a defensive addition all season. He spent last season on loan at fellow promoted side Rotherham United where he made a really positive impression, and many Millers fans were gutted not to see him return.
REG has been involved in the Huddersfield first team this season too, playing in their first 3 league games of the season. However, when the Terriers made some defensive signings the 23 year old became available and Latics have swooped to secure their man late on.
What does he bring to the side?
REG is a right footed Centre Back that is more than comfortable playing as part of a back 4 or 5. He’s not the biggest pf CBs, standing at 5’11, but has excellent physical attributes that ensure he’s rarely dominated physically and has excellent recovery pace should he find himself out of position.
As I’ve said he’s already featured in the Championship this season so we don’t have to worry about whether or not he’s ready for this division. We’ll also be hoping he brings a winning mentality from his time at Rotherham too, albeit he might’ve lost some of that this season as his Huddersfield side haven’t had the best of starts…
The 23 year old is a different kind of CB to what we have already and that’s something that is really exciting about him. He’s part of the new breed of Centre Back that especially when playing in a back 3 is capable of effecting the attacking side of the game as much as they are the defensive side too. In Rotherham’s back 3 last year he thrived as he had licence to push up the field.
My guess is Edmonds-Green will be used mainly as a RCB in a back 3 so the best comparison to make is with Jason Kerr. These stats are taken from last season where both players played in pretty much the exact same way, and as you can see we’ve got a couple of really good Wide Centre Backs on our hands.
REG is defensively very sound, winning 2/3 of his defensive duels and showing excellent positional awareness with 8.96 PAdj (possession-adjusted) Interceptions per 90. He’s not quite as good as Kerr in the air and that’s to be expected given his height, but the rest of his game is almost identical to the Scots.
In attacking areas they’re pretty similar too. REG is slightly better in possession and has a better eye for a pass, and importantly I’d say he’s more physically impressive than Kerr too. To have two players of similar quality in a difficult position to fill is really important and makes this excellent business.
Strangely enough the addition of REG could in some ways help fill the creative void we have in our squad. He’s a player that will carry the ball out of defence with confidence and skill, and has the vision and technical ability to play incisive passes in an attempt to break the lines and progress the ball quickly. He’s certainly more progressive than most of our midfielders and will be a real asset in possession.
The only real negative I’ve noticed in his game is a tendency to overplay a little at times. Whether or not that’ll be an issue for us I’m not sure as we don’t build from the back too much but it is something he needs to be careful of. Being confident on the ball is a fantastic trait to have but he could pick his moments to play slightly better, and that’ll come as he gains more experience.
Where might he play?
This heat map looks like it could be that of an attacking full back, but it is in fact REG’s from last season at Rotherham. Obviously they were a dominant side in the division so he was able to be slightly more brave on the ball but even so its a really impressive and exciting heat map.
It shows that he wants to effect the game at both ends of the pitch and that means he suits playing on the right of a 3. I think that’s where we will use him and Jason Kerr or Curtis Tilt will play on the left, with Watmough central.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he featured in a back 4 too as it’s certainly something he’s capable of. That’s where he’s been playing for Huddersfield this season and he hasn’t looked out of place, but given his size I’d have slight doubts about that. Then again there aren’t a great deal of brutish centre forwards in the Championship so he should be more than capable of handling himself physically.
People have suggested that he’s also able to play at RB which makes sense. With Nyambe and Darikwa in the squad I doubt its something we’ll need him to do but it’s good to know we’ve got a player that’s comfortable in several positions.
I like this signing a lot. We’ve needed a CB all summer and whilst I’m not afraid to say there were probably better players out there REG is certainly a wonderful addition to the side. My biggest problem with the deal is that its only on loan as I’d love to have a player like this tied down on a long term deal, but as a short term fix to our CB problem I’m more than happy.
According to Wyscout, a highly respected football data website, Edmonds-Green was the 3rd best U27 Centre Back in League 1 last season, behind Jack Watmough and Harry Darling. With that in mind we’ve got a wonderful player on our hands and someone that is familiar with the way we play and what will be expected of him.
He might not walk straight into the first team but I have no doubt he’ll play a big part this season. Welcome to Wigan Athletic Rarmani!