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OPINION: New-signing Max Power is Sunderland’s linchpin - and here are the stats to prove it

Recently-signed Max Power has been nothing short of superb so far this season since joining Sunderland, but what exactly is it that the former Wigan midfielder brings to Jack Ross’ new-look side?

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Aside from being absolutely superb crack on social media, Sunderland’s deadline day signing, Max Power, has also been a brilliant force on the pitch this season.

His love affair with Donald Love may have endeared him to many, but Power’s impressive performances in the middle of the park have shown just why Jack Ross was so keen to sign the Wigan midfielder at the end of the summer transfer window.

Tenacious in defence, metronomic in possession, and a keen eye in attack - Power has invigorated a Sunderland midfield that looked somewhat rusty against Charlton on the opening day of the season. He provides a presence from box to box, and without his addition into the side, it’s not implausible to consider that Sunderland could well have struggled in their opening games of this campaign.

Anyone who has watched Sunderland this season can attest to the claim that Max Power has been one of Sunderland’s standout performers, but after analyzing his individual statistics on InStat, it’s clear to see that Max Power really is the heartbeat of our team’s newfound success.

Sunderland AFC via Getty images.
Sunderland AFC via Getty images.

Two goals in four games has been an impressive return - especially considering how desperate we’ve been over the course of the last several years for a goalscoring midfielder. Lee Cattermole’s double this past weekend was a pleasant surprise, but as we move forward Max Power’s eye for goal could be crucial if we are to find success.

It’s not just Power’s goalscoring exploits that have demonstrated his worth, though, for his flair and vision when on the ball have also been crucial to the side - especially his ability to create opportunities for other players.

Seven key passes in four games highlights Power’s knack for providing his teammates with the opportunity to shoot on goal. Almost twice per game, Power’s movement and passing ability finds a fellow player and affords them a chance on goal - it’s an impressive statistic that demonstrates how vital Power’s presence in the middle of the park is to Jack Ross’ side.

The triumvirate of Lynden Gooch, Chris Maguire, and George Honeyman have provided much of the flair required in order to supply Josh Maja up front, whilst Bryan Oviedo has also been crucial assisting from out wide; however, Power’s deep-lying role has been crucial in providing them with the platform from which they have excelled.

Sunderland AFC via Getty images.
Sunderland AFC via Getty images.

After a handful of games in red and white, perhaps the most impressive aspect of Power’s play is his ability to maintain, recycle, and advance possession. Managing 268 passes in his 5 total appearances, Power has successfully completed 83% of all passes - even managing to complete 95% (76 passes) against Sheffield Wednesday.

Considering Sunderland have had more than the lion’s share of possession in their opening fixtures (57% average), it’s obvious that Power’s ability to circulate possession is vital in ensuring we are capable of continuously finding success. The prospect of both he and Dylan McGeouch lining up alongside one another is an absolutely mouth-watering prospect - add a fit and confident Cattermole into the equation as well as an eager Luke O’Nien, and Sunderland have a host of options in the middle of the park.

Power strikes me as the kind of player every team needs: respected on the pitch as a key player, but also liked in the changing room as a player capable of lifting spirits with his humour and personality.

As we move forward this season, it seems as though Power will likely be one of our most important players both on and off the pitch. Hopefully, his recent form continues because right now, Power is the team’s linchpin.

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