Hwang Hee-chan, who is scoring the most goals for Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) this season, was not a player with many goals until last season. Although the main position was a winger, he was evaluated as a concern for Wolves due to his poor scoring ability.
However, he has changed a lot this season. He is enjoying the zenith of his soccer career as he has improved his ability to finish shots.
Throughout the last season, Hwang Hee-chan only made 18 shots and produced three goals in the Premier League. He scored 0.24 goals per 90 minutes, which means that he has to play full-time for about four games to get one goal. This season, Hwang Hee-chan has scored six goals on 18 shots, even though it is only 13th round in the league. This means that he has scored 0.7 goals per 90 minutes, which is one goal per two games. His ability to finish through shooting has increased by about 50%.
In the meantime, a leader emerged claiming that Hwang Hee-chan’s increase in goal-making power was due to his efforts. Oscar Garcia, the former head coach of Red Bull Salzburg, Austria, where Hwang Hee-chan played from 2015 to 2020, told the story of Hwang Hee-chan’s improvement in goal-making power. 스포츠토토
On the 29th of last month (Korea Standard Time), global sports media “The Athletic” reported Hwang Hee-chan’s remarkable rise in decision-making power and delved into how he improved.
“He was a very fast player, but he had to acquire some skills,” Garcia, a former Salzburg coach and Hwang Hee-chan’s teacher, said in an interview with the media. “Hwang Hee-chan had many opportunities to score, but he rarely led to actual scoring,” Garcia said. “I came out in the afternoon and took a coaching staff and a goalkeeper to train him to develop his decision-making power.”
“I trained for such a long time, but he never complained,” he said, praising Hwang Hee-chan’s attitude, “He always tried to learn and improve.”
Garcia said he viewed Hwang Hee-chan as an unironed gemstone. “Hwang Hee-chan was always in a good position because he was a good player, but the finish was always disappointing. However, he eventually improved,” he said, expressing joy at Hwang’s development. “Hwang Hee-chan can also stand on the wing based on his quick focus and smart movements,” he praised Hwang’s versatility.
Garcia’s efforts eventually paid off.
After leaving Salzburg, Hwang Hee-chan spent a season with RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga and joined Wolves on loan in 2021. Afterwards, he signed a complete transfer contract with Wolves in 2022, but his decision did not recover at all.
This season, however, Hwang Hee-chan has completely changed. According to data released by The Athletic, his shooting position is particularly noticeable. He attempted to shoot from an average distance of 15 yards in the 2022/23 season, but this season, he was able to aim from an average distance of 10.8 yards.
What’s more surprising is that even though his scoring distance is close, the expected score (xG) value remains unchanged. His xG value last season was 2.9, but this season it has fallen even further to 2.6. In other words, Hwang Hee-chan is surpassing last season’s scoring record, which was relatively higher even though his expectation for scoring a goal fell due to poor position or many defenders when he tried to shoot this season. It can be seen that his finishing skills have improved in this area.
It was also analyzed that the fact that Wolves trusted and relied more on Hwang Hee-chan than last season also affected his amazing scoring ability.
The media released a chart showing Hwang Hee-chan’s shooting position for last season and this season, saying, “Hwang Hee-chan’s shooting position has become closer. This is Wolves’ consistent provision of quality passes to Hwang Hee-chan and is threatening enough (because Hwang Hee-chan has excellent finishing skills).”
Wolves head coach Gary O’Neill also gave a favorable impression on Hwang Hee-chan. “Hwang Hee-chan scored a lot of goals is closer to his personal ability than to my tactics,” he said. “He is a player who knows exactly where to be,” and analyzed that Hwang Hee-chan’s selection of the position helped him set a scoring index.
“The team has a set tactic on how to move on the field,” he said. “He believes he can score a goal if he follows the tactic,” and added, “Hwang Hee-chan is not disappointed (even if he doesn’t get the ball in a good position). If he didn’t get the pass by the 10th time, he would try to select the 11th position,” he said, expressing satisfaction with Hwang Hee-chan’s mental strength and skills.
Hwang Hee-chan is scheduled to target Arsenal’s goal on the 3rd. It would be very encouraging to show good performance against Arsenal, the top team in the league.