The Murphy twins for Norwich are an interesting proposition. They are one of our own. Exciting yet slated, talented yet full of potential, and young yet experienced.
Josh Murphy, the one we had the highest hopes for has spent his season watching his brothers’ success. Jacob has gone from banging one in at Blackburn to scoring for England (youth team). We’re lucky to have them both. It is rare for twins come through and to be talented. The Murphy twins are very good, but they need to show it again this coming season under Daniel Farke.
Contributions to the team
Jacob Murphy played 2442 minutes last season, whereas Josh played a mere 932. Nathan Redmond, in the 2014/15 promotion season, played 3237 minutes.
In terms of contribution to the team, Jacob scored eight and assisted seven. Josh scored four and assisted four. Redmond scored six and assisted 13. If you change this metric and adjust for how many minutes they played then you get an interesting set of results.
Josh comes out top with 0.39 goals and 0.39 assists per 90 minutes played. Jacob scored 0.29 goals and assisted 0.26 times per 90. Redmond scored 0.17 goals and assisted an impressive 0.36 times per 90.
Jacob definitely had a better season than Josh, yet Josh contributed more effectively across the season. Would Josh have kept up his tally? If Josh kept up his per 90 metrics he comes out with 10.4 (10) goals and 10.4 (10) assists for the season when playing as much as Jacob. If he played as much as Redmond then he tallies up 13.89 (14) goals and 13.89 (14) assists for the season. It is unlikely Josh would have kept up his impressive per 90 metrics, but it is not beyond the realms of possibility.
It was often said that the Murphy twins were not responsible with the ball. Often either making the wrong choice or not making one at all.
Redmond finished the season with a very good 80% pass completion – he completed 8 out of every 10 passes he tried. Very good for someone who made 38.67 per 90. This shows responsibility on the ball. Redmond’s 63.74% take on success percentage adds further evidence to this. Redmond often frustrated with his one-dimensional play, but he retained the ball better than the Murphy twins.
Jacob had a poor 47.24% take on success, and a low 69% passing success rate. Josh was similar with a 54.10 % take on success and a passing success rate of 64%. If this issue is solved within the next season, you can fully expect their contributions to rise. The Murphy twins are gifted in the shooting department, with more shots per 90 and more of those hitting the target than Redmond. If Jacob and Josh complete more than 1.9 and 1.4 dribbles per game respectively, then we can expect the areas they are shooting from to improve. This will increase their expected goals per 90.
The Murphy twins were much chastised throughout the season for lack of defensive willingness. Jacob regularly tracked back at a slow pace, and when he did defend he was ineffective. Jacob committed far too many fouls and did not win enough tackles. The statistics show this with Jacob losing more than twice the number of tackles per game than Redmond. Jacob also intercepted less, won fewer aerial duels and committed more fouls than either Josh or Redmond.
Josh was not much better than Jacob, though he often occupied better defensive positions and helped the side keep their shape.
Jacob played well when the team did. He was more potent at the beginning and the end of the season, having dry spells when the team did. Does this indicate Jacob struggles to make an impact? Possibly. Jacob scored a lot last season and assisted nearly as much but he needs to be able to create from nothing. I am focussing on Jacob here because he is subject to the rumours of a Premier League club coming in for him. Supposedly bids of £8M are coming in for him. £8M for a talented young English player is not a lot. With 5 years left on his contract, Norwich is under no obligation to sell. The club does need money to be able to recruit players for other positions, £8M is just not enough to be worth it.
Jacob has bags of potential. One more season at Norwich to become a more responsible footballer could double that value. Is it worth it for Norwich to sell him? Get the figure to 10 or 12 million, and we should start listening. Jacob is a good player, but the club desperately needs to recruit for other positions. Unfortunately for Jacob, his position is well stocked already. Josh, Marley Watkins, Yannick Wildschut, Wes Hoolahan and Alex Pritchard all capable of playing out wide.
Personally, I’d rather see what Josh can do given the time both Jacob and Redmond were afforded. Is Josh as good a player as Redmond? He certainly could be. Josh is exciting. He loves to run at his man. He gets the fans off of their seats and in their thick Norfolk accents, they can shout “Gorn’ Josh, take ‘im on”.
My final, possibly controversial comment. Sell Jacob, keep and play Josh and watch him become the hero Norwich need.