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43 shot assists, 68 progressive runs: Why Portsmouth, QPR, Barnsley and others are eyeing potential free agent

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The 2020/21 campaign has been a particularly frustrating one for Swindon Town. 

Supporters have been unable to see their side’s return to League One first hand after promotion last season and they’ve now been relegated back to the fourth tier at the first time of asking.

One of the few bright spots in an ultimately disappointing year has been 21-year-old Scott Twine, whose performances since he was brought back from loan in January have been nothing short of outstanding.

Keeping hold of him could be tough as despite Twine’s suggestion he’s happy at Swindon, there is interest from clubs higher up the EFL as we head into the summer.

Portsmouth have reportedly identified the attacking midfielder as one of their leading targets for the upcoming window, while Barnsley, Brentford, Luton Town, and QPR are also keen (Sun on Sunday, 04/04:p61).

But what is it that has turned the heads of Pompey and those Championship clubs?

We put a spotlight on Twine’s 2020/21 campaign to examine just that…

The 21-year-old’s season has been split into two parts. He spent the first half of 2020/21 on loan at League Two side Newport County, helping them to the top of the table before that spell was cut short in January.

He returned to his boyhood club hoping to lead them to League One survival and though he was unable to achieve that, he continued his outstanding season back at the County Ground.

In all Twine has played more than 4,000 minutes of football this term, a remarkable contribution for a 21-year-old particularly given it was for two clubs.

Whether it was at Newport or Swindon, the playmaker has remained a consistent threat throughout – with his qualities as both a goalscorer and a creator often making him a nightmare for opposition defences.

Capable of playing on either flank, up top, or as an attacking midfielder, the Englishman has finished the season with a fantastic 14 goals and eight assists.

Twine has far exceeded his 9.46 expected goals (xG) and what has been most impressive is the variety of goals he’s scored, with his tally including long-range efforts, tight penalty area shots, free kicks, and calm composed finishes.

Does the County Ground have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?

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Does the County Ground have a higher or lower capacity than the Keepmoat Stadium?

His vision and the quality of his final ball have allowed him to far exceed his 5.26 expected assists (xA) for the season as well, while he’s provided his teammates with 43 shot assists in 2020/21.

Twine’s quality as a ball carrier should not be ignored either with his 68 progressive runs this term illustrating how often he’s put his side onto the front foot by driving forward.

With his contract set to expire this summer and new terms yet to be agreed, it’s no wonder there are a host of EFL clubs hoping to land the attacker.

He has so much to offer, so it would be a surprise to plying his trade in League Two next season.


Bristol-born, London-based sports journalist at Snack Media. University of Brighton and NA graduate

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 43 shot assists, 68 progressive runs: Why Portsmouth, QPR, Barnsley and others are eyeing potential free agent

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