Signing James Collins on a free transfer from Luton Town in the summer looked like a no-brainer for Mick McCarthy’s Cardiff City.
The structured and direct style that the experienced coach has implemented in the Welsh capital appeared to suit the Republic of Ireland striker, while the Bluebirds landed cover and competition for star forward Kieffer Moore.
After a season that saw Moore score 20 times in the Championship, Collins was arriving with a lot to do to force his way ahead of the 29-year-old.
But how has he fared so far? We’ve looked at his stats to assess how the summer signing has got on in his first few months with Cardiff…
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Collins certainly hasn’t suffered from a lack of opportunities in the first few months of his Bluebirds tenure.
An injury to Moore in the summer meant that the Irishman was first choice in the opening weeks of the season, while he’s featured in all 10 (eight Championship, two Carabao Cup) of his side’s games in all competitions.
Despite playing just short of 500 minutes of football for Cardiff, Collins is still yet to find the net or provide an assist.
That’s a surprise given his record in the Championship previously – 24 goals in 96 games – and he has had chances.
Are these 22 Cardiff City stats real or fake?
According to Wyscout, Collins averages 4.01 touches in the opposition box per 90 this term, has taken 16 shots, and hit the target seven times with his opportunities generating a total xG of 2.78.
Aerially he’s not been as dominant as Moore, winning just 29.1% of his 79 duels in comparison to the Welshmans’ 59.7% of 124, but that’s to be expected given their differing builds.
His link-up with teammates has been impressive in recent weeks, however, and is something you feel we can expect to see improve further as he continues to settle at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Collins didn’t finish with a pass success rate above 70% in any of his first four games for the club but since then it’s not dropped below 73%.
That upturn is a clear positive but supporters will want to see more attacking contributions from him as the season wears on.
It may just be a case of one goal bringing many more and that some added confidence can help him kick-start his Cardiff career.
For the time being, though, Collins remains in pursuit of that first Bluebirds strike.