Huddersfield Town have swooped to sign Duane Holmes from Derby County.
The 26-year-old returns to the John Smith’s Stadium after a two-and-a-half year stint with Derby across the Championship, having started his career in West Yorkshire with the Terriers.
Holmes, 26, comes with 83 Derby appearances under his belt and is now going to offer a fresh option to Carlos Corberan in the final third.
We assess THREE qualities that the midfielder is going to bring to Corberan’s side…
It’s already been noted by Corberan about the versatility Holmes is going to bring to this Huddersfield side.
As per the club’s official media, Corberan said: “Duane’s versatility is very important for us; he can play as a midfield eight, a 10 or on either wing.”
That versatility is underlined by Wyscout’s following heat map that underlines where he has been utilised previously in the Championship.
Holmes can play wide but that is an area Corberan has bodies. His issues lie in central midfield, where Carel Eiting is out for the remainder of the season.
That’s where Holmes will fit into this side, either as the No.8 or No.10.
Use of possession
There are two factors we are looking at here: retention of the ball and drive going forwards. Holmes’ numbers in the Championship with Derby have been good in that respect.
In 2018/19 under Frank Lampard, his pass success was around 78.1%, whilst under Phillip Cocu last year it was up over 80%. That’s even more impressive when you consider that a third of the midfielder’s passes were played forwards in both campaigns.
Looking after the ball in this Huddersfield side is a necessity, but so is looking forwards and being progressive.
Holmes’ 2018/19 campaign under Lampard saw him bring incredible drive to the Rams, with Holmes’ ability to carry the ball really standing out.
Harry Toffolo and Pipa are great examples in this Huddersfield side when it comes to carrying the ball and beating a man.
It’s a problem for Huddersfield breaking the lines when their midfielders aren’t brave enough to take on their opposite number. That’s an issue that Holmes should solve.
Holmes will not shy away from his share of defensive responsibility in this side.
Wyscout stats tell us that his time in the Championship see him average 2.92 interceptions per 90. Those are really good numbers and playing in this Huddersfield side will only help him improve this area; high intensity out of possession is essential.
Additionally, 55.9% of Holmes’ defensive duels have been won at this level of football.
Again, impressive numbers for the returning Huddersfield midfielder.