West Brom fans have had little to shout about so far this season, with the Baggies sat 19th in the table after nine matches.

With 18 goals conceded, they have the joint-worst defensive record in the division and have scored just six league goals.

However, looking at the advanced metrics, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ranks as the best player in the Premier League in his position.

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Based on data from FBRef, the 27-year-old has the best post-shot expected goals minus goals allowed per 90 minutes in the division. It is not the easiest to digest statistic, but what it suggests is actually pretty simple.

Post-shot xG essentially measures how like an effort by an opposing attacking is to go into the net. Therefore, if the post-shot xG is higher than the amount of goals conceded, it suggests that you saving more shots than you would be expected to, according to the data.

With plus 4.0 so far this season, this metric says that Johnstone has essentially saved his side four goals already this season, and 0.45 goals per 90 minutes. The next best record is Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy, with 0.20 post-shot xG minus goals allowed per 90.

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Now, as with all metrics this is not a perfect measure and merely an estimate that looks to quantify a player’s performance. Furthermore, Johnstone has come under fire from fans this season and critics usually point to his ability to take crosses and command his box as his key weakness, rather than his shot-stopping.

His ability in the air is certainly a weakness and that was on clear display against Tottenham Hotspur, where his decision making cost West Brom a point. But likewise, his stop stopping very nearly earned the Baggies a point at Old Trafford.

Overall, he remains an imperfect goalkeeper and is a player that can make improvements. However, as this metric shows, his shot-stopping has been very good so far this season.

In other West Brom news, Chris Wilder has responded to links between West Brom and a Sheffield Utd player

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Baggies and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.


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