Jones, Bailly, De Gea, Maguire, Greenwood, Chong, Shaw, Garner, Fred, Dalot, Mata and Bruno Fernandes training in Marbella

Who is United's most two-footed player?

It is generally acknowledged that Mason Greenwood is Manchester United's most two-footed player, but detailed research has shown otherwise.

Josh Williams (@distancecovered on Twitter) has collated data from the Reds' matches this season to look at how flexible players are in terms of their passing.

We all appreciate how Fred has developed his game this term and the Brazilian has come out on top of the rankings, with Brandon Williams in second spot and Mason third.

Indeed, Fred's overall ranking is an impressive fourth in the Premier League. Furthermore, the fact Williams can play on either flank is obviously supported by his ability to use both feet, when in possession.

Stat chart.
The top eight Manchester United players in Josh's chart. See the full graph here: https://twitter.com/DistanceCovered

We spoke to Josh to find out a bit more about his research and his thoughts on the findings.

“The goal was to establish which players in the Premier League are the most two-footed when passing,” he said. “So I used Statsbomb data, as provided by http://FBref.com, covering touches, left-footed passes and right-footed passes. For context, receiving a pass, then dribbling, then sending a pass counts as one touch.

“I calculated how many touches each United player averaged before making a pass with his left or right foot, with the total figure offering an insight into general ambidexterity.

“The player at the top of the chart is the most two-footed passer, because he requires the fewest touches, on average, before he's made a pass with both his left and right foot, whereas the player at the bottom is the least two-footed."

“Mason Greenwood could still be the most two-footed player at United but, strictly in terms of passing, Fred is the most flexible,” he explained.

“He's shown up well in various areas this season, which captures his overall improvement, so I wasn't too surprised, but Brandon Williams's rank definitely caught my attention - especially considering he is still a teenager.

Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood.
The United Academy has produced two players who are very comfortable with both feet.

It is clearly useful for any squad to have options who are comfortable in a number of positions. Fred's stats are showing he can cover a variety of roles and tasks in the middle of the park and is comfortable passing to colleagues with either foot.

Williams will hope to push on and emulate the likes of Denis Irwin and Phil Neville, who could operate in both full-back slots, and he has already played on the right as well as the left.

Greenwood, of course, looks set to mature into an explosive forward who can operate anywhere in the opposition half, even if most of his outings so far have tended to be wide on the right.

Video
Fred.
Watch some highlights of Fred in action this term.

“When compared to every Premier League player who has accumulated over 300 touches in total this season, Fred ranks fourth overall, from a sample of around 300 players,” added Josh. “His two-footedness when passing is largely unrivalled, with Williams also placing as high as eighth.”

Incidentally, the man who came out first in the division is Fabian Delph, the Everton midfielder.

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