After what felt the world’s longest medical and a comfortable stay in a London hotel, Andy Johnson has finally signed on the dotted line. Plenty of eyebrows have been raised about the fee (as usual undisclosed by Fulham, but Everton and Sky have it at an initial £10.5m) but our options up front looked a lot stronger than in previous seasons.
Nobody can doubt Johnson’s quality. For sure, we might have got better value for money by shopping abroad – but there is always a doubt about players from foreign leagues adjusting to the pace and physicality of the English game. He has always been a predatory striker – who made a flying start to his Premier League career with Crystal Palace – and is more than useful at putting away penalties too (something which is certainly handy).
Jamie R has done some in-depth statistical analysis over on TIFF and it makes interesting reading. In 2006/7 Johnson scored 11 goals and made six assists in 2712 minutes on the pitch. That’s a goal every 246 minutes, or 2.73 games. Last season, he scored 6 goals and had 4 assists in 1844 minutes on the pitch. That’s a goal every 307 minutes, or 3.41 games.
Whilst the statistics from last season don’t appear to be sensational at first glance, you have got to remember that Johnson played a great deal of his game time last season out of position. As Jamie himself also points out, Johsnon was far from first choice last season – and so gaining the rhythm and confidence that a striker needs to be firing on all cyclinders would have been difficult.
Whilst Johnson hasn’t yet managed to replicate the heights of that blistering first Premiership season with Palace, we’ve got ourselves a great signing. And, by the sounds of it, he’s pleased to be here too.