As reported by Marca, Celta Vigo currently sit 18th in the league, three points behind Deportivo Alavés in 17th. When questioned about the poor results, manager Rafael Benítez replied, “The stats are good; we don’t have the stats of a side fighting relegation. We are shooting a lot but scoring very few; we need more precision.” While it is a generic response that would be expected of a manager in his predicament, he is not exactly wrong. Celta Vigo are currently the 24th amongst teams in the top five leagues in terms of shots on goal. However, they have a conversion rate of just 9.09%. Only Alavés has a worse percentage than them in La Liga.
It is evident that there is a goalscoring problem, and naturally, all eyes turn to the four-time winner of the Zarra trophy (awarded to the highest scorer in the league in a given season), Iago Aspas. The 36-year-old has been in a torrid run of form, with his last goal coming over seven months ago against Espanyol on March 18. Of course, Aspas provides the team with more than just goals, having created 36 chances so far this season. He is well-rounded, but his goals have evidently been a miss to the side from Galicia.
It is not a case of a lack of goal-scoring opportunities either. This season, Aspas has had a total of 24 shots on goal but still cannot find the back of the net. Undoubtedly, this poor run of form has turned into an obsession for Aspas, but he still has the confidence of Rafa Benítez, “Habitually and historically, he has scored goals, my last conversation with him was ‘keep on working, keep on persevering.’ We practiced shots, and I can see he has a goal in him.”
GSFN | Finn Entwistle