Muniz

Rodrigo Muniz: Fulham star filling Aleksandar Mitrovic-shaped hole


Brazilian club Flamengo’s famed academy has produced the likes of Vinicius Junior and Lucas Paquetá in recent years - among others.

Rodrigo Muniz is among the lesser-known academy graduates who have successfully made their way to Europe. The 22-year-old was identified as a high-potential prospect during his time in Brazil, where he scored nine goals in 23 appearances across all competitions during the 2020/21 season.

Those performances attracted the attention of Fulham, and he made the move to West London in the summer of 2021. But Muniz had a slow start to life in England, and he failed to nail down a starting spot initially.

Opportunities, however, can arise unexpectedly, and an injury to Raul Jimenez provided Muniz with the chance he had been waiting for.

Silva

“We took some decisions, we sold our main goal-scorer [Aleksandar Mitrovic in August], it was a chance for him to be with our squad, and when you have a chance to play you have to step in, you have to pop up, you have to show your quality and that you are capable to do it,” manager Marco Silva explained.

And pop up Muniz certainly has, by scoring four goals in his last three Premier League games.

Such has been his impact this month, that despite playing just over 600 league minutes, Muniz now ranks first for goals and shots per 90, and second for Expected Goals (xG) per 90, in the Fulham squad.


Rodrigo Muniz Transfer Value - how much is he worth now?

According to our Player Valuation Model, Muniz has an Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) of €1.7 million.

Limited playing time in 2023 led to a decline in his value, but his recent performances show that he can be a reliable long-term option for Fulham.

It also highlights the availability of an undervalued player for any team willing to take a gamble.

Rodrigo Muniz

The stats: Can Muniz nail down a starting place?

Marco Silva has a philosophy which sees his strikers get a high number of chances in front of goal. Mitrovic’s 14 league goals last season were a result of getting on the end of high xG chances, and making sure a lot of those shots end up on target.

Muniz is said to have been personally identified by Silva. His profile of a poacher sees him very involved in offensive actions within the penalty area, and fits in well with what his manager requires from that position.

His 3.82 shots per 90 are on par with Mitrovic’s figure of 3.81 last season and a lot higher than Jimenez’s 2.61 per 90 this season. They also put him in the top 8% of Premier League strikers in 2023-24.

Muniz

The Fulham number 19 registers 6.93 touches in the attacking penalty area, again more than Mitrovic and Jimenez, and that number also ranks him highly compared to positional peers in the league.

The Brazilian’s killer instincts were on display for his goals against Aston Villa and Bournemouth. He was able to take up great positions in the box and react quickly for a one- touch finish.

Mitrovic's form in front of goal was critical in helping the Cottagers to their highest league finish in over a decade. But apart from his goals, the Serbian could also link up and offered a strong aerial presence.

Muniz too has impressive back-to-goal play, and his 5.31 aerials won per 90 put him amongst the top three strikers in the English top flight this season.

The 1.78-metre striker also puts in the type of defensive shift which is required when playing for a mid-table Premier League team.

One area of uncertainty right now is that Muniz has over-performed his xG by a big margin, and this over-performance is difficult to maintain.

But if he can manage to keep this going, both Jimenez and new January loan signing Armando Broja will find it difficult to dislodge him from the starting XI.


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