Ghana forward Antoine Semenyo shines in breakthrough season at Bournemouth

Published on: 04 June 2024
Ghana forward Antoine Semenyo shines in breakthrough season at Bournemouth
Antoine Semenyo

Antoine Semenyo has had a breakthrough season at AFC Bournemouth, emerging as one of the club's most potent attacking threats in the Premier League.

This comes after a relatively quiet start following his move from Championship side Bristol City in January last year. Initially viewed primarily as a striker, a role he plays for Ghana, Semenyo has transitioned effectively to a winger under the guidance of manager Andoni Iraola, and the results have been impressive.

In his first full Premier League campaign, Semenyo scored eight goals in 33 appearances, a significant improvement from his 11 appearances and minimal impact last season. His development has been marked by increased consistency and effectiveness in a defined position. Only Ryan Christie completed more successful dribbles than Semenyo’s 50, and no Bournemouth player attempted more dribbles than his 116.

Semenyo’s influence is evident in his ability to enter the opposition box with the ball, doing so 42 times, and in his touches inside the penalty area, where he led all Bournemouth wingers with 124 touches. This highlights his role as a key attacking outlet, capable of advancing the ball and creating scoring opportunities. His proficiency in front of goal is further demonstrated by his impressive shot accuracy, with no player in the Cherries side averaging more shots on target per 90 minutes.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Antoine Semenyo of AFC Bournemouth celebrates alongside teammate Marcus Tavernier after scoring the team's first goal during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Burnley FC at Vitality Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
Semenyo's shooting range differs notably from that of Bournemouth’s leading striker, Dominic Solanke. While Solanke’s shots typically come from around 12.2 yards out, Semenyo’s average at 17.8 yards, often from outside the box, underscores his versatility and willingness to try his luck from distance. This is a reflection of Iraola’s footballing philosophy, which values varied and unpredictable attacking plays.

A standout aspect of Semenyo’s game is his ability to score with both feet. His eight Premier League goals are evenly split between his left and right feet, showcasing rare ambidexterity that keeps defenders guessing. This unpredictability is a key component of his attacking prowess, making him a difficult player to defend against.

Despite his attacking success, there are areas for improvement. Semenyo’s crossing ability and creative output, particularly in terms of assists, lag behind other wingers in the league and at Bournemouth. Enhancing these aspects of his game could make him an even more complete player.

Nevertheless, Semenyo's defensive work rate and his ability to contribute to Bournemouth's high press demonstrate his value beyond just scoring goals. His commitment to winning the ball back through blocks, recoveries, and tackles highlights his all-around contribution to the team.

Semenyo himself has embraced his role, promising to "hound Premier League defenders" and continue his impressive form. With his breakthrough season, the future looks bright for the Ghanaian international, and Bournemouth fans will be eager to see how he develops further under Iraola’s tutelage.

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