Loïs Openda – Player Profile

by Pranav Mohan · Soccer


After two fruitful seasons in the Eredivisie for Vitesse, Loïs Openda has taken a step forward and moved to the Ligue 1. The new RC Lens player was the second-highest goal scorer in the Eredivisie last season, with 19 goals. One of the most fascinating things about that stat is that throughout the season Vitesse scored 49 goals, which means Openda was responsible for 39-percent of the goals scored by the entire team during the season.

The Belgian has continued his excellent run of form. He scored four goals in his first 509 minutes in France (averaging 0.71 per 90). The 22-year-old has everything that teams look for in a striker, and in this article we will look at his performance in recent seasons and go over some of his best traits.

Common Terms

1. Non-Penalty Expected Goals (npxG): It is the probability that a non-penalty shot will result in a goal based on the characteristics of that shot and the events leading up to it.

2. Expected Assists (xA): It is the probability that a pass will result in a goal assist.

3. Expected Threat (xT): In order to evaluate actions, we look at how an action changes the probability of scoring. It is this change in probability of scoring which is the expected threat (xT).

2022-23 Season: A New Beginning in France

Openda has only played 509 minutes of football for Lens this season but has already impressed many people. He is averaging 0.79 non-penalty expected goals. This places him in the 90th-percentile among forwards in Ligue 1. He is really good at getting into good positions before taking a shot and rarely tries to score from impossible locations/angles.

His ability to put in the final ball for another player is also a very underrated part of his game. He has a good sense of link-up play and can create a decent number of chances for his team.

The Belgian is a pace and power monster blessed with quick feet, which often makes him the victim of many fouls from the opposition.

2022-23 Compared to Other Attackers in the League

Even though he is only 174 centimeters tall, he is a prominent figure inside the box. He is a good ball carrier, and his aerial ability is also decent.

Openda Shot Map 2022-23 Lens Ligue 1

The shot map above shows every shot taken by Openda since joining Lens. (Circle size on the Shot Map is proportional to the xG of that shot)

There were a total of 22 shots. Of those 22, only three were from outside the box. Most of the shots he has attempted this season have been high xG chances. (The higher the xG, the Higher the chance of that shot being a goal)

Only six shots taken by him have had an xG of less than 0.1 while seven of his shots had an xG greater than 0.2.

He is averaging an npxG per shot of 0.19 this season, which means, on average, every shot that he takes has a 19-percent probability of being a goal.

Expected Threat and Expected Goals Contributions – Time in the Netherlands

In this section, we will have a look at Openda’s time in the Netherlands while playing for Vitesse. He has shown that he can be a massive goal threat after seven games for Lens. Now, we will look at how his expected goals contributions have changed over time and at his threat-creating ability.

Eredivisie Forwards 2021-22 Season Scatter Plot

The scatter plot above features every Forward and Winger in Eredivisie 2021-22 who played more than 1350 minutes. Among these players, Openda had the second-highest npxG per 90 last season while also being a valuable ball carrier.

Lois Openda Rolling xG Graph

As seen in the graph above, Openda had a slow start to his career in the Netherlands but gradually became more consistent, and his form peaked towards the end of last season (each bold dotted line on the graph depicts season change).

However, he has found it easier to settle in with his new team in France as he is already putting up great numbers.


Loïs Openda is a powerful and fast attacker. He has excellent finishing ability, a good final ball, quick feet, and is a decent ball carrier. He is an asset inside the penalty area. The Belgian is only 22 years old and has a bright future ahead.