Author of A-M essays 📚
Yeah, like I said, there isn't data available on those on fbref, pre 2017-18, and admit that the analysis is limited by this.
But I'm skeptical that there can be that much evolution in a player's general profile. Yves attempted 59.84 passes (80th percentile) at Lille in his age 20 season, which then went down to 37.4, 44.4, 48.4, and 50.3 in the premier league. Not sure what to make of that...on the one hand Yves was more involved than Tchouameni at age 19, on the other hand it shows the difference in level between Ligue 1 in how he's adapted, only in 4 years to get himself to a very bleak for a CM 53rd percentile level after 4 years.
I guess the conservative takeaway would be: there is definite room and precedent for significant evolution in Onana's game in possession, but he is coming from an extremely low bar, and any likely gains could be offset by the change in league.
Whoscored has Fabinho at 46.9 passes completed (39 in his age 19, when he was 10 months younger than Onana) in his age 20 season (just realised Onana's season last was really his age 20 season, as he turned 20 on aug 16), and Onana's at 41.1, so, that gives perhaps some hope for Onana.
I guess after that look I would reform my view to: would give Onana a much better chance of having a career and being a starting level 6 at the top level than Bissouma. But certainly wouldn't bet on it, especially as he looks to me a bit clunky on the eye test, and Fabinho at that age certainly looked a smoother and more controlled footballer to me, though that can be outweighed or offset by Onana's superior physical prodigiousness, to be fair...in short, leave it to the scouts who have watched more than a 4 minute youtube video on him, and I retract my comment that Onana should be completely discarded just based on his statistical profile in his rookie season, while feeling even better about the fact that we weren't the team that spent £25m on Yves Bissouma