How Ronny Vargas’ injury has improved Dimitri Petratos

There have been a number of stand out players under Ernie Merrick’s resurgence of Newcastle Jets with Ivan Vujica, Ben Kantarovski, and leading goal scorer Roy O’Donovan all impressing. However it’s Dimitri Petratos who is standing out among the rest. The argument can also be made that he’s the most in-form player in the league after six rounds.

Petratos joined brother Kosta at the Newcastle after returning from a six-month stint at Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea, and started the season on the wing with Venezuelan marquee Ronny Vargas holding down the number 10 spot.

When Vargas went down with a season ending injury in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Brisbane, when Petratos scored his second goal of the season, the former Roar and Sydney FC man moved central and has taken his game to another level.

Before Ronny Vargas’ injury

  • 174 touches
  • 108 passes
  • 26 crosses
  • Eight duels won
  • Five chances created
  • Four shots
  • Three matches
  • Two goals
  • One foul won

 After Ronny Vargas’ injury

  • 187 touches
  • 111 passes
  • 31 crosses
  • 14 chances created
  • 11 duels won
  • 10 shots
  • Three matches
  • Two assists
  • One goal
  • One foul won

His involvement in Newcastle’s matches have stayed consistent but his contribution has improved since moving to attacking midfielder. He’s made more crosses (his 57 is second in the league only behind Melbourne Victory’s Leroy George), created almost triple the amount of chances (he leads the league with 19) and has had twice as many shots on goal.

Sure the injury to Vargas ended the high hopes Jets faithful had for the South American but there is no doubt his injury has been a blessing in disguise for Dimitri Petratos who has taken control of Newcastle’s attack and will need to maintain his former for the remainder of the season.

Ernie Merrick told media Vargas is recovering from his injury better than expected and could return by late-February or March which can only spell bad news for opposition teams. But in this form it might take longer than that for him to make his way back into the starting xi.

Heading into the season the likes of Milos Ninkovic and Diego Castro would have been tipped to take out the Johnny Warren Medal but Petratos is shaping into an early contender.

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