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          Young hotshot has 12 League One goals and counting...

          'Hot property' Jephcott making waves at Plymouth

          2021/01/11 16:20
          Stephen Gillett
          E0

          Plymouth Argyle’s Luke Jephcott has been in tremendous form so far during the current campaign - and his stats suggest there is plenty more to come from a player recently labelled the 'hottest property in the country' by his manager Ryan Lowe.

          Top of League One's goal charts alongside Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris, Jephcott has been simply electric since the start of 2020. 

          The 20-year-old joined Plymouth in 2014 after spells at non-league Helston Athletic and Wendron United in his youth, but it wasn't until he went on loan to Truro City at the start of the 2019/20 season that real evidence of his prolific goalscoring ability began to emerge.

          From Tier 3 to Tier 7...and back

          Jephcott won EFL’s Young Player of the Month for January in 2020 after being recalled from his loan at seventh-tier Truro.

          The 20-year-old scored five goals in 18 appearances for the Cornish non-leaguers before netting five goals in five games on his return to the Plymouth side, including successive braces in victories at Carlisle and Scunthrope, to help spur the Pilgrims to promotion from League Two.

          His stint playing in the Southern League Premier South, as well as a slight positional change has worked wonders for both Jephcott and Plymouth.

          Under Derek Adams in League One back in 2018/19, Jephcott failed to score in 10 appearances while playing as a winger, as Argyle succumbed to relegation to the bottom rung of the EFL.

          Now playing as a centre-forward under Lowe, Jephcott has scored 21 times in 34 appearances since his loan at Truro.

          Not the fastest or most physically imposing striker, Jephcott comes alive in the box and exceptional movement - especially towards the near post - is arguably his greatest strength. 

          Growing seniority

          After his fine form last season, Lowe made it clear in the off-season that Jephcott would get the chance to become Plymouth's main striker - a new contract in the summer illustrating the Argyle manager's faith in his young charge.

          Despite an inconsistent start to life back in League One for the Pilgrims, Jephcott has sparkled despite an injury early in the season curtailing his gametime.

          Currently 15th in League One, Argyle are without a win or a clean sheet away from Home Park in the division this campaign and they endured a poor finish to 2020 with four consecutive defeats in December. However, a victory against MK Dons and a draw at Charlton steadied the ship and Jephcott's form has been a ray of hope for the Pilgrims: the youngster netting five of Plymouth's seven goals last month. 

          Impressive stats

          With seven goals in 14 appearances in the second half of the 20/21 season and 14 goals in all competitions so far this season, the Welshman is the first Argyle player since Reuben Reid seven years ago to score 20 goals in a calendar year.

          Jephcott averages the most goals-per-90 minutes in League One (0.94) with his tally of 12 goals accounting for 43% of his side’s goals in total – the highest percentage goal contribution from a player in the division.

          Plymouth have been creating plenty of chances for the young forward this season with the Devonshire outfit having the second most shots per game in League One (13.7).

          His zero assists this season underline that Jephcott is a finisher rather than a creator, a poacher whose 12 goals this season have all come inside the box, with Frank Nouble or Ryan Hardie often playing up top alongside him.

          The striker has a conversion rate of 42.9% and 19 of his 28 shots this season have been on target, hugely impressive figures for a young and relatively inexperienced striker.

          With the League One Golden Boot on the horizon for the young Welshman, and various Championship clubs rumoured to be interested, the Pilgrims may have a battle on their hands to keep hold of Jephcott - Lowe's recent statement regarding his 'hot property' surely designed to warn potential suitors that his young hotshot will not be leaving on the cheap. 

           

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