The Premier League Golden Boot race finished in a three way tie, shared between Sadio Mané; Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 22 goals each. The most notable thing about this achievement is that all the winners of the award are African, a great achievement for a continent that does not have much economic strength and is considered a sleeping giant in the world of football. So while it is important to look at the fantastic achievement of the three and what a great win it is for Africa, the question to ask is “Who Is The Better Attacker?”
Many would say Salah, as this is the second year running the Egyptian winger has won the award. Some may argue that Mané is the more complete of the two Liverpool wingers, but stats say otherwise. Salah creates more opportunities and has registered more assists, they share very similar stats regarding key passes; dribbles completed and both have an above passing rate. Aubameyang, however, is an out and out striker, often rotating with his Arsenal team Lacazette or pushing out wide to accommodate his team mate. Meaning he’ll lack in the creative and technical stats. But for the sake of the stats based upon each player’s attacking game, Salah is by far the most all round and best player. He is accused of not being a complete attacker, but as said, the stats say otherwise. The stats will tell you that Mané is the more one dimensional attacker. We will drop Aubameyang’s wonders in Germany for the sake of this argument, but he is most probably the best striker in the Prem this year, but not the best attacker. So to back it up and confirm that Salah is the best attacker of Golden Boot winners, here is a look at the stats:
SALAH (Liverpool and Egypt)
Key passes/90: 1.8*
Dribbles comp./90: 2.1*
Pass success: 75.9%
Bad touches/90: 2.9
MANÉ (Liverpool and Mali)
Key passes/90: 1.3
Dribbles comp./90: 1.4
Pass success: 78.2%*
Bad touches/90: 2.9
AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal and Gabon)
Key passes/90: 0.9
Dribbles comp./90: 0.8
Pass success: 74%
Bad touches/90: 1.7*
Stats to date with the 2018/19 Premier League season gathered from whoscored.com
It feels like Anthony Martial has been playing forever. In 2015 the Frenchman arrived at Old Trafford for £36 million, reaching up to £50 million in add-ons, making him the most expensive teenager in football at the time. Since then Martial has shown glimpses of his talent, but has had his fair share of obstacles in the way. Arrivals of players like Ibrahimovic and Lukaku saw, being pushed out wide and not being trusted as Mourinho’s starting central striker, has limited Martial’s growth.
Martial was Man United’s top goalscorer in his first season with the club, scoring 18 goals in 56 games along with winning the FA Cup and winning the 2015 European Golden Boy Award. Since then Martial has not hit those same heights, but in recent weeks he is coming to the fold, scoring a brace in a 2-2 against Chelsea and slotting away another goal in his previous game against Everton.
With Lukaku benched, Sanchez and Rashford most likely shifted out wide and Man United wanting to renew Martial’s contract for the long term, could this be the season Martial finally sets his position as Man United’s main striker?
Last year August, Borussia Dortmund made the bargain signing of Jadon Sancho, arriving from Manchester City for £8 million.
The English teenage winger has since excelled in Germany and has played his team’s two opening Champions League games to date. He also received an England call-up thanks to his recent form with the German outfit.
Sancho’s statistics indicate that he is an industrious winger and replicates the work of teammate Marco Reus. Sancho has registered 7 assists in all competitions, along with completing 1.7 key passes per game. He doesn’t take on many dribbles per game, taking on 1.3 per game and only completing half of those he takes on. Showing that he fits into a more well drilled passing team.
He doesn’t take as many shots either and this reflects poorly on his attacking contributions. As Sancho notched in 12 goals in 18 games during his time with the Man City U18’s. With further growth and more game time, I’m sure that Jadon Sancho will establish himself as a world class player.