The most well-rounded attackers, 2016/17

I prepared an analysis or evaluation on the most well-rounded (i.e. complete) attacking players in the European top 5 leagues for the 2016/17 season. The used approach is the same as the one I have used in this piece about Messi. Please refer to that text, as I am going to explain just the main points here.

I have considered all those players with 10+ league goals in the 2016/17 season, 115 players in total. These players are compared to each other in terms of four aspects of the attacking play: goals scored, successful dribbles, chances created, and chances created by through balls. The main idea behind this is “well-rounded attackers are considered those players who perform relatively good in all the considered aspects”.

The range of values that these 115 players have is as below:


Fig 1 – Range of values in goals, dribbles, chances created and chances created by through balls for the 115 players with 10+ league goals in 2016/17 (top 5 leagues).

As in the above cited article, I used the percentile rank in order to “bring these four metrics at the same scale”. The higher the percentile rank, the better (and vice-versa). Below I am posting graphs of various players, so we may get an idea how they compare against each other and against all the 115 considered players.


Fig 2 – Messi is (obviously) the most complete attacker for 2016/17 (look at his numbers!).


Fig 3 – Alexis Sánchez, Dries Mertens and Keita Baldé are the closest players to Messi.


Fig 4 – Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo compared to Messi. It looks like if you add Cristiano’s goal-scoring numbers to Neymar’s dribbling and play-making numbers, you get someone close to Messi.


Fig 5 – Messi, Suárez and Neymar for 2016/17.


Fig 6 – Neymar, Dybala and Coutinho seem to have some very similar numbers.


Fig 7 – Morata, Lewandowski, Kane and Werner.


Fig 8 – Agüero, Lukaku and Diego Costa.


Fig 9 – Lacazette, Mbappé and Boudebouz.





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