About half the 2015-2016 season has passed, and what a season it has been so far. Who has been performing so far? Who are the unsung heroes? I gathered important stats for each position, and assembled a best 11 based purely on statistics midway through the 2015-2016 season. These stats were picked up from www.transfermarkt.com and www.premierleague.com.
The most important stat for a striker is his goals. Romelu Lukaku and Jamie Vardy both have been fantastic goalscorers this season. Both have scored the same amount of goals, same amount of assists, and have an equal goals per game ratio. While Odion Ighalo and Sergio Aguero have had great seasons as well, it is hard to snub Lukaku and Vardy for the forward positions.
To evaluate wingers, I looked at goals, assists, chances created, successful dribbles, and successful crosses. In these aspects, Leicester FC’s Riyad Mahrez and Manchester City’s new signing Kevin De Bruyne have shown throughout. Mahrez has been brilliant alongside Jamie Vardy, scoring 13 goals and giving seven assists. De Bruyne has created an impressive number of 55 chances.
An attacking midfielder, like a winger, must be a player who can open up defences and make chances for strikers to score. In terms of assists and chances created, Mesut Ozil has been unmatched. He has recorded 16 assists and 84 chances created, the most in the league. David Silva does get a shoutout. While he has recorded only 7 assists, it has been through an injury struck season and during a span of 11 games.
Defensive midfielders, while rarely given much credit, are vital for a team’s success in games. They sit in front of the defense line, breaking up opponents’ attacks and distributing play for the attacking players. N’Golo Kante has been the unsung hero for Leicester this season, running up and down the field, doing the dirty work for the team.
Right and left backs have to be good at protecting the goal and fending off opposing teams’ wingers. However, very often, side backs are also evaluated on their ability to go forward and provide crosses. For the right back position, Bacary Sagna was a standout performer for Manchester City, filling in the void for injured Pablo Zabaleta. The left back position was a hard one to choose. It was a three way fight between Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal, Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov, and Leicester’s Christian Fuchs. In the end, I chose Christian Fuchs, because he had better all-round statistics than Monreal and Kolarov.
All these center backs have been brilliant this season. This was arguably the hardest position to choose from, because all the players seemed to have a stat they excelled in, and a stat they were lacking in. In the end, I decided to choose Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld. The pair seems to complement each other, one player excelling in an area the other may be lacking in. Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann is an honorable mention, but I took some liberty to come up with a solid center back pairing.
Jack Butland has been absolutely brilliant this season. He’s made the most saves and has the best saves per match ratio. He is also just one behind leader Petr Cech in clean sheets. While Stoke’s season has been glittered with fantastic performances from its attacking players, including Marko Arnautovic, Bojan, and Xherdan Shaqiri, Jack Butland deserves credit for his work in between the posts.
Who do you think may be missing from this team? Put your thoughts and comments below!