So far it’s been a season full of goals with the attacking players taking most of the plaudits so we thought we’d compare some of the main men when it comes to everything you need to be a world class attacking midfielder. Obviously De Bruyne, Eriksen and Mkhitaryan all vary in their style and even position to some extent, however we thought we’d compare the trio with a mixture of stats and opinions to see who comes out on top.
Let’s kick off with some basic stats. A green cell represents the player being first in that stat, a yellow cell the player being second in that stat and a red cell represents the player coming in at last for that particular stat. Since all three players have played a relatively similar number of minutes so far this season, I stuck with basic stats rather than reverting to ‘per 90 mins’ metrics. Due to how early in the season it is, it’s difficult to look to closely into the stats for now as only six games have been played but here’s a quick analysis.
Currently Christian Eriksen leads in goals scored but his advantage is minimal having scored, one more than Mkhitaryan and two more than De Bruyne. Into the more interesting stats and we have assists where the Armenian enjoys a comfortable lead having registered 5 so far this season, while Eriksen finds himself last in this respect. Despite the Dane slacking in this stat, you could possibly attribute this to Harry Kane’s supposed ‘August curse’ causing Eriksen to be slightly lacking in the assists department. This is sightly backed up by the fact that there isn’t too much separating him from the others in terms of the chances created stat, however he stills find himself last. The story continues wth key passes, however he’s only one behind here.
The next two stats are interesting as they refer less to chance creation but more to how the trio fit into the rest of the team perhaps not quite as far up the pitch. Whilst De Bruyne’s pass completion percentage is behind the other two, it should be noted that despite this he still possesses the most successful passes out of the three. This is of particular interest as it could lend itself to the idea that De Bruyne operates in a completely different system to Eriksen and Mkhitaryan as he enjoys a vastly superior score over the two. Whether this is a benefit or a hindrance is debatable, however I’d lean towards saying it is more of an advantage as De Bruyne is part of a flowing Manchester City side who have scored goals for fun so far. This raises the point that perhaps some of his stats are only superior due to the people around him and perhaps Mkhitaryan could be performing even better in that Manchester City team.
Out of the three, I would say that De Bruyne is marginally the most complete player as he possesses pace, excellent shooting, phenomenal crossing and lots of technical ability. De Bruyne loves to whip ferocious deliveries into the box or come inside and find the bottom corner, whereas Mkhitaryan is all about beating players and creating chances through running. Eriksen plays ever so slightly deeper and orchestrates the attacks with great vision and control. From this you can see that all the players really share is similar position as their styles of play are pretty dissimilar. This makes comparison difficult, however I think my ranking would be: 1. Kevin De Bruyne 2. Eriksen 3. Mkhitaryan.
How would you rank the three players? Let us know in the comments below!
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