Werner, De Bruyne, Firmino: Who is the Premier League's most wasteful finisher?

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne has been lauded as one of the best midfielders on the planet throughout his stunning stint at Manchester City.

The Belgian playmaker is one of a rare breed of generational players who regularly manage to draw audible gasps from spectators. 

He threads passes which nobody else could have envisaged, evades his markers watch with ominous ease and possesses a devastatingly athletic capacity to cover ground at both ends of the field. 

If that wasn't already enough, he's also scored 60 goals in 249 appearances for City. 

However, injuries have disrupted his progress in the 2020/21 campaign and he's yet to reach the pinnacle of his game, as his return of three goals from 21 league appearances would suggest. 

The emergence of Ilkay Gundogan as a goal scoring powerhouse can go some way to explaining De Bruyne's below-par return in front of goal this season, but the stats point towards a much simpler explanation: he's squandered too many excellent goal scoring opportunities. 

Indeed, according to data provided by Understat, De Bruyne has the worst conversion rate in England's top-flight this season. 

By combining a players' goal scoring return with the increasingly popular expected goals (XG) metric, it's possible to see which Premier League footballers have been the most wasteful during the 2020/21 campaign. 


De Bruyne has massively underperformed from a goal scoring perspective.

City's talisman should have scored 8.37 goals according to XG, but he's only notched three thus far. 

The disparity between his actual output and XG stands at 5.37, which is comfortably the largest in the division. 

Chelsea's summer signing Timo Werner, whose struggles in front of goal have been widely documented, is second on the list having scored just five times from an expected 9.78. 

Another player whose finishing ability is regularly scrutinised, Roberto Firmino, takes the third place on a podium that all three players would rather not be perched on.

Elsewhere the likes of Jamie Vardy, Anthony Martial and Michail Antonio all feature in a 14-man ranking of the most wasteful finishers. 

Take a look below:

14. Anthony Martial (4 goals, XG: 6.38) +2.38 difference

13. Aaron Connolly (2 goals, XG: 4.39) +2.39 difference

12. Oliver McBurnie (1 goal, XG: 3.43) +2.43 difference

11. Ollie Watkins (10 goals, XG: 12.45) +2.45 difference

10. Jamie Vardy (12 goals, XG: 14.48) +2.48 difference

9. Danny Welbeck (2 goals, XG: 4.64) +2.64 difference 

8. Che Adams (4 goals, XG: 6.91) +2.91 difference 

7. Leander Dendoncker (0 goals, XG: 2.95) +2.95 difference

6. Trezeguet (0 goals, XG: 3.07) +3.07 difference

5. Michail Antonio (7 goals, XG: 10.01) +3.01 difference

4. Neal Maupay (7 goals, XG: 11.23) +4.23 difference

3. Roberto Firmino (6 goals, XG: 10.5) +4.5 difference

2. Timo Werner (5 goals, XG: 9.78) +4.78 difference

1. Kevin De Bruyne (3 goals, XG: 8.37) +5.37 difference

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