Statistical analysis of the Premier League's biggest midfield signings

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Football News

It's been a manic transfer window where Premier League spending is concerned.

According to, some £814 million worth of talent has arrived in England so far this summer, with Manchester United (£156m) and Manchester City (£146m) leading the way.

Midfield additions have largely dominated headlines over the past few months, though; Paul Pogba, Granit Xhaka, N'Golo Kante, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ilkay Gundogan have all completed big-money moves.


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But who of the aforementioned five is statistically the best signing, irrespective of their transfer fees? Well, using the below formula and Squawka's comparison matrix, we've attempted to establish just that.

Each player will be ranked from 1 to 5 based on their goals, assists, passing accuracy, tackle success rate and chances created last season. The lower the score, the better.

For example, whoever scored the most goals will be awarded '(1)', whereas the player with the least goals gets '(5)'.

And for the sake of fair play, considering the likes of Kante and Xhaka are more defensive than, say, Pogba, each player will be judged on a variety of attributes.


Liverpool signing Wijnaldum comes out on top in the goals department having found the back of the net 11 times for Newcastle United last season.

Close behind him is Pogba (8) but thereafter, goals are few and far between.

The Frenchman then dominates where assists are concerned, recording 12 throughout Juventus' title-winning campaign.

Creativity is hard to come by for the chasing pack, with Xhaka's lowly one assist a particularly worrying sight for Arsenal fans.

Passing is an entirely different matter, though, with City's Gundogan - who cost £20 million from Borussia Dortmund - trumping his rivals with an impressive 88% accuracy.

All five midfielders managed upwards of 80%, but Pogba’s record of 82% will perhaps come as a surprise for someone of his calibre.

Arsenal fans - again - will be worried to learn how few chances Xhaka created last season (22), with the Switzerland international at the bottom of the pile.

Reading upwards, Gundogan (26) and Kante (30) come fourth and third respectively, whilst Pogba (54) narrowly pips Wijnaldum (48) to top spot.

Tackle success is where Kante makes up ground, having won 48% of 261 tackles last season and coming second.

Wijnaldum is once again the winner with 49%, but it's worth taking into account the Dutchman attempted far less tackles than his French counterpart.

Gundogan was statistically the worst tackler last season having lost 66% of duels, whilst Pogba and Xhaka lost 59% and 61% of challenges respectively.

All this and Wijnaldum, surprisingly, is the clear winner with a total score of eight - three less than Pogba and 10 below Gundogan.

Doubt continues to surround his £25 million move to Anfield yet there's no questioning his credentials as an all-action midfielder.

The above result doesn't depict who is the best midfielder, of course, but perhaps who represents the best all-around signing.

However, statistics at former employers ultimately count for very little in the grand scheme of things; it's whether they deliver for their new clubs that really matters.

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Thierry Henry
Paul Pogba
Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Manchester City
Manchester United

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