The Comparisonator Platform is a system that allows you to compare team and player data sets and easily produce performance insights. The platform offers over 100 different performance parameters from more than 250 competitions around the world. Comparisonator offers lots of functionality and features to allow the comparison of players and teams across various points of the season, as well as the ability to compare a team’s performance against their own averages. The feature we are going to look at in more detail in this article however, is their ‘Virtual Transfer’ system. With the months flying by and transfer rumours only intensifying, it seems a good time to have a look at some potential transfers and how those players might perform. Obviously there are many factors involved when considering the purchase of player, in this article we are solely going to focus on numbers and data.
City’s striker search
The moment City’s all-time leading goal scorer Sergio Aguero announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of this season, rumours of Harry Kane or Erling Haaland potentially joining The Cityzens intensified. Pep Guardiola recently downplayed City’s need for a number 9 and with the current marketplace as it is, the transfer fees for either player might not be feasible. That leaves City’s only other current out and out number 9 Gabriel Jesus as the realistic squad player to take on the Argentines mantle. Meanwhile, Southampton’s Danny Ings has also been mentioned and could be a more achievable option in terms of price.
If we base the argument solely on league goals, Haaland comes out on top of any current Premier League striker (Kane has to settle for 3rd place whilst Ings or Jesus don’t make the top 10). What becomes even more impressive about Haaland’s goal numbers however, is when we look at his minutes played and average goals per 90 minutes compared to Harry Kane. Haaland has managed 2 more league goals than Kane yet has played nearly 700 minutes fewer than the England frontman. Haaland also boasts an impressive 0.91 goals per game in the Bundesliga compared to Kane’s 0.63 in The Premier League. He also holds his own in La Liga, relegating sharp shooters Messi and Suarez to 2nd and 3rd place.
Kane out scores Haaland and ranks #1 amonst Premier League strikers when it comes to average number of shots per 90 minutes. His 3.49 average shots per game puts him ahead of Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic in 2nd place. The virtual transfer feature of Comparisonator allows us to see that Haaland would rank 3rd in The Premier League; averaging 2.99 shots per 90 minutes. Where Kane wins in terms of volume of shots, Haaland turns the tables when it comes to shots on target. Kane has had 42 shots on target this season compared to Haaland’s 36. However if we take these numbers based on averages per 90 minutes, Haaland would rank 1st amongst Premier League strikers with 1.56 shots on target per 90 minutes. Kane (1.38) is just in 3rd place behind Anthony Martial (1.39) of Manchester United.
The final two attacking parameters we are going to look at are touches in the box and expected goals…Haaland ranks highly in both! With City’s plethora of attacking supply lines, a high rank of touches in the box is a good sign for a goal scorer. Erling Haaland averages 5.64 touches in the box per 90 minutes, which again puts him top of the rankings in this category amongst current Premier League strikers. Ings or Kane can’t be found in the top 10, whilst Jesus has to settle for 5th place averaging 4.89 touches in the box per 90 minutes. Haaland’s expected goals per 90 minutes also ranks admirably amongst current and former Premier League strikers. He would currently rank 2nd (just behind Michail Antonio of West Ham) with an expected goals figure per 90 minutes of 0.64. Again Kane makes the top 10 with a score of 0.57 whereas Ings or Jesus don’t feature.
Interestingly, we can even compare Haaland to Premier League strikers of years gone by. If we look at season 17/18 where (a then 23 year old) Harry Kane managed 30 Premier League goals, Haaland’s numbers still put him amongst the top 5 strikers for goals, assists, shots, shots on target, touches in the box and expected goals (all based on averages per 90 minutes).
As we stated at the beginning of this article, there any many complex factors involved when deciding to sign a player. Some people though, say the numbers simply don’t lie..