This series takes a look at the latest signings and statistically analyzes those individuals’ contributions and how they compare to the current squad.
Continuing the quick-fire signings and their reviews, next up is Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
As an Attacking Midfielder, we will be comparing him to Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Nicolò Barella. All stats were sourced via FBref.com and Wyscout.com and are provided in either “per 90 minutes” or as an overall percentage.
Goal contributions, passing and chance creations, and possession are the key attributes we’ll be focusing on for this group.
Goal contributions: First and foremost, goals and assists were 12, 20, and 15 for Mkhitaryan, Çalhanoğlu, and Barella respectively.
This translates into 0.41, 0.52, and 0.41 per game while the “npxG+xA” (non-penalty expected goals plus expected assists) sit at 0.31, 0.44, and 0.4; this tells us that all of them are overperformers with Mkhitaryan being the highest overperformer.
Shots on target are also relevant. Per game, Çalhanoğlu (0.58) does slightly more than Mkhitaryan (0.51) followed by Barella (0.38).
Their shot on target percentage is pretty low across the board though: 25.4%, 25%, and 18.4% (Mkhitaryan, Çalhanoğlu, and Barella respectively).
Pass Completion & Creativity: They are all safe passers overall: Mkhitaryan 82.7% to Çalhanoğlu’s 81.8% and Barella’s 83.5%.
“Smart passes”, those that are creative and penetrative, are very relevant to this group. Mkhitaryan performs 0.79 per game at a success rate of 51.4% (with 0.55 of those per game being key passes).
Çalhanoğlu does 0.96 per game at a rate of 52.1% (and 0.62 key passes per game). Barella, the leader of this attribute, creates 1.1 per game at a rate of 45.2% (but 0.88 key passes per game out of that).
It seems Mkhitaryan fits right in amongst this group in this category.
Final third pass successes are 80.1%, 78.3%, and 73.7% (Mkhitaryan, Çalhanoğlu, and Barella respectively again) and passes into the penalty box are 61.7%, 55.4%, and 56.3%.
Mkhitaryan clearly fits in yet again, but is also a slight improvement on the others.
Also worth mentioning is successful attacking actions per game, that being a shot, cross, or dribble are 3.16 to 2.68 and 2.96. Again, fitting in and slightly improving over Çalhanoğlu and Barella.
Possession: Speaking of dribbles, Mkhitaryan successfully does so 49.2% of the time while Çalhanoğlu is 56.7% and Barella is 59.7%.
Pass receiving success is a similar story: Mkhitaryan is 85.9%, Çalhanoğlu is 92.2%, and Barella is 81%. A real pattern is emerging here.
We’ll just quickly mention their defensive actions and duel success rates. Mkhitaryan performs 7.88 successful defensive actions per game (duel, interception, or tackle) at 55.6% duel win rate.
Çalhanoğlu is 6.62 per game and 58.4% success. Barella does 6.28 per game and is 60.6% successful.
Whenever an older player joins the team, there’s always apprehension as to whether their abilities to continue at the top level that a Scudetto and European trophy contender like Inter will require.
Mkhitaryan, being 33-years-old at the time of this article, may also bring such concerns; however, the stats read like a blended player between the likes of Çalhanoğlu and Barella, even surpassing them in key areas.
Add the fact that this was a free acquisition, not including salary of course, and he is a great midfielder for the rotation.
Superb bit of business here.
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