Before we begin, I will explain the filters used for the players analysed.
*A minimum of 1000 minutes played in a winger position.
*A maximum of two players for each team.
Only one team in Sheffield United failed to meet the cut, with no players playing in any of the winger positions for up to 1000 minutes.
In terms of the roles of a winger, the first things that come to mind are:
An ability to take on opponents, ball progression, an ability to get the ball into the box, overall end product, and defensive duels as wingers may be tasked with tracking back or taking on their opposing winger.
In this data analysis, we will use statistics evaluating these roles to find the best wingers in the Premier League to then talk about the players who stood out in the comparison. All the data which is used in this analysis are the average statistics per 90 minutes.
Getting the ball into the box
Direct End Product
From the charts looked at, it’s quite clear Willian is one of the best players at progressing the ball in the league. Arsenal have a problem with Aubameyang who as well as he has done is not a good winger. What he is however, is a world class forward.
It’s interesting the contrasts in their play, Willian’s strengths all lie in progressing the ball in the final third. He’s a very good dribbler and takes on his man often enough unlike Aubameyang. He’s complete as a winger in the sense that his deliveries into the box are nearly balanced and impressive from crosses and passes. His defensive contributions are also on the high end for a winger.
What however he isn’t, is a direct goal threat. It’s a weakness which keeps him from being great as a winger. Willian is a great facilitator of the attack but is dwarfed by Aubameyang in terms of a direct threat. He’s a player who doesnt look the greatest from a glance at his goals and assist over the years but he’s played as long as he has for a reason at Chelsea.
I think you’ll expect faster transitions and overall play with Willian starting for your side however he’ll probably frustrate a number of fans because of his lack of a direct influence. On a free transfer, he’s clearly a good deal from this evaluation although only time will tell. Feel free to take a look at comparing your other winger, Pepe and Aubameyang to the rest of the top wingers in the league.
Sources: fbref, sofascore, whoscored