Top Midfielders in Europe’s Big 5 Leagues 2022/23

Top Midfielders in Europe’s Big 5 Leagues 2022/23

In this segment, we do a deep dive into the numbers, as we compare and analyse the best midfielders in the big 5 European leagues based on some attacking metrics.

The chart below shows the top midfielders in Europe’s big 5 leagues and compares them on the basis of those outperforming their xGA (expected Goals + Assists), leaning towards the right quadrant.

Also read: The Ultimate xG Resource – What Is xG? Understanding xG, Misconceptions, Variance & Use Of xG

It also compares players using GCA (Goal-Creating Actions) and SCA (Shot-Creating Actions), those of which are congregated on the left quadrant. The bottom quadrant signifies players who under-perform their xGA and/or perform low on the GCA +SCA metric. Finally, the upper most quadrant shows the top performers who do well in both metrics.

Comparing Europe's Top Midfielders In The Big 5 Leagues 2022/23 by GA/xGA and SCA + GCA
Comparing Europe’s Top Midfielders In The Big 5 Leagues 2022/23 by GA/xGA and SCA + GCA

Towards the right, we have players who have outperformed their xGA this season. Giovani Lo Celso (1.42 GA/xGA per 90), Mateo Guendouzi (2.83 GA/xGA per 90), and Moises Caicedo (1.88 GA/xGA per 90) are 3 such midfielders who have a better output in terms of goals and assists than their underlying stats would suggest.

On the left, we have some of the best midfielders in Europe who perform well in terms of GCA and SCA. The talented Pedri and Tchouameni feature here, as do veterans Luka Modric, Kevin De Bruyne, and Marco Reus. La Liga midfielders Tielemans and Coquelin just about complete the list.  De Bruyne ( 8 GCA + 40 SCA) and Pedri (4 GCA + 30 SCA) are the standouts when it comes to creating offensive actions leading to a shot or a goal. Tchouameni (3 GCA +15 SCA) and Modric (4 GCA +14 SCA) are the next best. However, these midfielders perform as per their xGA in a match, rarely outperforming it.

Among the top midfielders, the likes of Declan Rice, Renato Sanches, and Marcelo Brozovic produce the least impact in the final third. They either under-perform their xGA or have the least GCA + SCA in the group, and are hence placed in the bottom quadrant. These are midfielders whose value is more in the defensive half, with interceptions, tackles, and ball progressions from defense into midfield being the key parts of their game. Rice has only 0.65 GA/xGA per 90, while Sanches has 0 GCA + 5 SCA.

Finally, on the top of the chart, we have our best performers based on the given metrics. This quadrant features the more archetypal midfielders like Kimmich, Paredes, Lemar, Douglas Luiz, and James Maddison. These players perform well in both respects when it comes to GCA + SCA, as well as GA/xGA.

However, the player leading the charts is Gabriel Veiga of Celta Vigo. His GA/xGA per 90 is 14.6, whilst he has 3 GCA + 7 SCA.  The second best performer in the list is Juventus midfielder Paredes with 5.08 GA/xGA per 90 and 2GCA + 10 SCA. Atletico’s Thomas Lemar has 3.06 GA/xGA per 90 this season, with 2 GCA + 9 SCA, with Bayern talisman Kimmich close-by at 2.69 GA/xGA per 90 and a mammoth 7 GCA + 34 SCA.

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