Why Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho is the finest young attacking midfielder in Europe

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 10:17 21/01/2019
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The FA is investigating Jadon Sancho's move from Watford to City four years ago.

The attacking midfield department is blessed with quite a few promising youngsters, who have the potential to expand their horizons in the future.

With clubs preferring to buy talents at the age of 18-20, scouting the right player for the right profile might be cumbersome.

Here, we analyse some of the top talents under the age of 23, who are deployed in attacking midfield and determine their strengths, weaknesses and worth.

The players covered are Houssem Aouar, Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho, Dele Alli and Cengiz Under and you can click through for more detailed analysis.

METHODOLOGY

Stats for shots, chances created, key passes, expected goals+assists, involvement in build-up and successful dribbles were collected from understat.com, whoscored.com and squawka.com.

The stats are for the 2018/19 season and updated until 18th January. For uniformity, the stats per 90 minutes was normalised by dividing it by the average value of all players of that particular attribute.

Hence, a radar graphic was arrived for every player. This radar gives information on the player’s strengths and weaknesses and also compares the player with other players across all the attributes.

The attribute rank ranks that particular player among the five players considered.

The market value of the player was taken from transfermarkt.

Comparison radar

Comparison radar

BEST DRIBBLER

Sancho emerged as the best dribbler among the chosen players and he is ahead by some margin. French genius Aouar too shows promise in this department, excelling with his unique style of taking on opponents.

HIGHEST BUILD-UP INVOLVEMENT

Again, it’s the English wonder-kid Sancho, who comes out on top, with Under not so far behind.

MAXIMUM EXPECTED GOALS+ASSISTS

At this point, Sancho must be overlooked, given his all-round ability. Alli and Under keeping popping up in promising areas and garner a good stat of expected goals+assists.

MAXIMUM KEY PASSES

Sancho’s vision is way superior to that of the other players and the stats regarding key passes per 90 minutes show just that. Again, Under comes close, mainly due to his superb delivery of crosses from wide areas.

HIGHEST SHOT VOLUME

Under and Aouar get into advanced position and hence record voluminous shots every game.

MAXIMUM CHANCES CREATED

This has a lot to do with the style of play of the teams and the other players on the field who are tasked with creating chances. For instance, the presence of Cristian Eriksen does not allow Alli to expand his creative abilities.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that Sancho and Under lead the charts yet again.

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