When talking about creative players for last season Juan Mata and David Silva were the names on the tip of everyone’s tongue! Looking at the Creativity view from our Opta Stats Centre (below – subscribe for access today!) you can see that there were only two players that created over 100 chances in the league last season. The performances last season from both Mata and Silva were truly outstanding and they may not be able to match their rate of creativity. Mata created a chance every 24.81 minutes whilst David Silva created one every 27.09 minutes.
Silva and Mata were also the top goal assisters and also created many clear-cut chances for their team-mates. It’s safe to say these two were the best creators in the League last season.
It’s a fact that Santi Cazorla has created the most chances in the Premier League for any midfielder / forward.
Santi Cazorla was signed by Arsenal this summer and he’s taken the Premier League by storm. Cazorla creates a chance every 23.7 minutes. David Silva impressively is creating a chance a lot more often than last season – a chance created every 21.57 minutes where as Mata is creating a chance well over every half an hour (around a +10 minute shift in Mata’s minutes per chance created stats).
In the league Santi Cazorla is second only to Leighton Baines in terms of creating chances and is third for chance creation regularity creating a chance every 23.7 minutes. It’s a fact that Santi Cazorla has created the most chances in the Premier League for any midfielder / forward player. Incidentally this rate is better than either of Silva’s or Mata’s from last season however there have only been eight games played so far in comparison to a full season above for Mata and Silva.
The table below can be sorted by clicking on the column headers (TP, PA% etc) to see which of the three are better in the respective statistics. You will notice that the key is to the right to help you understand what the headings are. These will be used in the other tables in the article also so please do refer back to this key from the other tables too.
As far as playing time goes Santi Cazorla has played the most so far this season out of the three players. He’s managed 711 minutes which is almost double what Silva has played and shows why his passing stats are much better too. Mata has had very good game time after his slow start where he wasn’t playing as much.
Santi’s strengths are his passing accuracy, his final third passing is the most accurate at 85.87% and he’s created the most chances by far (we’ll look at how often the three create chances a little later). In the goal assists column Mata has created much less chances but his goal assists blow away his compatriots as he has assisted five goals already.
Have a play with this table – it’s fully sortable by clicking on the column headers.
Creativity MP TP PA% F3P F3P% CC CCO CCS TGA CCC
Mata 589 437 89 204 82 16 13 3 5 3
Cazorla 711 571 90.37 269 85.87 30 23 7 2 4
Silva 361 310 86 186 81 21 16 5 1 2
Despite shooting much less than Cazorla Mata is leading the way here with three goals to his name already (thanks to the brace against Spurs on the weekend). He is also converting his chances much better with an impressive 25% compared to Cazorla’s 9% and Silva’s blank as he’s yet to score.
Silva’s blank is mainly to do with him missing three clear-cut chances (CCM column). Clear-cut chances are those that are either one-on-one’s with the keeper, penalties, or free shots at goal with no defender pressuring you. Silva is usually much better than this so maybe needs one to go in for him – he’s not know for his goal scoring but maybe with more playing time he’ll find the back of the net.
With regards to shot accuracy it is David Silva who’s most accurate but he’s only attempted seven shots (we’re not including blocked shots) whilst Mata has twelve and Santi Cazorla has twenty-two! Santi should be getting in the goals soon with how regularly he’s shooting in comparison to the others.
Again check out the table below and have a play with the sortable columns.
Attempts TSH SOT SOF GLS CCS CCM SA% CC%
Mata 12 6 6 3 1 1 50 25
Cazorla 22 10 12 2 0 0 45 9
Silva 7 4 3 0 0 3 57 0
A little more analysis is required as all three players have played different amounts of time in the Premier League this season. Therefore the table below should allow us to analyse a little further and see which players are doing better. The Key to the right is using acronyms from the Keys above so please do cross-check or refer to the other Keys in this article.
If you were to sort by minutes per chance created (MPC) then you’d see that it is David Silva that is creating chances at a faster rate than any of the three with 21.6 mins being the gap between each chance created. Mata is down in third place and not creating as often however his chances seem to be of higher quality seeing as though he has 5 goal assists already.
It is the same result in Open Play (MOC) and Set Play Chance Creation (MCS) – David Silva is ahead of either of the players creating with more regularity. For creating clear-cut-chances (MCC) it’s Santi Cazorla that leads here with 177.8 minutes per sitter created for his side whilst Silva is not far behind either.
Minutes per goal is where Mata leads scoring a goal every 196 minutes which is almost a ratio of 1 in 2 (most strikers would be happy with that). Cazorla’s behind here scoring every 355.5 mins whilst Silva’s still on a duck for goals this season. Shooting wise Cazorla is shooting most often at goal with a shot every 32 minutes and one on target every 71. Silva and Mata are very similar in this regard both close to shooting every 50 mins whilst getting a shot on target just over once per game.
Stats Analysis MPC MOC MCS MCC MPG MPS MPT
Mata 36.8 45.3 196 196 196 49 98
Cazorla 23.7 30.9 101.57 177.8 355.5 32 71
Silva 21.6 28.31 90.6 180.5 - 51.6 90.3
When analysing the stats and dividing by the minutes played it’s David Silva that impresses, even though he’s played the least. However it would be too early to start saying which player is better than the other. All three of them are impressive and will be vital to their sides success.
Juan Mata’s goals and assists probably make him the stand out player so far even though he’s creating chances at a lower rate than last year. Santi Cazorla cannot be ignored as he’s creating chances at a very fast rate (23.7 mins per chance created) and is the has created the highest in the league for any other midfielder.
It may be to early to try to decide which of the three is the best but one thing is for sure – all three players are class acts.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.
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