Watching Liverpool’s 17 year-old sensation Raheem Sterling in the Under-18’s and then the reserves always gave their fans some hope of a young winger that would excite the Kop one day. None of them expected this year to be the year that he’d become a regular starter for the side. Raheem has started the last three Premier League matches this season. His performances have been impressive in all of them and our Twitter followers seem to agree with Sterling constantly being listed as one of the positives in each game despite the results not being what any Liverpool fan wanted.
Raheem Sterling has already proved this season that his step-over isn’t the only skill he possesses. His accurate passing, awareness and his impressive battling have been at the forefront of each of his performances. So much so that he’s putting the rest of the squad to shame with some of his statistics.
In this article we’re going to look at some of the impressive stats from Raheem Sterling’s first three starts in the Premier League.
Raheem: The First Game
Raheem’s first start was against the Premier League Champions Manchester City and he gave, the ageing, Kolo Toure a torrid time in what was an excellent first game for him. He finished the game with a respectable 80% passing accuracy and he competed in a staggering 13 duels. No other player in the team attempted as many however Raheem only won three of them. Regardless of the wins it shows that Raheem is very willing to get stuck which will only further enhance his image to the Kopites.
During the game he attempted four crosses with only one of them finding a team-mate. This was the one instance where Raheem, expertly, found Fabio Borini attacking the front post and narrowly touching his shot wide. Raheem created two chances in this game. Raheem completed 13 out of 16 passes (81%) in the final third and his passing here was the most impressive as it was the highest completion percentage in the team against the Champions.
[quote]Raheem Sterling had the highest Final Third Pass Completion % out of all Liverpool players Vs Manchester City – 81%.
Taking on players | not limited to wide areas
The game against Arsenal had little to shout about from a Liverpool point of view but again it was Raheem that went closest for Liverpool, hitting the left hand post from an excellent attempt at goal. He was also successful in the Final Third with 17/20 passes accurate (85% – an improvement from his first game).
There were a few moments where Raheem really got the supporters off their feet. His ability to go past players is shown to the left where he cuts inside and can beat a player with ease here too. A few times his dribbling runs can also lead to winning free-kicks in exciting areas for Liverpool. He’s a player that can take the pressure off from a side by winning free-kicks in the attacking half of the pitch – more on this in the next section against Sunderland.
Next Page: Raheem Sterling’s massive improvements Vs Sunderland and Raheem Sterling stats Vs the Premier League!
Raheem Sterling – Vast Improvements Vs Sunderland:
Everything about Raheem’s game improved in this game, he attempted more take on’s, more chances created, more challenges & his passing accuracy improved.
[quote]Raheem Sterling was Liverpool’s most accurate passer Vs Sunderland with 94% pass completion
Playing out wide means you’re going to be playing with a lot of opponents around you and Raheem Sterling managed to keep the ball with a 94% accuracy against Sunderland whilst playing out wide right. He gave Sunderland’s full-back, Rose, a torrid time that afternoon as he attempted ten take ons completing five of them! This was his most impressive performance against a full-back and the goal came from Sterling totally fooling Rose with a few step overs and then crossing to Suarez who missed with his first attempted but slotted home a ricochet off Titus Bramble! Raheem created four chances in this game, more than he’s created in any of his other starts for Liverpool.
[quote]Raheem Sterling attempted an astonishing 26 ground duels Vs Sunderland. He won 17 of them which was more than any other player even attempted!
Raheem also completed 100% of his passes in the Final 3rd against Sunderland – needless to say that this was also the highest in the side. One amazing statistic was the fact that Raheem had won all five of his tackles but attempted an astonishing 26 50-50 duels on the ground – yes you read that right – 26, as shown below in the Tackling Stats from our Quick Match Stats area on EPLIndex.com (Subscribe Now). You will notice that Raheem won 17 out of his 26 duels which is more than any other player in the Liverpool FC side even attempted. His battling qualities as Liverpool were fighting to come back from a goal down at the Stadium of Light clearly shown below.
Raheem was also the most fouled against Sunderland, in fact in the whole game, once again showing that he’s dangerous anywhere near the opposition’s 18-yard-box. There were some free kicks in very dangerous positions on the edge of the area as his ability to ghost past players at speed ensures that he’ll get clipped by those that cannot keep up with his pace – none of his free kicks won were dives either as he was cynically hacked down on multiple occasions against Sunderland.
Next Page: Raheem Sterling Vs The Premier League – some very interesting duel stats!
Raheem Sterling Vs The Premier League
[quote]Raheem Sterling creates a chance every 38.57 minutes for Liverpool FC this season…
Raheem’s gone on to create 7 chances in the league and he now sits 16th most creative in the Premier League as a whole – another excellent achievement for the boy who is playing at the highest level of competitive football at the age of 17. He is third in the Liverpool squad for this stat with Suarez creating every 30 minutes and Gerrard every 32 minutes. Eden Hazard creates a chance every 33.4 minutes so Raheem isn’t very far behind well renowned players.
[quote]Raheem Sterling attempts a challenge on an opponent every 4.15 minutes so far this season.
Where Raheem has shocked everyone is with his tackling and duel statistics. When analysing the stats in the EPLIndex’s brilliant Top Stats area we found that Raheem had compared very well against other strong tacklers in the league so far. Here’s a look at the Ground Duels Total (GDT):
In what is pretty unbelievable for us, at AnfieldIndex, Raheem sits at number 4 for the most ground duels and matches Mohamed Diame even though he’s played 70 mins less than him this season. That’s not all it gets better for Raheem when looking at how often he attempts these duels and how often he wins them.
As shown above Raheem attempts ground duels (50-50’s) the most often in the league (MGD – Minutes per Ground Duel) – every 5 minutes which no one would even contemplate when this young lad started the season. Out of the top five shown there he also wins ground duels the most often (MGW – Minutes per Ground Duel Won), winning one every 10.38 mins. Where does he place in the whole league for winning 50-50 ground duels?
As shown above Raheem comes second only to Moussa Dembele in the most often wins for 50-50 ground duels. You will be asking why are we so impressed with his battling qualities? Well a part of Brendan Rodgers’ system is to have players that work hard and win possession back high up the pitch. Raheem is certainly trying his best to do this. A final look at over challenges and how often Raheem is putting himself in these battles:
Raheem comes third in the minutes per challenge (MPC) Top Stats list. He attempts a challenge every 4.15 minutes and has someone like Marouane Fellaini for company who was topping these charts last season. It’s an amazing set of stats to say the least and we hope he can continue at this level for the rest of the season.
Please do leave a comment to let us know what you think of Raheem’s stats!
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.