The Future of the Premier League | Samba Kings | Coutinho and Oscar


Oscar - Coutinho

oscar-coutinhoIn 2011 two young Brazilians took the field in Colombia for their U20 National Team. One of them, Philippe Coutinho, already a popular name in Europe playing for Italian Champions Inter Milan and the other, Oscar, a highly sought after attacking midfielder from Internacional.

Both youngsters left their mark on the tournament – Coutinho Brazil’s top scorer in the group stage (Henrique overall) and Oscar made his mark with a hat-trick in the final.

[quote]The side (Brazil) also boasted the talents of Casemiro, who shone as a right winger, as well as fleet-footed playmaker Philippe Coutinho and clinical finisher Henrique. The latter’s goalscoring exploits saw him scoop both the adidas Golden Boot and the adidas Golden Ball awards.

Then, of course, there was Oscar, who led Brazil to victory in the final with a brilliant hat-trick against Portugal – the first treble scored in a FIFA U-20 World Cup final.


Fast forward eighteen months and Philippe Coutinho was a forgotten man in Italy whilst Oscar was lighting up the Premier League with his exceptional skill and good finishing following his £25m transfer to Chelsea. However talent can only be hidden for so long and in January 2013 Liverpool Football Club signed Philippe Coutinho for, what seems like a bargain, £8.5m transfer fee. Since joining Liverpool Coutinho has produced moments of sublime skill to ensure that the Kop has an instant Brazilian idol.

Coutinho and Oscar – What do the stats say?

The stats show that they are creative players with an eye for a goal. The sample set we have is very small and it’s also their first season so we can’t make many conclusions from their numbers. It also has to be taken into account that Oscar players week in, week out with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard who will take the majority of the creative burden at Chelsea.

At Liverpool Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have both created 90 plus chances this season so again Coutinho has players that take more responsibility in the team and he’s not become that vital cog in the machine just yet.

Regardless of that one impressive statistic is that Coutinho is creating a clear-cut chance more frequently than any other player in the league (for any player that has created more than 7 or more clear-cut chances)! His stat of creating a clear-cut chance every 96 minutes is better than anyone in the league. Once again we state that it’s a small sample set but for a player to play ten games and create eight clear-cut chances is very impressive seeing as though there are players that have played the full season that he’s caught. To add context Wayne Rooney has created 9, Gareth Bale 10 and Santi Cazorla 11 all of whom have played more than double the minutes Coutinho has.

If you’ve watched Oscar play this season you will have seen what a special talent he is and he’s ready made for the grandest stage. A hat trick in the U20 World Cup Final is enough proof for this however he excelled in the Champions League group stages this season.

In the Champions League* this season he’s joint 6th in the Top Scorers list despite his team, Chelsea, being eliminated from the tournament early after he netted five goals in the group stages.

To compare his goalscoring in the Champions League to the top players in the tournament Oscar averaged a goal every 90 mins, the same as Ronaldo has and has bettered Messi’s 91 mins per goal and Lewandowski’s 100 mins per goal in the tournament this season.

Coutinho-Oscar Creativity Stats

With regards to goal scoring in the Premier League – Coutinho is more impressive with his conversion however there is plenty of improvement required from both players when they are provided with clear-cut opportunities. Both have been guilty of missing 75% (Coutinho) and 83% (Oscar) of their clear-cut opportunities but given their age they have plenty of time to develop this aspect of their game.

Coutinho-Oscar Goal Stats
The new generation of attacking midfielders work very hard to win possession back and the stats speak for themselves. Coutinho wins back possession every 17 minutes for Liverpool whilst Oscar steals the ball from an opponent every 20 minutes – both impressive numbers and fit into the pressing from the front tactics that a lot of clubs are currently employing

Coutinho-Oscar Possession Stats

The Future’s Bright the Future’s Brazilian

Coutinho and Oscar

The impact of both players has even been witnessed in recent weeks. Coutinho’s all-round creative talents were on show at Newcastle whilst Oscar calmly created Chelsea’s winner at Old Trafford. Both of these grounds are not easy to visit – both have passionate fans and stadiums that would intimidate any young players however both of these young Brazilians have shown that they can play at the grandest stage – an U20 World Cup Final being a major final and of course both have Champions League experience, Coutinho at Inter and Oscar earlier this season with Chelsea.

Coutinho and Oscar have displayed enough this season to suggest that they will become huge stars in the coming years of the Premier League. Having two Brazilian players with an abundance of flair is a treat for Premier League neutrals, Liverpool and Chelsea supporters. Both players should be fully settled and integrated into their squads after playing out their initial season (or half-season in Coutinho’s case).

We’re looking forward to more of the Samba influence in the Premier League next season and there’s no doubt you’ll be hearing the names of Coutinho and Oscar each and every week.

*Champions League Stats via

[box_light]All of the Premier League stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.comSubscribe 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.[/box_light]


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