Newcastle’s efforts to suitably replace Demba Ba since his departure to Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2013 finally seem to be showing results. Loic Remy was meant to be the solution 10 months ago, and indeed it seemed at one point as if the deal was all wrapped up for Newcastle. However it was not to be as QPR hijacked the deal leading the Frenchman to move to Loftus Road from Marseilles for just over £12 million.
[sws_blockquote align=”” alignment=”” cite=”Alan Pardew” quotestyles=”style02″] I wish he had joined in January. I still remember the night clearly when we thought we had done the deal. We had a nice glass of wine, gave ourselves a nice, hearty, warm handshake and the next day he wasn’t there. [/sws_blockquote]
Well Newcastle have their man on the roster now, but only on a loan deal that Alan Pardew is seeking to alter into a permanent one. Harry Redknapp has conceded that it is unlikely Remy will be returning to QPR, or in other words that there is a high likelihood of a transfer being finalised – music to the ears of Newcastle fans.
Remy vs other top EPL strikers
Loic Remy began his Newcastle career in game week three with a cameo from the bench against Fulham, and although he may not of scored on his debut he did provide an assist. Since then he has started every game and in these following four starts he has scored 5 goals lifting him up to second in the goal scoring rankings behind Daniel Sturridge on 6. With an analysis of the most important statistics for a striker, we can take a look at how he matches up to some of the EPL’s best forwards.
Minutes Per Goal
Starting with what is arguably a striker’s most important stat, Remy is currently third in the strikers’ minutes per goal table. Currently averaging a goal every 66 minutes, only Romelu Lukaku (64.25) and Luis Suarez (60) have more impressive records than himself.
Remy may be behind these two in minutes per goals scored, but both Lukaku and Suarez are at a distinct advantage to him in one sense. Both of them, for different reasons, had late starts to the season. Suarez had the rest of his ten game ban to serve whilst Lukaku never really saw any game time until he moved to Everton on Loan. This means that they have played in total 180 minutes and 217 minutes respectively, compared to Remy’s 330 minutes. The significance of this is that because both Merseyside players have started with a bang, their goals to minutes ratio is a lot higher now than it is likely to be over the full course of the season.
When you change the table to include strikers who have played 270 minutes or more, Remy is top in the Premier League. Behind him are Christian Benteke (97 MPG), Daniel Sturridge (104.67) and Sergio Aguero (105).
Minutes per Shot on target
Rather than analysing a striker’s minutes per shot or shooting accuracy, I find it far more important to look at his minutes per shot on target. This is because this statistic is the culmination of the other two, and because each of the others may not tell the whole story on their own.
Of all strikers to have taken ten shots or more this season, Remy is once again third in the minutes per shot on target table, averaging a shot on target every 41.25 minutes. This time he is behind Wilfried Bony (39.75) and Edin Dzeko (36.63), although they have only managed to score 1 goal and 2 goals respectively. Remy is then closely followed by Rickie Lambert on 51.91 minutes per shot on target, Daniel Sturridge on 52.33, and Wayne Rooney on 53.11.
What this shows is that, although Remy on 57% may have a lower shooting accuracy than some other players, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney to name a couple (both on 60%), because he is shooting more frequently than many other strikers he has a higher minutes per shot on target stat, which is ultimately the most important marker.
Remy has an admirable chance conversion of 36%, although this is only fourth best out of all the strikers in the Premier League. Belgian duo Lukaku and Benteke are joint top on 44%, with Suarez (43%) and Aguero (40%) just behind.
Indeed, chance conversion is an important statistic since it directly dictates how efficient a player is in front of goal. That said, which striker would you want in your team: the one with the better chance conversion or the one with the better minutes per goal scored? Surely you would want the latter, as this literally means that the player will be scoring more often.
In the end a striker will be as good as the combination of his efficiency in front of the goal and the total amount of shots that he is managing. In this respect Remy is currently one of the best in the premier league. Now it is up to him to retain his goal scoring rate as the Premier League progresses and more games are played.