How Good is Sadio Mane?

How Good is Sadio Mane?

Southampton had another very solid Southampton year.  They’ll finish in a Europa League place this year and surpassed their 60 point total last year with 63.  They’ve had another great season and continue to be the model for how a club should build up from the lower leagues.

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The Saints have received lots of praise for their youth academy, but their scouting network has also been exemplary.  A good example of that has been the success of Sadio Mane.  Southampton bought the 24 year old for around £12m in the summer of 2014.  Since his arrival at St Mary’s, Mane has had two successful seasons.  But just how good has Sadio Mane been?

The four highest scoring wingers this season were PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez with 17 goals, Alexis Sanchez with 13, Marko Arnautovic with 11, and Mane with 11.

Subtract penalty goals from total goals for non penalty goals. Graphic via Sqwuaka.com.

Subtract penalty goals from total goals for non penalty goals. Graphic via Squawka.com.

In terms of non penalty goals, Sanchez comes out on top with 0.48 non penalty goals per 90 minutes.  Mahrez comes in second with 0.385 NPG per 90 minutes, Mane in third with 0.381 NPG per 90 minutes, and Arnautovic in fourth with 0.25 NPG per 90 minutes.

So this season Mane came third just behind Mahrez in terms of non penalty goals scored by wingers with at least 1500 minutes played.  Last season he came second in the league in the same category with 0.42 NPG per 90, behind only Alexis Sanchez who had 0.49 NPG per 90.

In terms of goals he has looked very good, but goals can sometimes be deceiving if a player had a crazy streak of finishing or two.  Looking at shots is a good way to see if a players good goal scoring can continue in the future.

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Graphic via Squawka.com.

In terms of non strikers with at least 1500 minutes played this season, Mane came in fourth in terms of shots per 90 minutes with 2.98, behind Coutinho with 5.01, Sanchez with 3.95, and Christian Eriksen with 3.07.  The next level of that is most shots from inside the penalty box per 90 minutes.  Among players with at least 1500 minutes, Mane came second in this department with 2.29 shots inside the box per 90, behind only Sanchez with 2.55.  He came third in this department last seaon behind only Sanchez and Zaha.

In terms of chances created, Mane wasn’t quite as good.  He finished 52nd in terms of chances created per 90 minutes among players with at least 1500 minutes played with 1.42 chances created.  This puts him around the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Lennon.

His dribbling numbers have him much better than his chances created, but not quite as good as his shooting and goal scoring numbers.  He was 13th in the league of players with 1500 plus minutes with 2.67 dribbles completed per 90 minutes, behind the likes of Mahrez, Sanchez, Eden Hazard, Yannick Bolasie, and Anthony Martial, among others.

So his creative numbers have been pretty average, his dribbling numbers were good if not great, and his goal scoring numbers have been fantastic this season.  His goal scoring numbers are borderline elite, and his overall goal contribution is very good.  Manchester United were laughed at on social media for looking into Mane last summer, but the Senegalese looks like he could be ready for a step up this summer.

*All stats via Squawka