Statistical Analysis: Is Sergio Aguero really one of the best strikers in the world?

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Jamie Carragher was waxing lyrical about Sergio Aguero’s stunning display against CSKA Moscow last night. The former Liverpool player was enthralled by the Argentine’s peformance, describing the Man City forward as ‘world class’ and going on to say that he was ‘one of, if not the best striker in the world.’ High praise indeed. Aguero has certainly been brilliant this season, but how does he compare against some of the world’s other top strikers?

Statistical analysis of domestic form

AppsGoalsChance ConversionChances Created Per GameDiego Costa121336.1%1.3Cavani8(4)931%0.7Lewandowski10(1)922.5%1.5Sturridge10825%1Aguero8(1)833.3%1.7Falcao12826.7%0.5Suarez5627.3%2.4Ibrahimovic11511.9%1.9

Above is a sample of players who are considered as the most in form forwards in Europe right now. Diego Costa’s form has been very, very good as we can see with his thirteen goals in 12 games and with the highest chance conversion of any player listed here, loosely making him the most clinical player. Diego Costa’s form has been nothing short of prolific, but it’s worth noting that this is his first really top class season in his career, with him netting ten goals in 33 La Liga appearances last year. It is thus too soon to regard him as ‘the best striker in the world’ despite his form being world class.

Edison Cavani and Radamel Falcao stick out to a degree with the low number of chances they create for their team-mates (they also rarely complete dribbles) which is largely because they are more in the mould of goal-poachers, who find the back of the net frequently but contribute less to the all round play of their side than the other forwards.

With regards to Sergio Aguero, he has the second highest chance conversion out of those listed and has netted an impressive eight times in nine games. Aguero has also managed to create a good number of chances per game, the third highest amount of those listed above. It’s also worth noted he has already gained four Premier League assists, showing what impact he can have.

This comparison certainly shows Aguero to be a top forward, but it’s also worth analysing his form in Europe, compared to other Champions League strikers.

Champions League statistical comparison

AppsGoalsChance ConversionChances Created Per GameIbrahimovic4733.3%1.5Aguero4526.3%1.3Lewandowski3350%2.3Diego Costa1267.7%2Cavani3233.3%0.3

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been hailed as many as one of the best strikers in Europe. Ibrahimovic’s domestic form has actually been quite unimpressive with just five goals in eleven and with by far the lowest chance conversion of the strikers analyzed above. In Europe though he’s been a different animal, scoring seven goals (making him the second top scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo), as well as creating chances for his team-mates.

That being said, Sergio Aguero has also been in top form, netting five times in just four games in what is actually quite a tough group. Aguero’s goals away in Moscow for example were absolutely crucial in what could have been a tough tie for City. His second goal last night was also testament to his quality, that being said his form isn’t so stand out in Europe. Roberto Lewandowski is a man with a fair claim at being Europe’s most lethal striker and his 50% chance conversion as well as three in three in possibly the hardest Champions League group demonstrate his goal poaching ability.

Diego Costa, who has been brilliant domestically has unfortunately only played the one European tie thus far, although he was very good in that fixture scoring twice. This does make it difficult to assess the level of his contribution against his rivals in this context. For Edison Cavani he has played second fiddle in Europe to Ibrahimovic, who has been probably the best striker in the competition so far.

Conclusion

Much of what makes someone the perfect striker depends on what their side require from them. Sergio Aguero is certainly near perfect for what City want. Aguero is fast, stronger than he looks and a very good finisher. Playing of Alvaro Negredo he can get in behind and lead the line well. Calling him the best forward in the world is perhaps premature and we’ll  have a clearer picture by the end of the season. He is probably one of the best in Europe though, as we can see from his stats in the Champions League and domestically. Other than that, it’s probably a matter of taste as to who you believe is the best striker in the world.

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