This summer, all but one member of last years top 5 (Manchester City) has signed a new attacking midfielder. With a dirth of top striking talent available, it seems that the top Premier League clubs decided to focus more on a creator, then a finisher.
Over at Real Madrid, the Spanish giants’ two biggest signings were also attacking midfielders, in Isco and Gareth Bale. Meanwhile they let go a striker, who they then failed to replace. It seems the future of football is all about who is behind the striker, providing him ammunition, and not the man who puts the ball in the back of the net. It is perhaps the first time in football history where the striker no longer commands the highest transfer fee, he is no longer the clubs highest paid player, and he certainly is not the clubs most important player.
A total of £127.6 million was spent by Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea on their new attacking midfielder. And then £85 million on Gareth Bale. But who got the best player?
Arsenal have clearly got a creative genius. Mesut Ozil is the most creative player in the world over the last 3 seasons. 72 assists in La Liga over the last 3 seasons is by far and away the best in Europe.
Everton Manchester United have Fellaini, who, despite some claiming otherwise, is not a defensive midfielder and played behind the striker all of last season.
Fellaini’s goal statistic is massively inflated due to headers from corners. 6 of his 11 goals were from headers. You remove these and his goals per minute statistic go’s out to 556. He is simply not a danger.
Erik Lamela’s statistics come out very favourable. Especially when you compare him to Gareth Bale. He scores a decent amount, but does not get too many assists. Just like Bale. Basically, Tottenham have replaced Bale with a poorer version of him.
As for Willian. LOL. £32 million on a player who will not get anywhere near the Chelsea side next season. Why Chelsea have signed him whilst Juan Mata sits on the bench will be one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Unfortunately, due to him playing somewhere that no one really cares about, full statistics are not available.
Finally Gareth Bale. £85 million. The 1st season he has scored over 10 league goals. He can not pass. He can not assist. It seems all he does is put his head down, run and shoot. Play ground footballer anyone? He will be exposed when he see’s half the ball at Real Madrid as he did at Tottenham last year.
So who do you think will perform the best next season?