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Just How Good Is Mason Mount? A Deep Dive Statistical Review

Just like Marmite, it seems with Mason Mount you either love him or hate him. Most fans will agree that Mount has been overly criticised...

Just like Marmite, it seems with Mason Mount you either love him or hate him. Most fans will agree that Mount has been overly criticised for the shortfalls of Chelsea's dip in form this season, however, some criticisms are justified in respect of his ability to create from a number '10' role with Chelsea's glaring lack of creativity at times. A 21-year-old's first season in the Premier League for a top club was never going to be a smooth journey, yet Mount has shown signs of being a top player, albeit with several areas currently to improve in.

I will be comparing the 2019/2020 Premier League statistics of Mason Mount and four other English players in similar positions: Maddison, Grealish, Alli and Cantwell. I'll also be comparing them all to Kevin De Bruyne as a benchmark, who undoubtedly is the best creative midfielder in the League in terms of all-round play and contributions. Whilst these statistics focus on an individual's talents, they are naturally impacted by a multitude of factors (quality of teammates, the system they play in, injuries, individual / team form, their role in the team etc) which should be taken with a pinch of salt - this is by no means conclusive as to who is the better player and how you wish to interpret them is up to you.

Goals per game

1.    Alli - 0.40 goals per game
2.    De Bruyne, Grealish & Maddison - 0.30 goals per game
3.    Cantwell & Mount - 0.2 goals per game

xGoals per game

A more useful statistic is expected goals (xG) which measures the quality of a shot based on several variables such as assist type, shot angle and distance from goal, whether it was a headed shot and whether it was defined as a big chance. Adding up a player or team’s expected goals can give an indication of how many goals a player or team should have scored on average, given the shots they have taken. It shows if a player is overperforming (being clinical) or underperforming (not being clinical enough) based on the quality of their chances and is a useful guide to see how a player is performing over time.

1.    Alli - 0.28 xGoals per game (Overperforming by 0.12 goals per game)
2.    Cantwell - 0.27 xGoals per game (Underperforming by 0.07 goals per game)
3.    Mount / Grealish - 0.24 xGoals per game (Mount - Underperforming by 0.04 goals   per game / Grealish - Overperforming by 0.06 goals per game) 
4.    De Bruyne - 0.22 xGoals per game (Overperforming by 0.08 goals per game)
5.    Maddison - 0.19 xGoals per game (Overperforming by 0.11 goals per game)

Shots per game

Simple math dictates that the more a player shoots, the more likely they are to score (mindblowing right?). The amount of shots per game a player has is usually indicative of their ability to get into goal scoring positions and get shots off, whilst in some cases, it can be from poor positions from distance.

1.    De Bruyne - 3.18 shots per game
2.    Mount - 2.67 shots per game
3.    Maddison - 2.55 shots per game
4.    Grealish - 2.22 shots per game
5.    Cantwell - 1.79 shots per game
6.    Alli - 1.74 shots per game

xGoals / shots per game

Whilst having a high xG is a great indication of how good a player is in front of goal, another useful stat is how many shots they take in respect of their xGoals (xGoals per game divided by shots per game) which shows how efficient or how wasteful they are.

1.    Alli  - 0.16 xG / shots per game
2.    Cantwell - 0.15 xG / shots per game
3.    Grealish  - 0.11 xG / shots per game
4.    Mount - 0.09 xG / shots per game
5.    Maddison - 0.07 xG / shots per game
6.    De Bruyne - 0.07 xG / shots per game

Big chances missed

A big chance missed is where a player should reasonably be expected to score, usually in a one on one scenario or from very close range when the ball has a clear path to goal and there is low to moderate pressure on the shooter. Penalties are always considered big chances. Of course, the less missed, the better.

     1.    Alli - 1 big chance missed
2.    De Bruyne - 2 big chances missed
3.    Cantwell - 3 big chances missed
4.    Grealish - 4 big chances missed
5.    Mount - 5 big chances missed
6.    Maddison - 6 big chances missed


1.    De Bruyne - 15 assists
2.    Grealish - 5 assists
3.    Mount - 4 assists
4.    Alli & Maddison - 3 assists
5.    Cantwell - 2 assists

xAssists per game

Another useful statistic to measure a player's creativity is expected assists (xA) which measures the likelihood that a given pass will become a goal assist. It considers several factors including the type of pass, pass end-point and length of the pass. Adding up a player or team's expected assists gives us an indication of how many assists a player or team should have had based on their build-up and attacking play. Similarly to xG / shots taken per, the more passes a player makes, the more likely their xA will be higher, thus xA should be taken with a pinch of salt in respect to how many passes a player makes.

1.    De Bruyne - 13.54 xAssists (Overperforming xA by 1.46 assists)
2.    Grealish - 4.83 xAssists (Overperforming xA by 0.17 assists)
3.    Maddison - 4.50 xAssists (Underperforming xA by 1.50 assists)
4.    Mount - 4.25 xAssists (Underperforming xA by 0.25 assists)
5.    Alli - 3.31 xAssists (Underperforming xA by 0.31 assists)
6.    Cantwell - 1.80 xAssists (Overperforming xA by 0.2 assists)

Passes completed per game

In a possession-based system such as Lampard’s that has more emphasis on a direct build-up of play, higher passes completed per game are an important statistic, to measure how involved they are in the build-up and transitional play.

1.    De Bruyne - 44.6 passes completed per game
2.    Maddison - 40.0 passes completed per game
3.    Grealish - 34.8 passes completed per game
4.    Alli - 27.7 passes completed per game
5.    Mount - 26.8 passes completed per game
6.    Cantwell - 26.0 passes completed per game

Key passes per game

A key pass is a final pass of the ball to a player before there is an attempt at goal without scoring. Key passes are a useful statistic to compare a midfielder's creativity in the final third through a final decisive pass.

1.    De Bruyne - 3.86 key passes per game
2.    Maddison - 2.81 key passes per game
3.    Grealish - 2.79 key passes per game
4.    Mount - 1.81 key passes per game
5.    Cantwell - 1.34 key passes per game
6.    Alli - 1.20 key passes per game

Key passes / passes completed per game

Evaluating how many passes it takes for a player to make a key pass is a useful indication to analyse how efficient and effective a player is with their passes.

1.    De Bruyne - 0.09 key passes / passes completed per game
2.    Grealish - 0.08 key passes / passes completed per game
3.    Maddison - 0.07 key passes / passes completed per game
4.    Mount - 0.07 key passes / passes completed per game
5.    Cantwell - 0.05 key passes / passes completed per game
6.    Alli - 0.04 key passes / passes completed per game

Big chances created

A big chance created is where the receiving player would reasonably be expected to score and manages to get a shot away. These usually occur in one-on-one scenarios or from very close range.

1.    De Bruyne - 21 big chances created (I'm still upset we sold him too)
2.    Mount & Maddison - 7 big chances created
3.    Alli - 6 big chances created
4.    Grealish - 4 big chances created
5.    Cantwell - 1 big chance created

Passing accuracy

Making a pass is great, making an accurate pass is even more important especially for strikers.

1.    Mount & Grealish - 85% passing accuracy
2.    Maddison - 83% passing accuracy
3.    De Bruyne & Cantwell - 82% passing accuracy
4.    Alli - 77% passing accuracy

Possession lost per game

How often a striker loses possession is an indication of how wasteful / efficient a player is, as well as how often they attempt to play a risky, but high-rewarding pass.

1.    Cantwell - possession lost 11.3 times per game
2.    Mount - possession lost 12.7 times per game
3.    Grealish - possession lost 14.7 times per game
4.    Alli - possession lost 15.2 times per game
5.    Maddison - possession lost 18.5 times per game
6.    De Bruyne - possession lost 20.6 times per game

Interceptions per game

1.    Alli - 0.8 interceptions per game
2.    Cantwell - 0.7 interceptions per game
3.    Grealish - 0.6 interceptions per game
4.    De Bruyne, Maddison & Mount - 0.4 interceptions per game

Tackles per game

1.    Maddison - 1.9 tackles per game
2.    Alli & De Bruyne - 1.4 tackles per game
3.    Cantwell - 1.2 tackles per game
4.    Grealish - 1.1 tackles per game
5.    Mount - 1.0 tackles per game

Possession won in the final third per game

1.    De Bruyne, Maddison & Mount - possession won in the final third 0.7 times per game
2.    Alli & Cantwell - possession won in the final third 0.6 times per game
3.    Grealish - possession won in the final third 0.5 times per game

Final results

So what does this all mean? How good is Chelsea's 'number 10'? If you give a player 6 points for every category they rank 1st in, 5 points for 2nd, 4 points for 3rd etc, you get the following results (see appendix for a summary of ranking and points by category).
  1. De Bruyne - 73 points (no surprise there)
  2. Grealish - 61 points
  3. Maddison - 60 points
  4. Mount - 57 points
  5. Alli - 56 points
  6. Cantwell - 46 points
This is certainly by no means a conclusive study, I’ve assumed that each category, that I have ranked each striker by, is equally weighted when it isn’t. For example, xGoals per game is a far more important statistic as a striker compared possession lost per game, however, I have given them the same weighting for the ease of comparison. The eye test is important, however as fans naturally we are biased towards certain players, thus statistics prove to be an unbiased source of information to interpret.

So, Mount ranks fourth and isn't far off Maddison and Grealish, who notably are 2 and 3 years older respectively with more Premier League experience and experience in general for their respective clubs. Mount ranks well in his efficiency on the ball, boasting the joint highest passing accuracy of the six and the second-lowest possession lost per game. Undoubtedly, Mount needs to improve his involvement in games by increasing his key passes and passes in general during games, which is partly down to his varied role of almost playing as a second striker behind Tammy. Yet, Mount has created the joint second highest big chances created and is notably underperforming his xG and xA, which shows there is room for improvement in the clinical department, particularly as he ranks 5th for big chances missed.

This analysis ignores intangible variables which Mount is most known for. His ability to receive the ball on a half-turn, his occupation in between lines, his general movement in space and of course his pressing ability are all areas Mount excels in. Mount's technical ability is superb and the fact he's Chelsea second-highest goal contributor this season is a testament to how well he has performed in his first season in the Prem at just 21. It will certainly be interesting to see how where Mount is at in 2-3 season time in respect of his development, whether you believe he's an overrated and protected player or one that is overperforming expectations, as undoubtedly this boy bleeds blue.


Written by - @ChelseaCentral_
Edit by - @KristenPulisic

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