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Manchester United’s Paul Pogba can prove he’s overtaken Kevin De Bruyne this season – Steven Railston

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba can prove he’s overtaken Kevin De Bruyne this season – Steven Railston

How does Ole Gunnar Solskjær measure the success of the midfielders under his management at Manchester United?

Well, the United boss does not use assists to take the verdict he explained after United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, when Paul Pogba was responsible for creating – once again – more of his side’s goals.

“What does an assist consist of? A square pass and Bruno [Fernandes] hits the top corner, or when Paul plays a nice pass and Mason [Greenwood] runs through, “said Solskjær.” Paul has always been a top passenger, one of the best in European football, he has probably gotten assists from not his best passes this season. I do not count assists, it’s all these social media. “

There is undoubtedly logic behind Solskjær’s argument, often supporters on ‘social media’ can attach too much value and value to assists in football, but therefore an advanced statistic has recently been invented to provide a more true measure of creativity.



Manchester United enjoyed a sensational transfer window that secured the acquisitions of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and … oh, yes, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be pressured to deliver silverware with his star-studded front line. We cover all angles in the club at MENNE and with our dedicated United newsletter you will never miss a headline. It’s free and there’s no spam.

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This advanced statistic is called Expected Assists (xA), and this metric provides a more accurate measure of a player’s ability to create chances because the increasingly popular statistic takes into account the likelihood of a given pass becoming a goal assistant.

In layman’s terms, xA still rewards players for getting the ball into the receiver, whether the chance is converted or not.

Given that, it’s interesting to analyze Pogba’s assist total this season. The Frenchman has started the new campaign in electric form, after registering seven assists across just four matches, and he is ready at the top of the Premier League’s assistant table.

However, Pogba has only played 1.1 xA this season and it is unusually rare and unlikely to make seven assists from such a low sum.

This means that Solskjær was actually right in writing down Pogba’s high assisting total, and the data also suggest that this is unsustainable in the long run, which means that it would be unrealistic to expect that this remarkable level of creation – in terms of assists – continues.

Despite this, Pogba’s reputation as one of the world’s finest midfielders is well deserved, and with seven assists to his name already this period, the Premier League assistance record currently shared by Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry will be achieved.

Do you think Pogba will break the record? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Manchester City’s De Bruyne equaled Henry’s record of 20 Premier League assists in a season in 2019/20, but Pogba can enter the division’s history books and assert himself over his peers by making 14 more assists across the remaining 34 games. .

As Solskjær touched on, there has been an element of happiness in the fact that Pogba has recorded seven assists so far, but he can now seize that opportunity by building on this foundation to be considered one of the Premier League’s best playmakers ever.

Pogbas xA data suggests he needs to increase his game to do so, but if he does, it will be an opportunity to enjoy.

xA date via Infogol.com.

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