Talking Numbers: Measuring Anthony Martial’s Season

Manchester United are currently on the international break. The players are now all around the world and that might be a good time to take a few looks back in these coming days. There is no club football, therefore it could be good to make some reflections on what we have seen in the opening three months of the season.

And while we are mentioning international break, let’s take a look at a player who is now back to the national team. Anthony Martial has not been part of the France squad in Russia when they became world champions and he was not called up for the matches in September and October. Now, after a series of good performances, he is back with the French squad.

Let’s see his numbers this season.

Efficient Goalscorer

Anthony Martial is having a really good goalscoring season. He is on seven goals scored in the biggest competitions – six in Premier League and one in Champions League. In the corresponding competitions last season he scored 10 goals, the year before that he had five, albeit it was Europa League as the continental competition back then.

Now, he is very close to already surpassing the 2017-18 season and he has done very well to get to these numbers. His seven goals in 905 minutes mean he has been scoring incredible 0.70 goals per 90 minutes on the pitch, which would be a great number for any striker, let alone winger.

However, his efficiency is what is the most striking. Because, Martial has been making just 2.09 shots per 90 minutes. He does not shoot often. And that might mean two things – first, he truly is efficient this season and his finishing skills could be improving and, second, that might be bad news. Players on low volumes of shots made could just have hot spells and then regress to the mean. If he starts shooting more often from similar positions, these goals should continue coming.

The Frenchman has made 21 shots in these 905 minutes and he has 52.38 percent of them going on target. Not only that, even crazier part is that one in every three of his shots is a goal this season. A goal conversion percentage of 33.33 is insane and will definitely fall down in the coming months, but everything around 20 percent is still superb goal conversion ratio.

He Is On A Hot Streak

And this is the important part. He is on a hot streak and he could regress to the mean. In Premier League, Martial scored six goals, but his expected goals are at just 2.45. And that is telling. He is seriously overperforming his xG and that could mean he is just in great goalscoring form that might not continue in such a tempo.

However, if his shot volume improves with current 0.175 xG per shot, that could be avoided. Man United in general have to get into better chances more often and Martial should be one of the players on the end of those chances. After all, his shot locations are better this season, as he is taking more shots from inside of the box.

Martial is currently creating 1.59 chances per 90 which is pretty decent, though not spectacular. He has been making 1.79 successful dribbles per 90 and with more attacking freedom, even that could improve. Martial is good and pacey with the ball at his feet and ball progression into final third could be very important for this team.

In the end, this is a promising start to the season for Martial and with some tweaks, this could easily be his best campaign in England.

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