Son Heung-Min Ranks Above Messi, Ronaldo And Lewandowski As Europe’s Deadliest Finisher
Tottenham attacker Son Heung-min is the most clinical finisher in Europe - above the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski - according to one crucial stat.
The South Korea star has scored 61 goals for Spurs since the start of the 2016/17 season. Several players can top that total, including Barcelona's Messi (139) and Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski (134).
But a study in The Independent (using data from Understat.com) shows that Son is leading Europe when it comes to exceeding his xG. In other words: Son is converting more clinically - and missing fewer chances - than any other player.
A graph (below) shows that Son is scoring a massive 44% more goals than he should do, based on the chances he's getting. Incredible.
Next on Europe's most clinical finishers list is Son's teammate Harry Kane, who's scoring at a rate 21% above his xG.
Lionel Messi and Lazio's Ciro Immobile are similarly over-performing at 21%. Liverpool's Sadio Mane comes in fifth, scoring at 16% above xG.
What's fascinating is that Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo, who's just gone level as the highest goalscorer across football history, is only narrowly exceeding his expected-goal tally.
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Meanwhile, Lewandowski is actually scoring slightly fewer goals than he should do, based on the chances he's getting.
Proof, perhaps, that being a great goalscorer is more about getting yourself into great positions - even if you sometimes miss - than it is finishing every single chance you get.
However it seems the 28-year-old Son has been absolutely lethal in front of goal in the past four-and-a-half years. Which most Spurs fans can attest to, particularly this season as he's netted 12 in 16 Premier League games.
Whether it's his ability to finish from incredible solo runs or his seemingly telepathic understanding with Kane, the man just can't miss at the moment - as the stats suggest.
So, if you're a keeper and Son is through on goal against you, you may as well accept your fate: there's no one more likely to put the ball past you.
All imagery: PA Images/The Independent
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