The top of the Twelve rankings are dominated by players from the big six clubs. But if we exclude these players who tops our statistics? This is certainly an interesting question for fans of teams lower down in the league, wondering whether their favourite star will be whisked away by one of the richer clubs during the summer transfers.
The biggest within Premier League transfer-that-never-was in the January window was Riyad Mahrez (not) to Manchester City. And the statistics show us exactly why. When we look at attack, Mahrez tops the table outside (click here to see the whole list).
Looking in detail at his contributions over his last ten games we see that Mahrez’s attacking points come primarily from delivering longer balls that change the direction of play and from his dribbles in and around the box.
Add his goal-scoring to that and City would have a flexible player that would fit in to several roles in their attacking system.
Both Aaron Mooy and Pascal Gross, in second and third place respectively, have helped their teams survive to fight another Premier League campaign, contributing a lot to attack. However, neither of these players’ styles is particular similar to what the top teams are looking for. If we look at Gross’ most important contributions, they are primarily very long passes made as Brighton counter-attack.
This isn’t to say that Gross couldn’t play a different role, but he isn’t doing the things that most big-six scouts are looking for.
Probably the most interesting player from a big-six-signing perspective is Abdoulaye Doucoure. He is dribbling and making passes in that very difficult area in front of the box.
This is typically the type of player Arsenal like a lot and he could be of interest to a post-Coutinho Liverpool too.
Lastly, Xerdhan Shaqiri marks himself out not only in his creative midfield play, but also his goal scoring. Here are his shots and goals this season.
It seems very unlikely that Shaqiri will be playing in the Championship next season.