Premier League stats: Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jamie Vardy, Kevin Keegan

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Alexis Sanchez: five of his best Arsenal goals

Who is getting the better player?

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez is has joined Manchester United and Henrikh Mkhitaryan is heading the other way in a swap.

Looking at Premier League data since Sanchez arrived at the Gunners in 2014, and Mkhitaryan joined United in 2016, the former scores with more regularity while the latter delivers assists at a quicker rate.

But what else do the stats tell us? And how do Sanchez and Mkhitaryan compare to players already at the two clubs?

Mkhitaryan and Sanchez

First, let's take a look at the goalscoring stats.

Shooting accuracyShot conversion rateMins per goal

Sanchez's goal-to-game ratio is far better than Mkhitaryan's - but the Armenia international edges ahead in shooting accuracy.

He actually gets more shots on target than Sanchez, but the Chile forward converts more of his attempts into goals.

Sanchez wins this one, then.

But when it comes to providing chances and combining with team-mates in attack, it is a difference picture - albeit not drastically so.

Passing accuracy in final thirdMins per chance createdMins per assist

We can see Mkhitaryan has been assisting goals at a quicker rate than Sanchez.

But we should also consider that, even if Mkhitaryan beats him on that one, Sanchez is still a more prolific creator of chances - and sometimes it's not your fault if your team-mate misses.

So, how about what both teams have got already?

Here are the same stats we've looked at so far applied to Arsenal and Manchester United's seasons to date.

We've compared attacking players with a minimum of 10 league appearances, sorted alphabetically.

Manchester United

Shooting accuracyShot conversion rateMins per goal
Jesse Lingard58.33%29.2%154.9
Anthony Martial63.64%40.9%120.6
Juan Mata56.25%18.7%445.6
Henrikh Mkhitaryan50%10%931
Paul Pogba35.71%10.7%408
Marcus Rashford51.72%13.8%327.2

Bonus stat - Martial's shot conversion rate of 40.9% is the highest of any forward in the Premier League this season - followed by Huddersfield's Laurent Depoitre (38.46%) and Everton duo Wayne Rooney (37.04%) and Oumar Niasse (35.29%).

Passing accuracy in final thirdMins per chance createdMins per assist
Jesse Lingard82.91%57271
Anthony Martial76.36%43.4155.1
Juan Mata79.23%40.5445.6
Henrikh Mkhitaryan76.1%33.25186.2
Paul Pogba75.38%40.8136
Marcus Rashford66.04%68.9261.8


Shooting accuracyShot conversion rateMins per goal
Olivier Giroud42.86%28.57%90
Alex Iwobi69.57%8.7%465
Alexandre Lacazette72.5%22.5%189.5
Mesut Ozil47.62%19.05%383.5
Alexis Sanchez56.52%15.22%215.3
Danny Welbeck58.33%25%234.6

It is worth noting that Giroud has only started one of his 15 Premier League appearances this season - his four goals have come in 270 minutes off the bench.

Passing accuracy in final thirdMins per chance createdMins per assist
Olivier Giroud61.76%51.40 assists
Alex Iwobi81.23%44.3465
Alexandre Lacazette67.88%74.2568.6
Mesut Ozil82.61%23.9255.6
Alexis Sanchez66.1%29.5502.3
Danny Welbeck77.24%78.2704

So there you have it.

Each team already has players who look more impressive on paper - which is perhaps another reason why the transfer could be good for both clubs.

Vardy's penalty party

Jamie Vardy goes down in the box
Jamie Vardy was brought down in the box by Watford's Molla Wague - and the England striker converted

No player has won more Premier League penalties than Jamie Vardy since the Leicester striker arrived in England's top flight in August 2014.

In fact, he's close to the record - only one player has won more spot-kicks in the time since statisticians Opta began collecting data on tumbles in the box in the 2003-04 season.

That is former Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham and England striker Andy Johnson - who earned 14 Premier League penalties. Johnson made his top-flight debut in 2004 and retired in 2015.

Most penalties won in Premier League since 2003-04
Andy Johnson14
Jamie Vardy13
Luis Suarez13
Gabriel Agbonlahor13
Raheem Sterling12
Ashley Young12
Peter Crouch11
Darren Bent11
Aaron Lennon10
David Silva10

Vardy was awarded a spot-kick for the third time this season as Leicester beat Watford 2-0 on Saturday - and a few hours later Raheem Sterling moved on to four penalties won as Manchester City beat Newcastle 3-1.

That puts Sterling top of the rankings this term - and, as you can see from the table above, he might yet rival Vardy for the overall crown, too.

Most penalties won this Premier League season
Raheem Sterling4
Dominic Calvert-Lewin3
Jamie Vardy3
Wilfried Zaha3
Aaron Ramsey2
Glenn Murray2
Aaron Lennon2

Guardiola's Keegan moment?

"When you do that with footballers like he said about Leeds, and when you do things like that about a man like Stuart Pearce...."

Know what's coming next? Kevin Keegan's 1996 quote was voted the most memorable of the Premier League era in 2012, its 20th anniversary year.

Kevin Keegan
Keegan resigned as Newcastle boss in January 1997 - eight months after his side blew the league title

His rant came after then-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Newcastle had it easy, saying teams weren't trying hard enough against Keegan's Newcastle side.

"I've kept really quiet but I'll tell you something, he went down in my estimations when he said that. We have not resorted to that. You can tell him now, we're still fighting for this title and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something," Keegan continued.

"And I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it."

On 20 January 1996, Newcastle were 12 points clear after 24 matches, albeit having played a game more than their rivals - but they went on to lose the title to United.

And on 20 January 2018? After 24 matches, Manchester City were 12 points clear of their Old Trafford neighbours...

Willian just keeps going

The Premier League player with the highest number of current consecutive appearances is Chelsea midfielder Willian - he featured for a 50th successive time as they beat Brighton 4-0 on Saturday.

How does that compare to the rest of the league?

Well, there are a few players who are not too far behind...

Consecutive appearances
Willian (Chelsea)50
Alfie Mawson (Swansea)48
Eric Dier (Tottenham)46
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)40
Hector Bellerin (Arsenal)39

But all of the current crop have got a long way to go before they can think about breaking into the all-time top five. Former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard leads the way...

Consecutive appearances
Frank Lampard (Chelsea)164
Matt Holland (Charlton)115
Wayne Bridge (Southampton)113
Darren Fletcher (Stoke)112
Alan Shearer (Blackburn)108

Dave continues to save

David de Gea
David de Gea picked up his fifth clean sheet in a row in Saturday's win at Turf Moor

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea kept a 14th clean sheet of the league season in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Burnley.

That is more than any other goalkeeper in Europe's 'top five' leagues (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and England).

There is only one Englishman who figures close to the top of the rankings - Burnley stopper Nick Pope.

Clean sheets
David de Gea (Manchester United)14
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)12
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)12
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)12
Steve Mandanda (Marseille)11
Pepe Reina (Napoli)10
Benjamin Lecomte (Montpellier)10
Ederson (Manchester City)10
Alphonse Areola (PSG)9
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)9
Anthony Lopes (Lyon)9
Samir Handanovic (Inter Milan)9
Nick Pope (Burnley)9
Ivan Cuellar (Leganes)9
Petr Cech (Arsenal)9
Alisson (Roma)9

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