FOOTBALL LAB: Son Heung-Min is the top-flight's best finisher

FOOTBALL LAB: Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min is the Premier League’s most effective finisher while Jack Grealish beats Kevin de Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes as the top-flight’s most creative player

  • This dramatic and open Premier League season is reaching its half-way stage 
  • Sportsmail looks at the half term awards for the best players based on stats 
  • Son Heung-Min, Jack Grealish, Nick Pope and Leeds United have all impressed 

The new year is here and the PL season is almost at the midway point. 

So it’s time for some half-term awards. Using advanced metrics like Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Assists (xA), which assess the likelihood of shots and passes resulting in goals, we can see which players have been the sharpest in front of goal and the best at the back.


Son Heung-Min has been the most prolific finisher (min 5 goals). From the chances he has had, the average player would be expected to score just five. 

New Liverpool signing Diogo Jota is the only other player to score more than double the goals they would be expected to. 

Spurs’ Son Heung-Min has proven to be the best finisher in the Premier League this season


Jack Grealish narrowly pips the Manchester duo Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes. 

Grealish is creating chances that would have a 43 per cent chance of resulting in a goal every game, a league high. 

Grealish also leads the league in chances created. Riyad Mahrez can count himself unluckly that more of his passes have not been finished off. 

Jack Grealish pips Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes as the league’s most creative player


Nick Pope is the top flight’s best shot-stopper, conceding fewer than any other keeper based on the number of goals they would be expected to from the quality of shots they faced. 

Pope has conceded 14 goals (excluding own goals) but would be expected to concede 19 from the shots he has faced. 

Emiliano Martinez, Hugo Lloris, Alphonse Areola and Karl Darlow have also performed above expectation.

Nick Pope is the Premier League’s best goalkeeper based on Expected Goals Conceded


Leeds press more than any other team. 

On average they allow opponents to attempt only 6.7 passes before they perform a defensive action (PPDA). 

Should Leeds be able to sustain this pressure throughout the season then having a PPDA this low would be an impressive feat. 

Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United are the most effective pressing team so far this season

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