Three stats that prove Coutinho is the best in the Premier League

Like or loathe them, Liverpool have been terrific so far this season. Jurgen Klopp’s men lept to the top of the Premier league table after 11 games on the weekend, with a comprehensive 6-1 beating of a decent Watford side enough to see them take advantage of previous slips by Manchester City and Arsenal annd move to the summit of the division for the first time since May 2014.

Much of the talk surrounding the Reds has centred on the fact this team is more reliant on the system than key individuals, but one man has stood out above all others at Anfield thus far: Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazil international has been breathtakingly brilliant since the very first ball of the season was kicked, and here are THREE stats that prove he may well be the best player in the division right now…

Contribution-per-minute

As the above graphic shows, no player in the Premier League thus far this season has scored or assisted with as much regularity as Coutinho. The Brazilian has been directly involved in a Liverpool goal once every 75 minutes of action, putting him ahead of the division’s top scorer, Diego Costa, Arsenal’s key man Alexis Sanchez and Manchester City super-sub Kelechi Iheanacho with penalty-kicks excluded.

What makes this all the more impressive is that the aforementioned trio have all played the vast bulk of their minutes centrally this term, with Pedro of Chelsea Coutinho’s nearest non-central rival in the order – and even his numbers are somewhat skewed by his appearances either being from the bench or during the Blues’ recent revival.

Interestingly, Coutinho ranks highly across Europe’s top five divisions, with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski all below him.

Key pass to assist ratio

couts-key-pass-assist

According to Squawka’s calculations, no player to have played more than 25 key passes this season has laid on more assists that Coutinho. With 25 key passes and five assists to his name, on average, he tees up a goal once every five key passes.

Dimitri Payet leads the way in terms of key passes with 35 already this season, but only four of those have been converted by team-mates, while Dusan Tadic has played 30, but is yet to assist. Of course, there is the factor of this score being dependent on players converting the chances supplied, but it still shows that Coutinho is, arguably, providing the greatest quality of service in the division.

Contribution to Liverpool’s goals

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With five goals and five assists in 11 games, Coutinho has been directly involved in 33.3% (10) of the Reds’ tally of 30 goals. That not only makes him the key contributor to the top-scoring team in the division, but also puts him ahead of rivals such as Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City (eight of 25) and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (eight of 26). Sanchez and Costa have contributed to 37% and 46% of their teams’ goals, but the pair have been deployed as central strikers while Coutinho has, although in a fluid system, been splitting the bulk of his time between the left flank and a central midfield role.

 


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