Manchester United are set to have two new attacking weapons at their disposal, with deals to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan likely to be completed by the end of the week.
Free agent striker Ibrahimovic, 34, has long been linked with United after opting to leave Paris Saint-Germain following a prolific four-year spell in France.
Attacking midfielder Mkhitaryan, meanwhile, has been swiftly targeted by new manager Jose Mourinho as United pounce for the attacking midfielder who only has one year left on his Borussia Dortmund contract in a reported £33million deal.
Here, with the help of Opta data, we analyse the performances of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan during 2015-16 compared to United’s current crop of attacking talent.
GOALS: INCREDIBLE IBRAHIMOVIC
Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan enjoyed magnificent campaigns in front of goal last season, scoring 73 between them in all competitions, with no United players coming close to bettering their individual tallies.
50 – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
23 – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
17– Anthony Martial
15 – Wayne Rooney
10 – Juan Mata
8 – Marcus Rashford
7 – Memphis Depay
6 – Jesse Lingard
5 – Ander Herrera
4 – Marouane Fellaini
ASSISTS: MAGIC MKHITARYAN
While their goals will attract the attention, Ibrahimvoic and Mkhitaryan also look likely to provide United with a magnificent creative threat – they laid on a combined 44 goals for their PSG and Dortmund team-mates last season. Again, none of United’s options came close.
26 – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
18 – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
9 – Juan Mata
8 – Anthony Martial
6 – Wayne Rooney
6 – Ander Herrera
4 – Jesse Lingard
3 – Memphis Depay
2 – Marcus Rashford
1 – Marouane Fellaini
CHANCES CREATED: MKHITARYAN UNMATCHED
An assist can only be recorded if a team-mate is there to finish off your passes, but Mkhitaryan’s stunning stats in the chances created category back up his inventive credentials, laying on an astonishing total of 136 opportunities , while Ibrahimovic again fares well.
136 – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
95 – Juan Mata
69 – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
60 – Anthony Martial
57 – Wayne Rooney
35 – Ander Herrera
34 – Jesse Lingard
34 – Memphis Depay
22 – Marouane Fellaini
13 – Marcus Rashford
SHOT CONVERSION: RUTHLESS RASHFORD
Marcus Rashford was the only player to record a better shot conversion rate than Ibrahimovic, although the former Sweden star still scored with almost one in four of his efforts, with Mkhitaryan’s record coming in at a credible one in five.
38.1 per cent – Marcus Rashford
24.3 per cent – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
23.6 per cent – Anthony Martial
19.3 per cent – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
19.2 per cent – Wayne Rooney
17.9 per cent – Ander Herrera
17.5 per cent – Juan Mata
13.0 per cent – Jesse Lingard
10.3 per cent – Marouane Fellaini
9.0 per cent – Memphis Depay
MINUTES PLAYED: FIRST-RATE FITNESS
Only Anthony Martial and Juan Mata came close to the incoming duo when it came to time spent on the pitch last season, a boost as Mourinho attempts to put together a settled side in swift fashion.
4383 – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
4144 – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
4128 – Anthony Martial
4084 – Juan Mata
3491 – Wayne Rooney
2881 – Jesse Lingard
2465 – Memphis Depay
2349 – Ander Herrera
2211 – Marouane Fellaini
1413 – Marcus Rashford
MINUTES PER GOAL INVOLVEMENT: ALL IN AN HOUR’S WORK FOR IBRA
Perhaps the fairest measure of attacking effectiveness is minutes per goal involvement. This category combines minutes on the pitch with goals and assists to ascertain how often a player contributes to a goal.
The records of Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan are far more impressive than that of any of United’s players – highlighting the instant impact Mourinho hopes to gain from their arrivals.
Ibrahimovic contributed either a goal or assist once every 60.9 minutes over the course of the campaign, with Mkhitaryan also producing at least one per game.
60.9 minutes – ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC
89.4 minutes – HENRIKH MKHITARYAN
141.3 minutes – Marcus Rashford
165.1 minutes – Anthony Martial
166.2 minutes – Wayne Rooney
213.5 minutes – Ander Herrera
214.9 minutes – Juan Mata
246.5 minutes – Memphis Depay
288.1 minuets – Jesse Lingard
442.2 minutes – Marouane Fellaini