Ousmane Dembele has completed his switch to Barcelona but the France winger must shine at Camp Nou to prevent his dream move from being weighed down by unhelpful comparisons.
The 20-year-old joins Ernesto Valverde’s squad from Borussia Dortmund on the back of Neymar’s world-record €222million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
It means the vacancy in Barcelona’s attacking trident alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez is his to fill, but how does Dembele compare to the Brazil superstar?
Using Opta data, we will attempt to find out.
– Neymar made 45 appearances in all competitions last season, compared to Dembele’s 49 but chalked up more playing minutes (3971 to 3388).
– Dembele’s tally of 10 goals was doubled by Neymar (20).
– Neymar’s more prolific return meant a ratio of a goal every 198.6 minutes.
– Despite having 46 more shots (140 to 94), Neymar still boasted superior shot accuracy (54.5 per cent) and shot conversion rate (14.3 per cent) to Dembele.
– In terms of assists, the two men were closer, with Neymar shading matters by 21 to 20. The Brazilian also created 129 chances to Dembele’s 100.
– Barcelona’s famed passing style helped Neymar to dominate on this metric, with 2201 passes to Dembele’s 1235 at a superior accuracy (76.6 per cent to 68.7 per cent).
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) August 7, 2017
A more favourable comparison can be found when aligning Neymar’s debut season at Barcelona with Dembele’s last term – the Frenchman’s first in the Bundesliga after signing from Rennes for €15m.
– In terms of assists and chances created, Dembele’s stats come out on top, with Neymar laying on 11 goals in 2013-14 and creating only 56 opportunities.
– However, in 41 appearances and fewer playing minutes (2842) than Dembele, Neymar still managed five more goals at 189.5 per minute, shooting more frequently and more accurately with a better conversion rate.
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