Marcel Sabitzer: Comparing his 2022/23 league stats to the other midfielders at Manchester United
Manchester United have completed the signing of Bayern Munich’s Marcel Sabitzer on a six-month loan deal – but will he improve Erik ten Hag’s squad? We’ve had a look at his stats to find out.
Casemiro and Christian Eriksen both joined United last summer and have formed an impressive partnership in the middle of the park.
But after receiving news that Eriksen will be out until the end of April with an ankle injury, United acted swiftly and brought in Sabitzer on transfer deadline day.
“Manchester United expressed an interest in Marcel Sabitzer at the beginning of the week,” Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told their official website.
“Marcel told us he would like more playing time and he’s confident he will get that at United. After consultation with our coach Julian Nagelsmann, we accepted the request and have loaned Marcel to Manchester United until 30 June. We wish him every success for the second half of the season with United.”
Using stats from Whoscored, we’ve taken a look into Sabitzer’s league stats from this season and compared his numbers to Casemiro, Eriksen, Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes.
Note: we’ve not included Donny van de Beek due to his lack of Premier League minutes in 2022/23.
Goals and assists
Out of the six midfielders, Eriksen leads the way when it comes to direct goal contributions. He has registered one goal and seven assists in the Premier League at a rate of one every 187.3 minutes.
Fernandes also has eight direct goal contributions (four goals and four assists) this season and is averaging one every 213.7 minutes.
Despite being a defensive midfielder, Casemiro has still chipped in with two goals and three assists in the Premier League. The former Real Madrid star is averaging a direct goal contribution every 231.8 minutes during his debut season in England.
Fred hasn’t got an assist to his name this season but did score in home wins over Tottenham and Nottingham Forest, taking his minutes-per-goal involvement ratio to 287 minutes.
Sabitzer has registered one goal and one assist for Bayern in the Bundesliga, averaging a direct goal contribution every 313.5 minutes.
Finally, McTominay has scored in both the League Cup and the Europa League but is yet to register a goal or assist during 749 minutes of top-flight action this season.
Marcel Sabitzer has a knack for an outrageous long-range goal. Here he is against Hertha Berlin in 2021. The dip on this is very impressive.
— Karan Tejwani (@karan_tejwani26) January 31, 2023
Shots, dribbles, and retaining possession
Fred has been given more license to get forward under Ten Hag and is currently averaging 2.4 shots per 90 minutes in 2022/23.
Sabitzer follows closely behind with 2.2 shots per 90 while Fernandes, who is the top goalscorer from this group, has been taking 2.1 shots per 90 minutes in the Premier League.
Eriksen played in attacking midfield for Tottenham and Inter Milan but has been utilised in a deeper role for United this season and is averaging 1.4 shots per 90 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, the defensive midfielders are at the bottom of this list as Casemiro averages 1.3 shots per 90 minutes and McTominay is on 0.8 shots per 90.
But McTominay leads the way when it comes to dribbling, completing 1.0 successful dribbles per 90 minutes at a success rate of 58.8%. Fred follows closely behind with 0.6 successful dribbles per 90 minutes at a completion rate of 40%.
Fernandes has been averaging 0.5 successful dribbles at a success rate of 33.3% while Casemiro is on 0.3 per 90 at a slightly better completion rate of 37.4%.
Sabitzer and Eriksen are both averaging 0.1 successful dribbles per 90 minutes, although the Austria international has a success rate of 25% while Eriksen’s completion rate is 20%.
United’s new signing is excellent at maintaining possession and is dispossessed just 0.4 times per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga.
In comparison, Eriksen and Casemiro both get dispossessed 0.8 times per 90 league minutes while McTominay and Fred are on 1.1 per 90. Fernandes often loses possession as he gets dispossessed 1.3 per 90 minutes in 2022/23.
Sabitzer averages 65.2 passes per 90 minutes in the current season, which is more than Casemiro (62.5), Eriksen (57.8), Fred (56), Fernandes (47.8) and McTominay (31.6) have been making.
The Austria international also comes out on top for passing accuracy with a pass success rate of 87.7%. He’s then followed by Fred (82.9%), Eriksen (82.7%), McTominay (81.7%), Casemiro (78.6%) and Fernandes (78.2%).
But Fernandes has been the most creative midfielder out of the sextet, averaging 2.6 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League in 2022/23.
Fred is currently making 2.2 key passes per 90, which puts him ahead of Eriksen (1.5), Casemiro (1.2), Sabitzer (0.9) and McTominay (0.4).
Fernandes also makes 0.5 through balls per league game and that is more than Eriksen (0.2), Casemiro (0.2), McTominay (0.1), Fred (0.1) and Sabitzer (0.0) are completing in 2022/23.
Sabitzer is also willing to do the defensive work in the middle of the park and has been averaging 3.9 successful tackles per 90 minutes this season.
That puts him just behind Casemiro (4.2) but ahead of Fred (2.7), McTominay (2.3), Fernandes (2.3) and Eriksen (0.7).
McTominay comes out on top for clearances per 90 minutes. His total of 4.1 betters Casemiro’s 2.7, Sabitzer’s 1.3, Fernandes’ 1.1, Eriksen’s 1.1 and Fred’s 0.5.
The Scotland international also wins 2.4 aerial duels per 90 minutes, which puts him ahead of Casemiro (2.3), Sabitzer (1.1), Fernandes (0.6), Fred (0.6) and Eriksen (0.4).
In terms of interceptions, Fred leads the way with 1.7 per 90 minutes. Casemiro is second with 1.6 and he’s then followed by Sabitzer (1.4), McTominay (1.1), Fernandes (0.7) and Eriksen (0.5).
Casemiro wins a lot of free-kicks for United and he comes out on top for fouls drawn (1.3 per 90 minutes). That puts him ahead of Fernades (1.2), Fred (0.8), McTominay (0.6), Eriksen (0.4) and Sabitzer (0.1).
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