Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann have been lighting up their respective divisions this season, with Chelsea’s Belgian winger pulling apart Premier League defences and Atletico Madrid’s Frenchman running riot in La Liga.
As both men appear to be reaching the top of their game, we’ve put them head to head to see who’s made a brighter start to their league season.
As for attacking players, they’ve been judged on passing, goalscoring, and chance creation.
Arguably, the key to being a top winger is having the ability to create scoring opportunities and split defences apart with passes that set up the striker to score. In the Premier League this season, Hazard has made 229 forward passes, with Griezmann making 156. Therefore, the Chelsea winger has apparently made a bigger impact in the final third so far this season.
What’s interesting is that when it comes to making key passes, the two players have played almost the same number.
A key pass is one that directly sets up a teammate for a goalscoring opportunity, and Hazard has played 13 of those, to Griezmann’s nine. When taking this into account, Hazard’s 73 more forward passes seem almost irrelevant as Griezmann has created just four less crucial chances.
Perhaps the most important stat the players should be compared on then is assists. Scoring goals are what arguably wins games, and it’s usually down to the striker to put the ball into the back of the net, but they can’t do that without the service from players behind them.
A player is credited with an assist when he makes the pass that directly sets up a goal, and so far this season, Hazard has made none. Griezmann however, has two assists.
Another important part of being a good winger is having the ability to take defenders on and beat them in one on one situations. In the league so far this season, Hazard has successfully taken on 34 opponents. Compared to Griezmann, he’s clearly the winner here, as the Frenchman has only successfully beaten nine men. Hazard’s 34 successful take-ons gives him 72% success, compared to Griezmann’s 50% success rate. When it comes to beating defenders, Chelsea’s man is the clear winner.
For attacking players, scoring goals should always be a high priority, even if it’s not the primary focus. Hazard has netted three league goals for Chelsea this term, but this time, it’s Griezmann who’s on top, as he’s already scored six goals in La Liga this season.
Arguably, Chelsea fans won’t be too disheartened by the Belgian’s lack of goals so far, because Diego Costa is currently the league’s top scorer, so it’s not as the team are struggling in front of goal.
When judged on these key areas of shooting, passing and chance creation, it’s clear the two players have made similar starts in their league campaigns. However, as Griezmann has scored twice as many goals as Hazard so far, it could be argued that as it stands, he’s a slightly more rounded player.
Of Course, there’s plenty of time for one player to shine over the rest of the season, and the comparison at the end of the term may be very different.