Is Ji Dong-Won our best substitute striker? Have a read and find out.
With the season drawing to a close, it's been noted that we're in need of a striker. One who'll put the ball away with regularity, and take the chances afforded to them, no matter how rare that actually is.
However, it's a while until the summer transfer window opens, so I thought it best we take stock of our own inventory, and see on a statistical basis who is producing the goods and who isn't.
Some of the results may surprise...
Obviously it's easy to see that both Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner are the key men, you don't need to look too hard to work that out as they currently lead the scoring charts with 7 goals a piece. Behind them however it's very slim pickings as Ji Dong-Won, Connor Wickham and Fraizer Campbell have only combined for 4 league goals between them.
Of course it's slightly unfair to judge on this alone, as they've all played differing amounts of games. The likes of Sessegnon and Bendtner have been almost omnipresent with over 2000 minutes played each, while the latter three outlines above have all played less than 600 minutes each.
Goals To Minutes Played Ratio
Either way, it makes for a good barometer to see how often they hit the back of the net, the goals to minutes ratio of each puts surprisingly Ji Dong-Won in the lead with a goal every 196 minutes on average. While you might think Sessegnon would be next, it's actually Nicklas Bendtner with a goal every 302 minutes, while our Beninese striker comes in at 408 minutes, narrowly edging out Campbell (456 minutes) and Wickham (516 minutes).
Goals To Shots Taken Ratio
Sessegnon, for all the good work he does, does let himself down when it comes to taking the chances presented to him, scoring with on average only 1 in 10 shots. He and Bendtner lead the way with regards to shots taken, so this has to be expected a little, although the Danish striker sits on a slightly better looking 1 in 8. Both Ji (5.5) and Campbell (5) lead the cluster of strikers, while Connor Wickham, in his limited first team action is still the most profligate with only 1 in 15.
Shots To Minutes Ratio
All the strikers, even Wickham, remain fairly close when it comes to how often they shoot at goal. Sessegnon and Bendtner remain tied at a shot every 37 minutes, while Fraizer Campbell leads the pack with one every 30 minutes. Newcomers and youngsters Wickham and Ji get themselves involved on 35 and 34 minutes respectively.
With that meaning if we do start Bendtner and Sessegnon together, we're only going to get around 4-5 shots out of them each per game. The introduction of Fraizer Campbell to the wing, as many have wondered about might add a few more, and more goal-scoring opportunities.
Winning Goals & Equalising Goals
This area is a little bit bothersome for me. I've used the term 'winning goals' as the goal which gives us the lead in a game where we've held on. For example in a 3-1 win, the second goal would be the 'winner'. As for equalisers, these are goals which have drawn us level at any moment in a game.
We all fondly remember Ji Dong-Won's winning goal against Manchester City, but that remains his only points winning goal in a red and white shirt. Similarly Fraizer Campbell only has one, as does Bendtner. Stephane Sessegnon has given us all three points twice this season. Without those six points we'd be down in 15th position, just above struggling big-boys Aston Villa.
When it comes to equalising goals, only Bendtner and Sessegnon have hit them with one each. Meaning perennial substitutes such as Ji, Wickham and Campbell are having little to no impact when we're chasing the game.
Obviously it's nice to have strikers that actually score, but if they're not doing that, you'd like to see them contributing to goals rather than letting the game pass them by.
Stephane Sessegnon rules the roost on this front with 11 assists in the Premier League this season, while Nicklas Bendtner is way back on 5. Ji, Campbell and Wickham have contributed 3 between them, with the latter of that triumvirate adding none.
Contribution To Minutes Ratio
This is where it gets kind of interesting, taking into account either goals, or an assist as a 'contribution' to the team, we can find out who is making the most significant impact when they are on the pitch.
Of the two leading lights, Sessegon leads the way with a contribution every 158 minutes, however Bendtner, who shall we say 'divides opinion' on his work rate, is only 4 minutes behind Messi & Pele's lovechild on 162 minutes per contribution.
From the second group as they've almost come to be at this stage, Ji Dong-Won would appear to be the man you want to bring on if in search of something, with a contribution every 131 minutes, while Campbell and Wickham languish on 152 and 516 minutes respectively.
You don't need me to tell you Sessegnon is by far our best striker, and in all likelihood our best player, but it's certainly interesting to see that Nicklas Bendtner is besting him, or not far behind in every other category. For all people want to dismiss the on-loan Arsenal man, he's bringing the goods when called upon, and that cannot be denied.
Interestingly from the regular crop of substitutes, Ji Dong-Won seems to be the one most likely to do anything, with more contribution and more goals than Campbell and Wickham, despite playing considerably less than both of these two so far this season.
Overall though the fact remains that a much more clinical striker is needed, as while the contributions are good, they aren't particularly stellar, or becoming of a team who want to remain in the top ten, nevermind challenge for a top six position.