Mason Greenwood is leading the Premier League in goals to expected goals ratio, a key statistic in measuring goalscoring prowess, by a huge distance.
Expected goals (xG) is a figure calculated for each player which tells us what the average number of goals scored is for the chances he has had. It does this by rating the easiness of scoring for each shot taken, using the player’s position on the pitch, type of assist and other variables.
In Greenwood’s case, based on the shots he has taken in the Premier League so far, he should have scored 2.4 goals: his xG is 2.4.
The Expected Goals ratio (xGD) is then the number of goals actually scored to the number expected. Greenwood has scored eight goals, which is 3.3 times higher than his expected goals of 2.4.
The Athletic notes that ‘Of the 28 players to score eight or more Premier League goals, Kevin De Bruyne has the next best ratio. His 11 goals have come from an xG of 6.8 — a ratio of 1.62.’
Simply put, this means that Mason Greenwood is twice as likely to score a goal from any given position than the next best Premier League player.
source: The Athletic
Anthony Martial is also on the list at number six, showing the lethality of United’s forwards.
In Greenwood’s case, as The Athletic points out, because the has not played as much football as others and his xG is low, it could be a hard statistic to sustain over a higher number of matches.
On the other hand, if he can keep it up the ratio, imagine what his goal tally would be if his xG could also be raised from the current 2.4 level. For example, players on the above list not playing in the centre forward position, such as Kevin de Bruyne and Willian, have xG’s of 6.8. If Greenwood had had that number of chances, he’d already be on 22 goals for the season in the Premier League alone.
Indeed, The Athletic believes that Greenwood can reach twenty goals this season.
‘As Rashford became United’s first academy graduate to hit 20 goals in a season since Paul Scholes in 2002-03, it is not too fanciful to think Greenwood might be able to replicate,’ the outlet notes.
‘He needs five more and United could have 11 further matches should they reach FA Cup and Europa League finals.
‘Martial included, it would mean three United players reaching 20 goals in a season for the first time since 1964-65 when Denis Law (39), David Herd (28), and John Connelly (20) all reached that marker.’
You certainly wouldn’t bet against it happening.
— Mason Greenwood (@masongreenwood) July 4, 2020
18-year-old Mason Greenwood has been setting the world on fire for Manchester United this season. But how much do you know about other teenage stars that have played for the Red Devils over the years? Take our quiz below to find out.