There has been a lot of attention paid to a certain statistic concerning Hakan Calhanoglu, namely regarding the number of chances he creates.
Journalist and stat man Stephen Drennan has provided an excellent thread on Twitter in response to the surprising revelation that Calhanoglu ranks number one among players in the ‘top five’ European League for chances created with 98.
While this statistic is technically true, it is somewhat misleading as the Turkey international ranks 20th in Expected Assists (or xA), from we can infer that the chances he creates are not of a very high quality.
The top players in terms of chance creation from just open play are: Thomas Müller (81), Bruno Fernandes (75), Filip Kostic (63), Jack Grealish (60) and Sadio Mané (58). The top players in terms of xA from just open play are: Filip Kostic (11.58), Bruno Fernandes (10.77), Memphis Depay (10.15), Josip Ilicic (9.71) and Thomas Müller (9.38).
He adds that the top players in terms of big chance creation from just open play are: Filip Kostic (17), Bruno Fernandes (17), Josip Ilicic (16) then Iago Aspas, Memphis Depay, Federico Chiesa, Ángel Di María, Roberto Soriano and Rodrigo De Paul (all on 14).
Drennan adds: “There are many different ways people can try to measure a player’s creativity and often using just 1 metric can be misleading. Using solely ‘chances created’ without acknowledging chance quality or set pieces most of all.”
Finally, it is remarked that Calhanoglu created 42 chances from open play, an expected assists of just 3.4 and just 4 big chances created in open play.