MZ: How Leao’s stats compare to Son, Rashford, Vinicius Jr and other stars

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan forward Rafael Leao has not had the season who would have hoped for, but he has still managed to post numbers that place him above many great players from the same position. 

Numbers compiled by Milan Zone show that the Portuguese forward, whilst getting a lot of negative press throughout the season, is still posting numbers that are worthy of praise and respect.

Across all competitions so far, Leao has scored nine goals and registered eight assists, the latest goal being his opener in the 1-1 draw against Atalanta on Sunday night.

When compared to the following left-sided attacking players, he has got the most assists and the third-highest goals tally: Vincius Jr (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli), Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Jeremy Doku (Man City), Marcus Rashford (Man Utd), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) and Luis Diaz (Liverpool).

Every single one of those players have got less assists across all competitions than Leao, and only Vinicius Jr and Luis Diaz have scored more goals. Vini jr has got 12 and Diaz has got 10.

The next closest in terms of assists is Vini Jr who has seven, followed by Rashford who has got six so far this season.

Tags AC Milan Rafael Leao


  1. Leao is a top quality player. Yes, he does not always perform up to his potential, but who does anyway? Furthermore, he plays in every game, with not much rest, and the pressure is on him to create and score.

  2. I don’t get it. According to the majority of misunderstood geniuses at this forum, he is as good as useless, nothing but overrated and a show off.

    But the stats says differently?

      1. I think we see fewer goals this year under Leao’s name because we see more on Giroud Puli and RLC. Not necessarily in assists but in the space he makes drawing an extra defender.

        What excites me is the idea that next year he and Puli are bookends that present a “pick your poison” choice to opposing coaches. They’ve already begun swapping sides and rotating through the middle this year.

        Where I agree he is underdeveloped is off the ball. Esp in the defensive half. I wonder at his body type. He moves at top speed with the ball and I am guessing is gassed after big moves. Recovery is an issue if you are “wound right” like a sprinter in track.

        I think I’d like to see him at least jog the press and do it intelligently when. It is on. With Puli dropping back like he does, the midfield can shift Leao’s way and leave him available for the next counter.

    1. Agreed. When we won the scudetto in 21/22 Leao should have at least 20+ assist if giroud or other are more clinical.

      This season Leao is changing his playing style. Not sure why. Maybe he try to adapt with opposition always double or triple up against him. He created a lot of good chances with his pass , just wish we could been more clinical.

  3. Cherry picking two stats is not really representative of a player’s effectiveness. I would be curious to see a comparison of tackles won, successful dribbles, key passes, etc for a true comparison. It may end up still favoring Leao but just looking at goals and assists across different leagues, different tactics, different league positions, different objectives, does not really tell us anything.

    1. I think there was an older stat (forget which one it was) showing that he was the most creative player in serie A this season.
      Aside from that, I’m not a big fan of these comparisons across differents leagues as there are way too many parameters to take into account that stats simply don’t cover, but it should be noted that many of these players play with a superior midfield and deadlier strikers.

      1. Your last point about a better quality of teammate is very valid and further supports the inability to compare via selective stats. At this point, the eye test is a better evaluator.

    1. Simply because one disagrees with your view, it doesn’t make them an idiot. I for one, do think he is lazy. A quality player but incredibly passive in most phases of the game.

      1. For some people he’ll still be the MOTM if he gets an assist while standing still for 89 minutes and doing nothing else. Why? Because some of the stats say he did brilliantly.

        That’s Leao-fanbois for you.

    2. I’ll be the idiot.

      Body language varies culture to culture. I’m personally not an expert. Call ME the idiot. Spare the rest here please.

      Ability to make the _next_ effort is a function of the initial effort, body type and training load shape. While I know a bit about this stuff, I don’t know any of it specifically to Leao. I accept I am less than intelligent here. Please attack me as the idiot.

      Instructions on where to be tactically would also dictate effort. After three seasons seeing him pace the left touchline waiting to pounce, I assume he is following his coaches directions. I am, however _assuming_ so I’ll accept having made an ass of myself.

      With Ibra in the team the previous two seasons I can be pretty sure that laziness in training and games was unacceptable. But I cannot know so four strikes and I am out.

      See, I can’t even get a pitch count right. Pitches are a thing in soccer right?

      Damn I am an idiot. Please pardon me y’all.

    3. Being the designated idiot for Mr. K I’ll break that down Barney Style for anyone who might need help.

      Leao must be following coaches directions to funnel the offense through him.

      That said it makes me wonder if this isn’t why so many of us observe Giroud starved for service? Indeed it means Leao is hold up and link up from the left. All joking aside, that seems very atypical tactically I my limited experience. Any of yall with more years at this can comment? Thanks!

  4. Leao is absolutely World Class Talent! His issue has always been inconsistency.

    HOWEVER, it feels like Leao has been getting involved in the build up of the game a lot more than just receiving the ball on the flank and running at defenders.

    I seen him dropping deeper more often, running the ball up more centrally, even playing on the RT wind occasionally. Almost seems like Pioli is trying to make Leao more complete and bring his game up.

    Leao is definitely not a finished player yet and could improve his overall improvement, BUT he is still a very dangerous player, creating spaces for his team mates to exploit when he isn’t scoring or in the build up because he STILL gets double marked.

    “He doesn’t score enough”… OK he’s no Vini or CR7 but he is still developing and 9G/8A is respectable for a player who is always DOUBLE marked.

    I never understood the criticism he got. I don’t think people understand his contributions aside from Goals Scored.

  5. Milan Zone should have included the number of minutes played by those other players, and they should have also included Okafor. I mean, when you are using players like Doku and Mudryk who are bench players and have played half of the minutes leao has played, you might as well include Leao’s back up at Milan too.
    Coman has played almost 1000 minutes less than Leao, and he is out injured probably for the rest of the season.
    Luis Diaz was dealing with his father being kidnapped and still scored more goals.
    Son, 500 minutes less played, and they are playing him out of position this season as a striker because they didn’t replace Kane.
    Vini is also being played out of position in a 2 man forward line with Jude as a 10.
    Kvicha , Marrinelli, and Trashford are the only proper comparisons, and they have all had poor seasons just like Leao.
    How come the best LW in the world Mbappe wasn’t included? Isn’t PSG suppose to sign Leao to replace him?
    Leao has been mostly poor this season. No amount of nitpicked numbers is changing that fact. He just scored his 1st goal in serie A since September 27th 2023. Yesterday was February 25th 2024. Serie A season lasts 9.5 months and Leao couldn’t score a goal for over half of the duration of the season.
    Last night’s goal took his amazing serie A goal tally from 3 to whopping 4 goals. Congrats, you separated yourself on the Milan goalscorer list from Tomori, who is a defender, and has been out injured 3 months.
    Let’s not act like Leao hasn’t been criticized rightfully. He has been playing better the last few weeks, maybe a month, stat padding in Copa Italia and Europa league, but where was he the ther 6 months this season?

    1. I wouldn’t include Martinelli in that. Watching Arsenal week over week, the majority of play doesn’t run through him. In anything he plays second fiddle to Saka. Just like Pulisic plays second fiddle to Saka.

      These are just cherry picked numbers about production.

      Leao is a great player but for much of this year he hasn’t been playing like his old self. I blame Pioli for that horrible 4-3-3 debacle.

  6. I looked at his stats before the Atalanta game to see what all the fuss in the comments were about. Turns out he has the highest goal and shot scoring actions of the entire team and by a massive margin:

    Potential goals xG
    potential assists xA
    Key passes
    Key passes final third
    Potential assists through crosses
    Crosses per 90 into penalty area
    Dribbles per 90
    Successful dribbles per 90
    Successful dribbles in final third
    Take ons /successful per 90
    Successful take ons that lead to shot attempt
    Shots that create goal scoring actions for others
    Fouls drawn in final third
    Fouls drawn that leads to shots attempted by others
    Completed live-ball passes that lead to a shot attempt
    The previous 4 stats but with goal creating actions other than shots
    Penalty kicks won

    All of these stats and the next closest person is far away for each. And I’m not even “pro-Leao” but one gotta admit the offense still runs through him.

      1. Also the first two are passed-based xG and xA not overall. And the key pass into final third should be passes into final third. I also forgot to put crosses into penalty area per 90 which he also leads

    1. Ofc the offense runs through him. We got the amazing get the ball to leao tactics.

      Did you notice against atalanta theo didn’t overlap him. not even once.. poor kid was always isolated on the left. Still managed to send some crosses. Not that it mattered because nobody was following his movement..

      It’s ridiculous, when he wants to play nobody is there and when he’s (lets say ) slacking the others are more in the mood to combine.. ridiculous

  7. Rafa 2400 minutes, Vin has 1900. Rafa played 74 percent of all domestic games, Vin has 57%.

    Id love to see a point per minute average in competitive games instead. Totals can be skewed and not exactly a fair or equal basis comparison. Leao is still doing well regardless.

  8. Despite the STATS starring them directly in the face, the Leao haters will still come up with more excuses and BS to bash the poor kid. STATS don’t lie as they say but unfortunately the haters have predetermined their views on Leao and nothing you can say or prove with FACTS matters. They see what they want to see and hear what they wanna hear. Don’t worry lads Leao will be sold soon and when he does and is replaced by Okafor or another cheap option you will regret bashing the kid. If you think we have trouble scoring with Leao on the pitch, good luck playing without him drawing those double and triple teams lol. Fools

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.