The purpose of this post is to provide an evaluation of Edin Dzeko's overall performance in the premier league so far this season by means of a comparison with Robin van Persie (RVP). The latter - a world class striker who currently holds the Golden Boot and who is this season's leading scorer - provides a natural benchmark for comparison, albeit a formidable one! The statistics are taken from the EPL Index Stats Centre (as of 14 Feb).
Time spent on the field:
In the light of the differential treatment of the two players by their managers, any meaningful evaluation must take account of time actually on the field and invoke "minutes per x" comparisons.
ED: 11 starts (taken off in 6 of those games) + 12 appearances as a substitute. In total, he has played for 1190 minutes.
RVP: 23 starts (taken off in only 2 of those games) + 3 appearances as a substitute. In total, he has played for 2116 minutes.
ED: 12 goals at 99 mins per goal
RVP: 19 goals at 111 mins per goal
Clear-cut chance conversion rate:
ED: 5 offsides at 238 mins per offside
RVP: 31 offsides at 62 mins per offside
ED: 1.8 mins per touch with 0.04% unsuccessful
RVP: 1.8 mins per touch with 0.03% unsuccessful
Ball overrun (i.e., touched too far ahead): ED: 0 and RVP: 3
Chances Created from Open Play:
ED: created 21 chances at 57 mins per chance
RVP: created 27 chances at 77 min per chance
NB: Since RVP regularly takes corners and free kicks, the above understates RVP's creative contribution to United: it appears from the EPL stats that he also created 19 chances from set-pieces.
Tackles and Duels:
ED: won 100% of tackles 29% of ground duels 47% of aerial duels
RVP: won 78% of tackles 49% of ground duels 45% of aerial duels
ED: 12 clearances (11 with head) at 99 mins per clearance with 58% successful
RVP: 31 clearances (24 with head) at 68 mins per clearance with 42% successful
By any objective standards, Edin Dzeko has had a remarkably good season so far. His overall performance has been particularly impressive given that he has manifestly not enjoyed the full support of Roberto Mancini. On more than one occasion, it has been left to David Platt to highlight the "heavy goals" that Edin has scored since his arrival.