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Finding the best free kick takers in the Premier League

It is quite a difficult task to measure the quality of free kicks through numbers. The factors that are used to measure the quality of a free kick includes power, curve, dip, placement etc. The 2019/20 Premier League season introduced us to some very good free kicks including Aaron Cresswell’s goal against Manchester United, Harry Wilson’s goal against Manchester City, etc. The visualisation below identifies the players who are assigned the job of taking free kicks regularly and their success rate.

Harry Wilson, who was on loan at Bournemouth from Liverpool, attempted the most direct free kicks per 90 minutes (0.61) followed by Marcus Rashford of Manchester United. The 22-year-old attacker attempted 0.54 direct free kicks per 90 minutes, only slightly ahead of James Ward-Prowse (0.53) from Southampton. However, Ward-Prowse has the third best conversion (59.09%) rate from direct free kicks in the league only behind Connor Hourihane and David Silva.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, unsurprisingly, has the most direct free kick attempts for a defender with 0.37 attempts per 90 minutes. Lucas Digne, Aaron Cresswell and David Luiz are the other defenders with the most direct free kick attempts per 90 among the top 25. David Luiz has the best conversion rate among defenders with 57.14 of his free kicks hitting the target.