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Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis

In this data analysis piece, we will be looking out for the best central midfielders currently playing in the Elu Eliteserien using statistics.

The best central midfielders are the most complete ones as modern managers are hugely dependent on their central midfielders for the team’s successful tactics.

In our analysis, we will be considering both the attacking as well as defensive attributes. Definitely passing is the most important trait for a midfielder so that won’t be missed for sure. We will be looking at players who have registered at least 800 minutes of football in the current league season. Also, only proper central midfielders are taken into consideration i.e. no makeshift options included.

We will shortlist the best options according to the statistics and data analysis. In this piece, we look into the players who might make the jump to the 1st tier soon. Let’s dive deep into the analysis.

Profiling the players

The most important thing for any player or position in football is probably to identify their best-suited abilities. Different players playing in the same position will have different abilities both offensively and defensively. Likewise, a central midfielder will show both defensive as well as offensive capabilities. In order to account for the profile of the CMs that we are looking into we compare them with respect to how well they perform their attacking and defensive actions. We can see the plot in the image below that compares the CMs in the top division with this regard.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old central midfielder from Molde. He recorded 4.78 successful attacking actions per game and 10.34 successful defensive actions per game in the league. He has also won his duels at the rate of 52.4%.

Sander Kartum – The 26-year old central midfielder from Kristiansund. He recorded 2.9 successful attacking actions per game and 11.74 successful defensive actions per game in the league. He has also won his duels at the rate of 51%.

Amer Ordagić – The 28-year old central midfielder from Sandefjord. He recorded 2.5 successful attacking actions per game and 9.26 successful defensive actions per game in the league. He has also won his duels at the rate of 49.33%.

Olaus Skarsem – The 23-year old midfielder from Rosenborg. He averages 3.52 successful attacking actions per game and 8.19 successful defensive actions per game in the league this season and also won his duels at the rate of 43.53%.

Defensive Abilities

The next thing we look at is how the players perform in the defensive aspect of the game. We compare the players with respect to their defensive duels and interceptions stats that they have recorded per game over the course of this season.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Vebjørn Hoff – The 26-year old midfielder from Rosenborg. He recorded 8.19 defensive duels per 90 with a success rate of 57.2%. He also recorded 4.33 PAdj interceptions per game in the league last season.

Filip Jørgensen – The 19-year old midfielder from Odd. He recorded 7.68 defensive duels, the highest among the midfielder in the league, with a win rate of 57.6%. He has also recorded 6.14 PAdj interceptions per game in the league last season.

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old recorded 9.55 defensive duels per 90 with a success rate of 52.4%. He also recorded 4.95 PAdj interceptions per game in the league last season.

Sander Kartum – The Kristiansund central midfielder recorded 9.65 defensive duels per 90 in the league last season with a 51% success rate. He also made 5.53 PAdj interceptions per game in the league.

Anton Salétros – The 25-year old central midfielder from Sarpsborg. He recorded 7.84 defensive duels per game in the league last season with a success rate of 52%. He made only 3.35 PAdj interceptions per game in the league which is just around the average level.

Progressive passing

Midfielders these days are expected to be very expansive on the ball and also help the team to progress the ball over the different thirds of the pitch. CMs these days are also tasked with this and are expected to be very direct and technically sound on the ball like Toni Kroos, Thiago, etc.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Amidou Diop – The 30-year old midfielder from Kristiansund. He recorded 6.2 progressive passes per 90, completing it at a rate of 79.6%. While making 1.6 progressive passes for every 10 passes he attempted.

Anton Salétros – The 25-year old central midfielder recorded 7.23 progressive passes per 90, completing it at a rate of 75.7%. He made 1.56 progressive passes for every 10 passes he attempted.

Etzaz Hussain – The 29-year old midfielder from Molde. He recorded 8.24 progressive passes per game in the league with a success rate of 78.2%. He also made 1.5 progressive passes for every 10th pass he attempted.

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old recorded 7.35 progressive passes per game in the league with a success rate of 83.5%. He also made 1.52 progressive passes for every 10 passes he attempted.

Ball carrying abilities

The ability to carry the ball has always been very crucial to every player and has been seen as an important trait for a very long time. So CMs having a very good ability to carry the ball are very valuable and play a similar impact to those who play progressive passes.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Osame Sahraoui – The 20-year midfielder/winger from Valerenga. He recorded 3.95 progressive runs per 90 in the league last season. He also made 7.93 dribbles per 90 with a success rate of 55%.

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old recorded 3 progressive runs per 90 in the league while making 4.47 dribbles per game with a 76% success rate.

Ulrik Saltnes – The 29-year old midfielder from Bodo/Glimt. He recorded 2.96 progressive runs per 90 in the league and 3.69 dribbles per game with a success rate of 52.3%.

Morten Konradsen  – The 25-year old midfielder from Bodo/Glimt. He has recorded 3.63 progressive runs per 90 and 3.63 dribbles per game with a success rate of 46.5%.

Jesper Isaksen – The 22-year old midfielder from Kristiansund. He recorded 2.2 progressive runs and 3.76 dribbles per game in the league last season with a success rate of 65.85%.

Playmaking

CMs are also tasked with moving the ball to the final third and helping the team to ensure that they can go to the final phase of the play.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old recorded 7.66 passes into the final third and 1.67 smart passes per 90 in the league last season. He also completed his smart passes at a rate of 36%.

Etzaz Hussain – The Molde midfielder averaged 9.35 passes into the final third and 0.92 smart passes per game with a success rate of 25%.

Tobias Christensen – The 21-year old midfielder from Valerenga. He recorded 5.87 passes into the final third and 1.62 smart passes per game with an accuracy of 48.78%.

Sivert Mannsverk – The 19-year old midfielder from Molde. He recorded 7.49 passes into the final third and 0.73 smart passes per game with an accuracy of 55.5%.

Chance creation

The final phase of play and potentially the most crucial aspect from an attacking sense is the creation of chances for their team’s forwards. This is where a lot of CMs, especially the attacking ones are judged based on their ability to consistently create chances.

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Anton Salétros – The 25-year old central midfielder recorded 0.87 key passes per 90 and 0.18 xA per game. He also made 1.52 shot-assists per game in the league last season.

Emil Breivik – The 21-year old recorded 0.68 key passes per 90 and 0.2 xA per game. He also made 1.06 shot-assists per game in the league last season.

Osame Sahraoui – The Valerenga midfielder has recorded 0.58 key passes per 90 and 0.21 xA per game. He also made 0.97 shot-assists per game in the league last season.

Morten Konradsen  – The 25-year old midfielder has averaged 0.51 key passes per 90 and 0.15 xA per game. He also made 1.1 shot-assists per game in the league last season.

Hugo Vetlesen – The 22-year old midfielder from Bodo/Glimt. He averaged 0.58 key passes per 90 and 0.16 xA per game. He also made 1.23 shot-assists per game in the league last season.

Players to watch out for

Finding the best central midfielders from Eliteserien – data analysis statistics

Emil Breivik

The 21-year old is a natural talent who played brilliantly for his club last season. He was a high contributor across various departments and did extremely well which can be seen in this article as well where he was featured in almost all the sections. The most exciting youngster to watch out for in the upcoming season.

Anton Salétros

The Sarpsborg midfielder was very good for his side last season and contributed well in terms of creating chances for his side, playing progressive passes that create or break lines and also was very good defensively where he was very intense and determined to win the ball from his opponents always. He can certainly improve in terms of making good runs with the ball and be more proactive defensively.

Osame Sahraoui

The Valerenga midfielder had a good time for his side last season and would be expected to improve further to be an important player for his side next season. He excelled in making progressive runs on the ball and consistently creating chances for his side and progressing it. Nex step would be to improve his defensive ability and help his side do well in that regard.

Conclusion

In this piece, in the form of data analysis, we saw some of the best performing CMs going to play in the 2022 Eliteserien based on their performances last season. We also saw some important talents to watch out for in the league who could very well impress and soon be scouted by top clubs in Europe.