The downside of Atlético Madrid’s incredible ’13-’14 season is that in the current transfer window they have already lost 4 of their key players: Courtois, Felipe, Adrián and Costa.
Their biggest loss seems to be that of striker Diego Costa, who found – not counting penalty goals – the net 23 times in the Spanish league and 7 times in the Champions league. He divided those 30 goals over 25 games, winning every single one of those!
After his €40M departure to Chelsea, Atleti had to look for a replacement and found him in Bayern’s Mario Mandzukic, who – as well – won all matches in which he put himself on the scoreboard last season: 19 times.
Diego Costa and Mandzukic both won ALL games (25 and 19 respectively) in which they scored at least one goal in the 2013/2014 season
Diego Costa’s and Mandzukic’ stats over the last season – covering the local leagues and champions league – show some more, and interesting similarities!
Diego Costa summed 44 games last season, only 4 more than Mandzukic. However the Brazilian/Spanish striker played a lot more minutes as he completed the full 90 minutes in 31 occasions, against only 15 entire games by Mandzukic. For this reason some statistics have been averaged to ‘per 90 minutes’. Also penalties have been taken out of the data.
Although Diego Costa in total marked more goals (30) than the Croatian international (21), taking the statistic per 90 minutes the “Beast” only slighty converted a higher amount (0.74 versus 0.71) of goals. When adding assists to this metric in order to see the total direct goal participations, Atleti’s future striker has an ever better rate (0.91 versus 0.84 goal participations per 90 minutes).
Also their shot statistics are very closely matched. Diego Costa executes only a bit more shots than his replacement (2.95 against 2.77 per 90 minutes), but they exactly have the same amount of shots on goal per 90 minutes (1.75). Also meaning that Mandzukic finds the goal (or at least the goalkeeper) in higher percentage of his .
Diego Costa and Mandzukic both averaged 1.75 shots on goal per 90 minutes
Their (very high!) conversion rates are also almost perfectly in balance. On average Mandzukic scores 25% of his shots, only 0,6% more than Diego Costa.
Diego Costa and Mandzukic both converted a higher percentage of their shots last season (25% and 26%) respectively than Lewandowski, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi
Also their passing stats – maybe not the most important metric for strikers and especially not for those classic number 9’s – do not make a clear distinction between the two, although Costa’s stats for key passes, passes and passing effectivity are a tiny bit better as can be read from the table.
To create a better and more in-depth comparison I am currently writing a second blog on the two: “Classic number 9’s: how Mandzukic can replace Diego Costa”. As soon as I have some spare time I will finish it!
(Note: all data that has been used comes from Squawka.com and http://www.soccerway.com and has been modified as mentioned in the text: for example penalty goals and blocked shots have been deleted)