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🔴⚫️Rafael Leao - the latest cog in #Giampaolo's #Milan machine.

This one has been requested for a while but here it is; my statistical analysis of Rafael Leao, the former #Lille forward signed by the Rossoneri to, in part, replace Patrick #Cutrone

A thread.
First, a disclaimer. As I have taken Leao's statistics from his last season with Lille in Ligue 1, and will be comparing to Serie A statistics, it is worth taking them with a pinch of salt. The quality of opposition is lower in France so, instead, shift focus to his pros and cons
As you can see from his chart, Leao has a strong goal conversion rate. The forward scores from 23.3% of his shots; of which he attempts 2.27 per 90. For a young player, this competent level of finishing puts him in the same calibre as #Piatek, who Leao can learn from at Milan.
Furthermore, a shot accuracy of 61.8% would likely remain true no matter what league Leao was playing in and this suggests a great maturity from a young player who is able to pick and choose his chances; not wasting any opportunities but making those chances count.
As he only attempts 2.27 shots per 90 he is hardly firing on all cylinders but one can argue that is is more important to focus on quality of shooting rather than quantity, especially when playing in a competitive league like Serie A.
He attempts 2.27 dribbles per 90 too; quite low compared to the numbers registered by strikers in Serie A but that can support Giampaolo's game-plan given the reliance on a trequartista in his 4-3-1-2 formation to do the hard work in transition from midfield to attack.
And, whilst he registers a median amount of aerial challenges per game, he also wins over half of them, showing that he is adept in the air as well as on the ground; yet these are all parts of his play that can only develop with his maturity as a player.
His nature as an all-rounder is further supported by his pass accuracy and expected assists; suggesting that he is just as able at bringing others into the game as he is fashioning his own chances - an important asset for Milan's new forward.
But how does he compare against some of his Serie A counterparts?
First, let's look at how Leao stacks up against the statistics from former #Milan forward Patrick Cutrone; who left the club to join #Wolves this summer.

Statistically speaking, Cutrone was one of the worst strikers in Serie A last season; as is only further supported by this.
In terms of percentiles, Cutrone ranked within the bottom 10% of all his fellow Serie A strikers for aerial success, dribble success and attempted shots; whilst only boasting mediocre statistics for aerials attempted, shot accuracy and dribbles attempted.

Statistically, Leao...
will, in all likelihood, exceed Cutrone's performance from last season; although this will not be a difficult challenge and the Italian's abysmal statistics perhaps put the final nail in the coffin on his time at the Rossoneri.
The second comparison, for me, is far more interesting. Gregoire #Defrel was #Giampaolo's striking partner alongside Fabio #Quagliarella for a majority of last season. If #Piatek is to be the Quag of Giampaolo's Milan, it is likely that Leao could play the role of Defrel.
As you can see, the two share very similar strengths and weaknesses; especially when compared to the almost non-existent similarities between Cutrone and Leao. The two have a similar goal conversion and shot accuracy %, whilst having a similar degree of success in aerial duels.
The differences are few, but apparent. Defrel is a slightly more adept dribbler of the ball, whilst it can be argued that with a higher xA, Leao is a greater contributor to setting up his teammates; something which could be especially useful in partnership with Piatek.
To conclude, Leao is yet another smart signing from Milan and their new recruitment staff. He may not be the biggest name but he is young, full of potential and current ability and, perhaps most importantly, can fit Giampaolo's system.
For anyone interested, I have put together a piece on my new sports blog, with all the charts and insight I have explained in the thread with a bit of extra added substance.

RT's and feedback appreciated.

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