Key area where Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa are among the worst in Premier League

Diego Costa

The Chelsea and Arsenal attackers are among the three worst culprits for unsuccessful touches in the first seven Premier League games of the season.

Arsenal attacker Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea forward Diego Costa have been two of, if not the, best signings in the Premier League this season, so it may come as surprise that they are among the worst in the division in one key area.

According to Opta stats, Chelsea’s Costa is the most guilty in the division for having a bad touch, while Arsenal’s Sanchez sits third, just behind West Bromwich Albion's Saido Berahino.

  TeamUnsuccessful TouchTouchesMins Played
Diego Costa Chelsea 19 319 589
Saido Berahino West Brom 18 299 629
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal 18 392 421
Scott Arfield Burnley 17 363 630
Yannick Bolasie C. Palace 17 300 549

Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and Yannick Bolasie complete the top five, all within a couple of bad touches of each other, but is it something for the players to worry about?

The statistic does, surprisingly, seem to be consistent with some of the best players in the division. Last season, the top three in this area were Olivier Giroud, Adam Lallana and Luis Suarez – all of whom had more than 90 unsuccessful touches.

  PositionTeamUnsuccessful TouchTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Olivier Giroud FW Arsenal 98 1,736 36 3,081
Adam Lallana MF Southampton 91 2,303 38 3,100
Luis Suarez FW Liverpool 91 2,152 33 2,964
Peter Crouch FW Stoke 88 1,401 34 2,643
Jay Rodriguez FW Southampton 81 1,328 33 2,567

The stat for unsuccessful touches will always be more likely to be associated with attack-minded players as they are always on the move, looking to create openings and beat their markers, and it doesn’t always work.

It is an area that could certainly be improved on and the best players in the world will try to do that, but as long as Costa and Sanchez keep providing the goods for their side, their managers will probably not be too upset with them.

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