“The two big clubs in Spain already have a lot of strikers.” That is the only reason that Real Madrid and Barcelona haven’t made an offer for Europe’s hottest property Paulo Dybala, according to Maurizio Zamparini, president of Dybala’s club Palermo.
However if the Argentinian continues his current rich vein of form, which has seen him net 10 goals and 6 assists in 19 appearances this season, Zamparini is resigned to letting him leave for one of the other European giants, with Arsenal and Manchester United rumoured to be among the most enthusiastic suitors.
What has made Dybala such a sensation? And is he really good enough to be compared with the likes of countrymen Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez at this stage in his career?
Despite being a predator in the box – all 10 goals (including 2 penalties) have come from inside the area – Dybala is far from a selfish player. He creates an average of 16.6% of his team’s chances when he plays, compared to the league average for a striker – 11.1%. Dybala averages 7.5 chance creation attempts per game, with 2.1 resulting in a chance for Palermo.
And besides being able to create for his teammates, Dybala doesn’t need to rely on them to supply his own goalscoring exploits. Four of his goals have followed one of his own dribbles – Dybala registers a good dribble percentage nearly 15% higher than the league average for his position, while he creates 0.8 chances per game through his dribbling, compared to the average 0.3.
Perhaps Dybala’s crowning moment so far was his second goal in Palermo’s huge 2-0 victory over AC Milan in the San Siro, which exemplified his ability to run with the ball under pressure, and sign off with an unstoppable finish.
To underline Dybala’s knack of conjuring something out of nothing – a priceless skill often exhibited by Aguero and Tevez – the data shows that 5 of his goals have come from low-medium chances. It is clear that we are not dealing with simply a finisher here.
It is unlikely Dybala will be called upon to do much defending while playing in Italy’s slow-paced Serie A, but should he join an English club, he may need to increase his defensive work on and off the ball. He recovers possession on average 0.7 times per game, compared to the Serie A striker average of 1.3, and he accounts for 1.2% less of his team’s defensive actions while on the pitch.
As Dybala continues to take Serie A by storm, Rosanero fans hope that the 21-year-old will stay at least until the end of the season, as he is more than capable of propelling Palermo towards the European qualification spots.