How Barcelona’s forwards compared with Lionel Messi in 2021-22

Quick Reads
Ousmane Dembele with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the La Liga match between Barcelona and RC Celta played at Camp Nou Stadium on May 10, 2022. Lionel Messi Barcelona replacement.

It’s been a year since Lionel Messi bid an emotional farewell to Barcelona and left for PSG – but how have the Spanish giants coped without him?

Messi enjoyed an outstanding career at Barcelona, scoring 672 goals in 778 appearances in all competitions and winning 35 trophies.

But Barcelona are struggling financially and club president Joan Laporta told the Argentina international that they could not afford to renew his contract. 

“It’s the saddest decision I have had to make,” Laporta told Barca TV. “I never wanted to have to make it, but at the same time I don’t regret it because the club always comes first.

“We had to put the institution above everything else – even the best player in the world. The situation was what it was; that’s the reality.

“It seemed like there would be a void after [Messi left] but Barca goes on and, with hard work and well thought out decisions, we can bring success back to the club.”

Since Messi’s departure, Barcelona have signed Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ferran Torres on permanent deals. They also brought in Luuk de Jong, Yusuf Demir and Adama Traore on loan deals. 

While Messi helped PSG reclaim the Ligue 1 title in 2021-22, Barcelona had a trophyless season and finished second in La Liga.

We’ve compared Messi’s 2021-22 Ligue 1 stats to the corresponding La Liga data of Depay, Aubameyang, Torres, De Jong, Traore, Ousmane Dembele and Ez Abde.

Note: we’ve not included Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati, Sergio Aguero or Demir due to a lack of first-team minutes in La Liga in 2021-22. Also, we’ve only included Torres’, Traore’s and Aubameyang’s stats from their time at Barcelona in the second half of the 2021-22 season.

Goals
Memphis Depay – 12
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 11
Lionel Messi – 6
Luuk de Jong – 6
Ferran Torres – 4
Ousmane Dembele – 1
Ez Abde – 1
Adama Traore – 0

Assists
Lionel Messi – 14
Ousmane Dembele – 13
Ferran Torres – 4
Adama Traore – 2
Memphis Depay – 2
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 1
Ez Abde – 0
Luuk de Jong – 0

Minutes per goal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 99.2
Luuk de Jong – 107.1
Memphis Depay – 154.1
Ferran Torres – 354.5
Lionel Messi – 358.8
Ez Abde – 582
Ousmane Dembele – 1413
Adama Traore – N/A

Minutes per goal or assist
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 91
Ousmane Dembele – 100.9
Luuk de Jong – 107.1
Lionel Messi – 107.6
Memphis Depay – 132.1
Ferran Torres – 177.2
Adama Traore – 189.5
Ez Abde – 582

Chances created per 90 minutes
Ousmane Dembele – 2.9
Lionel Messi – 2.6
Memphis Depay – 2.2
Ez Abde – 0.9
Ferran Torres – 0.8
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 0.7
Luuk de Jong – 0.7
Adama Traore – 0.7

Successful dribbles per 90 minutes (success rate)
Adama Traore – 5.7 (68.6%)
Ez Abde – 5.3 (57.6%)
Ousmane Dembele – 3.8 (65.5%)
Lionel Messi – 2.7 (64.2%)
Memphis Depay – 2.2 (61.1%)
Ferran Torres – 0.8 (34.7%)
Luuk de Jong – 0.4 (66.6%)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 0.3 (60%)

Passes per 90 minutes (passing accuracy)
Lionel Messi – 67.0 (86.7%)
Ousmane Dembele – 42.4 (84.4%)
Memphis Depay – 39.4 (82.1%)
Ferran Torres – 36.3 (84.6%)
Adama Traore – 30.4 (85.2%)
Ez Abde – 26.0 (76.2%)
Luuk de Jong – 25.5 (72%)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 19.2 (75.5%)

Shots per 90 minutes (inside the penalty area)
Lionel Messi – 3.8 (2.0)
Luuk de Jong – 3.4 (3.3)
Ferran Torres – 3.3 (2.4)
Memphis Depay – 3.0 (1.8)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 3.0 (2.7)
Ousmane Dembele – 2.9 (1.6)
Ez Abde – 2.4 (1.8)
Adama Traore – 2.1 (2.1)


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