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Study: Rumoured Chelsea departee Antonio Rudiger amongst players with most successful aerial duel rate in Europe's top leagues

Rudiger ranks 6th for the highest aerial duel succession rate in Europe's top four leagues
Rudiger ranks 6th for the highest aerial duel succession rate in Europe's top four leagues

An aerial duel in football: something that doesn’t seem that important until you realise your players are absolutely terrible in the air and you’ve not scored from a single corner all season, *cough* Manchester United. All jokes aside, an aerial duel - no matter where it is on the pitch - can be incredibly important. Whether it’s defending from a goal kick being launched up the field, defending a corner or even having your striker score from a cross, there’s no doubting the importance of the physical side of the game.

We’ve decided to take a look at who’s winning the most aerial duels this season, and provide a bit of praise to the players who are getting stuck in for their team.

When it comes to comparing players from Europe’s top four leagues (Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga), the Premier League only has one representative in the top 10 for the highest percentage of aerial duels won, which is Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger who has won 77.78% of the duels he’s gone for. Huge props to the top two in this list coming in at just 24 and 22 years old. 

Rüdiger does, however, claim the crown for the highest duel success percentage in the Premier League, with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Adam Webster just missing out by a measly 1.31%. A surprise name in the mix is Liverpool’s Thiago who boasts an exceptional 75% of aerial duels won this season.

The Premier League is much more favoured when it comes to players with the most aerial duels won in Europe’s top four leagues where they have five of the top 10. Burnley fans can celebrate the fact that Chris Wood is third on the list and James Tarkowski is there in 8th. Tthis might tell you the type of players Sean Dyche likes playing for his club.

Premier League Stats

All the players we have used in the study have played at least ten games in their domestic league this season. Goalkeepers have not been included.

The results of the study have been split into five parts…

  • Players with the highest percentage of aerial duels won in Europe’s top four leagues
  • Players with the highest percentage of aerial duels won in the Premier League
  • Players with the lowest percentage of aerial duels won in the Premier League
  • Players with the most aerial duels won in Europe’s top four leagues
  • Best aerial duel percentage per Premier League club

Players with the highest percentage of aerial duels won in Europe’s top four leagues

NAme Club duels won win percentage
Nikola Milenkovic Fiorentina 52 80%
Ronald Aruajo Barcelona 43 79.07%
Jose Gimenez Atletico Madrid 26 78.78%
Oscar De Marcos Athletic Bilbao 11 78.57%
Theo Hernandez AC Milan 11 78.57%
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 42 77.78%
Konstantinos Mavropanos VFB Stuttgart 42 77.78%
Martin Zubimendi Real Sociedad 24 77.42%
Niklas Sule Bayern Munich 23 76.67%
Shkodran Mustafi Levante 23 76.67%

Players with the highest percentage of aerial duels won in the Premier League

Player Club Aerial Duels Won aerial duels lost total percentage
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 42 12 54 77.78
Adam Webster Brighton 26 8 34 76.47
Thiago Liverpool 15 5 20 75.00
Grant Hanley Norwich 45 17 62 72.58
Jamaal Lascelles Newcastle 52 20 72 72.22
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 65 26 91 71.43
Joel Matip Liverpool 59 24 83 71.08
Shane Duffy Brighton 51 21 72 70.83
James Tarkowski Burnley 78 33 111 70.27
Jan Bednarek Southampton 44 19 63 69.84
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Players with the lowest percentage of aerial duels won in the Premier League

Player Club Aerial duels won aerial duels lost total  percentage
Jadon Sancho Man Utd 0 0 8 0
Phil Foden Man City 1 17 18 5.56
Demarai Gray Everton 1 16 17 5.58
Yoane Wissa Brentford 1 11 12 8.33
Ryan Fraser Newcastle 1 10 11 9.09
Tariq Lamptey Brighton 2 12 14 14.29
Mo Salah Liverpool 5 26 31 16.13
Sergi Canos Brentford 4 20 24 16.67
Manuel Lanzini West Ham 1 5 6 16.67
Daniel Podence Wolves 1 5 6 16.67

 

Players with the most aerial duels won in Europe’s top four leagues

Player club aerial duels won
Joeslu Deportivo Alaves 156
Morten Thorsby Sampdoria 104
Chris Wood Burnley 93
Ivan Toney Brentford 87
Fabian Klos Arminia Bielefeld 82
Milan Djuric Torino 82
Ethan Pinnock Brentford 79
James Tarkowski Burnley 78
Christian Benteke Crystal Palace 75
David García Osasuna 71
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Best aerial duel percentage per Premier League club

Player Club Aerial Duels won aerial duels lost total percentage
Granit Xhaka Arsenal 16 10 26 61.54
Matt Targett Aston Villa 32 14 46 69.57
Ethan Pinnock Brentford 79 43 122 64.75
Adam Webster Brighton 26 8 34 76.47
James Tarkowski Burnley 78 33 111 70.27
Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 42 12 54 77.78
Cheikou Kouyate Crystal Palace 44 24 68 64.71
Michael Keane Everton 56 28 84 66.67
Liam Cooper Leeds 54 32 86 62.79
Jonny Evans Leicester 29 14 43 67.44
Thiago Liverpool 15 5 20 75.00
Rodri Man City 34 19 53 64.15
Harry Maguire Man Utd 41 20 61 67.21
Jamaal Lascelles Newcastle 52 20 72 72.22
Grant Hanley Norwich 45 17 62 72.58
Jan Bednarek Southampton 44 19 63 69.84
Lucas Moura Spurs 41 22 63 65.08
Adam Masina Watford 26 12 38 68.42
Angelo Ogbonna West Ham 27 27 54 50.00
Leander Dendoncker Wolves 14 8 22 63.64
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