Real Madrid: Why Vinicius Junior has been the best LW in the world this season

Real Madrid, Vinícius Júnior (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinícius Júnior (Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

I was watching Real Madrid’s game against Valencia the other day, and I saw Vinicius do magical things. Things that I don’t see anyone in this position replicating, and it led me to the question: Is Vinicius Jr actually the best left-winger in the world right now? Surely not, right? It can’t be. It’s the same kid that fumbled good chances in the penalty area. It’s the same kid that only had three goals to his name in his best goal-scoring season in La Liga prior to this one. It can’t be.

Vinicius Jr has scored 14 goals this season, and has five assists on top of those goals. He’s the second highest goal-scorer in La Liga, and has formed an unbeatable partnership with Karim Benzema, with the duo scoring 36 goals in all competitions this season.

That is more than what Barcelona have managed to score as a team, and it is also more than any other attacking duo in world football at the moment.

Real Madrid have done a great job with Vinicius Jr

The talent has always been there with Vinicius Jr. It was all about getting the few mediocre things right. He had to work on his finishing as it was the weakest part of his game. He needed some much needed competition, and seemingly, Ancelotti has provided him with exactly that. Real Madrid were right to put their faith in the young kid from Brazil, and it is finally paying off.

But, since we’ve all seen how well Vini Jr finishes off his chances, the rest of his statistics are getting overlooked. He has improved in nearly every single aspect of his game, and now is a full fledged superstar who will only get better from here. For example, he’s shown improvement in key passes per 90, passes into the penalty area per 90, more progressive distance (both carries and passes) per 90.

He’s also turning the ball over less, he’s taking more shots, his shots are more accurate, more well timed, his shot-creating actions per 90 have skyrocketed. It doesn’t even end there, that’s how good Vinicius has been this season.

Now, let’s come back to that question: Has Vinicius Jr really been the best left-winger in the world this season? Yes, and currently, it’s not even close.

Let’s look at players in his position that generally play well. Neymar Jr is obviously incredible, but he’s been suffering injuries left right and centre this season. Kylian Mbappe can play on the left, but he has spent the majority of the season playing as a striker, so you can’t really count him as a left-winger.

Heung-min Son has been decent, but we know he can be even better than he currently is, and he has certainly not reached Vini’s heights this season. Sadio Mane has had a good season so far, but again, the numbers and the eye test just prove that Vinicius is superior, at least at the moment.

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You can pick any player you want. Raheem Sterling, Kingsley Coman, anyone. I highly, highly doubt there’s a winger in all of Europe that has been as influential, as important, and as good as Vinicius Jr this season. And, if you don’t believe me, well, look at the statistics. Numbers don’t lie, and the eye test would reveal the rest of the truth. Vinicius Jr is the best left-winger in the world right now, and it has been like that since the start of the season. Make of that what you will.