Randal Kolo Muani: The answer to Manchester United’s search for a striker?

2PJ99WC Randal KOLO MUANI (F) gesture, gesture, Soccer 1st Bundesliga, 26th matchday, Eintracht Frankfurt (F) - VfL Bochum (BO) 1: 1, on March 31st. 2023 in Frankfurt/Germany. #DFL regulations prohibit any use of photographs as image sequences and/or quasi-video #

From arriving at Eintracht Frankfurt as a free transfer to being linked with a nine-figure summer move to the Premier League, this season has seen Randal Kolo Muani become a sought-after player across Europe.

Muani has been heavily linked with a potential transfer to Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the summer, after taking the Bundesliga by storm since leaving Nantes last June.

The Frenchman’s goal-scoring form has gathered speed in the months following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, taking his tally for the season to 13 on Saturday with the equalising goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach and supplying 11 assists for his teammates.

That combination of goals and assists make Muani, now aged 24, the Bundesliga’s leading player for goal contributions, ahead of Bayern’s Jamala Musiala (21) and Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug (21).

Reason enough to draw the attention of Manchester United, who are widely expected to move on from Anthony Martial at the end of the season to leave their frontline options further depleted. But Muani isn't the lone target linked with a move to Old Trafford, with Napoli's Victor Osimhen, Atalanta's Rasmus Højlund, and Spurs' Harry Kane all mooted.

Let’s contextualise Muani’s production using PFF grades and data to demonstrate his quality and improvement for Frankfurt, as they push for European Cup qualification in the Bundesliga.


PFF shooting grade: 82.6 (position rank: 6th/77)

Muani ranks sixth overall among strikers with a shooting grade of 82.6 on 55 shot attempts, pending data from the Gladbach game, which moves to a third-place rank if you account for strikers to have attempted a minimum of 50 shots this season.

Niclas Füllkrug is the runaway leader with an elite grade of 92.2, the best in the Bundesliga, and is trailed by Bremen strike partner Marvin Ducksch, 83.8.

Muani has come by shooting opportunities more frequently playing for Frankfurt than he did last season with Nantes (53), amassing more shots for Frankfurt (55) in ten fewer games than he did in Ligue 1. In terms of per-90 rates, Muani has expanded on his shot attempt rate of 1.5 per-90 for Nantes to 2.5 under Oliver Glasner.

As a result, it is no surprise to see Muani surpass his number of goals for Nantes last season (12). He has been in electric form since the end of the World Cup, scoring or assisting a goal in eight of 12 games, including goals against high-flying Freiburg and leaders Bayern.


PFF pass grade: 69.8 (position rank: 12th/83)

Muani is marginally shy of topping a 70.0 grade, which ranks 12th overall among strikers, but while he has not managed to crack the top ten a grade of 69.8 does represent solid improvement on his grade of 59.4 for Nantes.

On top of this, Muani has seen his chances created per-90 jump from 1.1 to 1.3. That is the same rate as fellow Frankfurt striker Rafael Borré and attacking midfielders Daichi Kamada and Jesper Lindstrøm.

What stands out is Muani’s ability to link up with fellow attacking options with almost treble the number of the player who is second in the team’ assist metrics (Kamada, 4) with his total of 11 assists.

Overall, among all Bundesliga strikers, he is third with 33 chances created and trails Marvin Ducksch (53) and Augsburg’s Ermedin Demirovic (34).

Player name Club Minutes played Chances created p-90
Total chances created
Marvin Ducksch SV Werder Bremen 2,392 2.0 53
Ermedin Demirovic FC Augsburg 1,977 1.5 34
Randal Kolo Muani Eintracht Frankfurt 2,253 1.3 33
Karim Onisiwo Mainz 05 2,055 1.4 32
Andrej Kramaric TSG Hoffenheim 1,909 1.5 31
Sheraldo Becker Union Berlin 2,017 1.4 31
Christopher Nkunku RB Leipzig 1,504 1.8 30
André Silva RB Leipzig 1,704 1.4 27
Donyell Malen Borussia Dortmund 1,235 1.4 19

If Muani is compared to strikers in the Premier League this season, his chances created tally would rank fifth overall and place him in between Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard (36) and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins (27).

The forward position has been such a problem for Manchester United this season that only one forward has reached double figures for chances created, Wout Weghorst (10).

Aerial duels

PFF aerial duel grade: 59.6 (50th/82)

The 6’6” frame of Weghorst was brought in by ten Hag to offer an aerial presence which was lacking in attacking zones, so the striker signed by United in the summer will need to be able to compete and pose questions physically to opposition defences.

Muani fares worse in the comprehensive PFF challenge facet with a grade of 51.2, but looking specifically at aerial duels he ranks 16th overall out of 19 when applying a criteria of contesting a minimum of 100 aerial duels. VfL Bochum’s Philipp Hofmann tops the grading on 82.6 generated from a monster 450 duel events.

Placed among how strikers in the Premier League have graded in this facet, Muani would rank 16th out of 21 strikers, with Bournemouth’s Kieffer Moore leading the way on 77.8.

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