One Huge Reason Why Osimhen Will Overtake Lautaro Martinez in Serie A Golden Boot Race

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Victor Osimhen and Lautaro Martinez are two of the best strikers in Serie A || Image credit: Imago

One Huge Reason Why Osimhen Will Overtake Lautaro Martinez in Serie A Golden Boot Race

Ayoola Kelechi 07:44 - 01.03.2024

The Inter captain has a 12-goal lead on Napoli's Osimhen at the moment but he could see that lead dissipate in the coming weeks

In the high-stakes race for the Serie A Golden Boot, the competition between Inter's Lautaro Martinez and Napoli's Victor Osimhen looks to be over already, but the Nigerian striker could surprise a few with a late push to stake a claim for back-to-back Capocannoniere awards.

While Martinez currently leads with an impressive 23 goals in 24 games, Osimhen, having netted 11 goals in 15 appearances, is quite far behind,  having been plagued by injuries and also spending time away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria

However, a closer look at the underlying statistics reveals one significant reason why Osimhen might not only catch up but potentially overtake Martinez in this closely watched race: the overperformance of expected goals (xG).

Lautaro’s Outrageous xG Overperformance

Lautaro Martinez has dazzled fans with his incredible finishing ability, outperforming his xG by +8.08, the highest in Europe. This means that Martinez has scored eight more goals than what would typically be expected given the quality of the chances presented to him. While this highlights his exceptional talent in front of goal this season, it also suggests a potential anomaly that might be hard to sustain.

Historically, Martinez's performance relative to his xG has been more modest, with a +0.1 overperformance in the 2021/22 season and +2.9 in the 2022/23 season. This deviation suggests that Martinez’s current scoring spree might not be sustainable, especially as the quality of chances created for him has not seen significant improvement.

Osimhen’s Potential for Improvement

On the flip side, Victor Osimhen is currently not performing at his usual standard, with an xG overperformance of +2.5. This is lower than his previous seasons, where he outperformed his xG by +3.5 and +4.5, respectively. This indicates that while Osimhen's finishing has room for improvement, his historical data suggests an uptick in form could be imminent.

Moreover, as Osimhen and his Napoli teammates work towards creating better chances, his ability to match or exceed last season's feats looks promising. The expectation is not just for Osimhen to improve his finishing but also for the team to enhance the quality of opportunities they provide him, leveraging his proven track record of outperforming his xG.

Osimhen can do the unthinkable with 12 games left 

While Lautaro Martinez's incredible form this season has set a high bar in the Serie A golden boot race, the sustainability of his overperformance relative to xG raises questions. Victor Osimhen, with a clear pathway to improving his output and a historical tendency to outperform his xG, is well-positioned to make significant strides in the remaining part of the season.

The dynamics of football are ever-changing, and while past performance is not always indicative of future results, the statistical evidence suggests Osimhen has a substantial opportunity to close the gap and potentially surpass Martinez in the race for Serie A's top scorer. As the season progresses, all eyes will be on these two prolific strikers to see how the golden boot competition unfolds.