With the halfway point in November being surpassed, we are drawing ever closer to the January transfer window. Most of the discussion concerning Arsenal from pundits and content creators seems to be saying that the Gunners need a new striker.
Despite this, a lot of the transfer rumours doing the rounds on social media at the moment seem to suggest that Arsenal are looking for reinforcements in their midfield and defence. With this said, I wonder could it be the case that Mikel Arteta and his staff feel they have enough goals in the squad already.
But how many goals is enough to win the Premier League? I took to the data to find out.
There is a strong correlation between goals scored and points accumulated, but the correlation isn’t perfect. Meaning it’s possible to score fewer goals than a team and still finish above them in the final standings.
While scoring more goals does generally mean accumulating more points, there are a few examples from last year’s season where the opposite happened. For example, Newcastle finished 4 points behind Manchester United despite scoring 10 more goals than them. Similarly, Leicester City finished 2 points behind Everton and were relegated despite scoring 17 goals more than the Toffees.
So, what is the exact relationship between scoring goals and points?
Based on Premier League data from the 2022/23 season, I calculated that for every goal scored by a team, they accumulate roughly 0.87 points. Of course, it is impossible to accumulate 0.87 points from a game because a team can only get 0,1, or 3 points. The point of this analysis is just to provide a rough target which Arsenal should be aiming for. The relationship between goals scored and points can be seen visually below.
Last year Man City won the league with 89 points, so Arsenal would’ve required 90 points to win the title. This means that, on average, Arsenal would have needed to score around 103 goals. Unfortunately, the Gunners only managed to score 88 goals last year.
Currently, Arsenal have 26 goals from their first 12 games this season. Which means they are on course to score roughly 82 goals by the season’s end. This is 6 goals fewer than they scored last season. So, if Arsenal want to win the Premier League title, they need to find a way to add 21 goals to the team during the January transfer window.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to buy a new striker. A new midfielder who could operate in the left centre midfield role, which Kai Havertz seems to have struggled with so far, could see on-pitch dynamics improve and help increase Arsenal’s goal tally.
Additionally, it should be noted that Arsenal appear more solid defensively this year and have conceded the joint fewest goals in the league to date (10). This means Arsenal are on course to concede just under 32 goals this season – 11 fewer than last season. So, it could be the case that Arsenal’s goals this year will count for more at the end of the season because they aren’t conceding as many goals to opposition teams.
The only problem with this train of thought is that fellow title challengers Liverpool have also only conceded 10 goals and the defending champions Man City have only conceded 12. Both of these teams have also scored more than Arsenal so far this season.
It will be interesting to see how Mikel Arteta looks to add the required 21 goals to his side in January.