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REVEALED: The Premier League team who struggles the most without their star player

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To be successful in the Premier League, every player needs to show their individual talent, combined with the capability to work together as a team, to become an overall more cohesive unit. But are some teams being carried by the individual ability of their best player?

Interested in this, wanted to find out which Premier League team struggles the most without their star player. To do this, they reproduced the current Premier League table by removing the goal contributions of each team’s highest goal scorer so far this season. The results allowed the experts to reveal which team would have its performance most affected without the goals and assists of its star player.

Key points

  • Manchester United is the most affected team in the league – they would be 8 points and 4 positions worse off without the goal contributions of Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • The second most affected is Liverpool who are also 8 points worse off without Mo Salah’s goals and assists. 
  • Remarkably, if all the star players were removed from every team, almost 50% of the teams would benefit, showing just how dominant these players are.

Most affected PL team without their star player:

ClubPlayer removedOld positionPosition ChangeNew positionPoints with star playersPoints without star playersPoints Change
Manchester UnitedCristiano Ronaldo4-483830-8
LiverpoolMohamed Salah2-134840-8
Leeds UnitedRaphinha15-4192215-7
Wolverhampton WanderersRaúl Jiménez8-2103429-5
Tottenham HotspurSon Heung-Min7163632-4
BrentfordIvan Toney14-1152320-3
ArsenalEmile Smith Rowe6153634-2
Brighton and Hove AlbionNeal Maupay9-2113028-2
West Ham UnitedMichail Antonio5143736-1
Leicester CityJamie Vardy10-3132625-1
ChelseaMason Mount31247470
Norwich CityTeemu Pukki1701716171
WatfordEmmanuel Dennis19-12014151
Manchester CityRaheem Sterling10157592
SouthamptonJames Ward-Prowse1201225272
EvertonDemarai Gray1621419234
Newcastle UnitedCallum Wilson1821615194
BurnleyMaxwel Cornet2021812164
Aston VillaOllie Watkins114726315
Crystal PalaceConor Gallagher134924295

The Premier League team that would struggle the most without their star player is Manchester United. With Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal contributions for the team removed, the Red Devils are 8 points and 4 positions worse off – dropping from fourth position to eighth.


Liverpool would be the second most affected team without their star man, Mohamed Salah, with the Reds also dropping 8 points without their talisman. The Egyptian forward has been in sensational form this season and has more goal contributions than any other player in the league (16 goals, 9 assists). Without Salah’s contribution, Liverpool have scored 43% fewer goals, but remarkably are only one position lower in third.

The third most affected team is Leeds United who are 7 points and 4 positions worse off without the goal contributions of their star man Raphinha. Leeds have struggled to repeat their electric performances from last season and will hope to turn it around in the last few months of the 2021/22 campaign. Without the Brazilian’s goal contributions, Leeds drops four positions to 19th place and have scored 41% fewer goals.

Dropping the fourth highest number of points is Wolverhampton Wanderers who, without the goal contributions of Raúl Jiménez, are 5 points and 2 positions worse off, placing them tenth. Tottenham Hotspur dropped the fifth most amount of points with fewer points, but remarkably only moved down one position to sixth without Son Heung-Min’s contributions.

Premier League table with every team’s star player removed:

New rank ClubPlayer removedPlayedWonDrawnLostPoints ChangeOriginal rank Rank ChangePoints with star playersPoints without star players
1Manchester CityRaheem Sterling2318502105759
2ChelseaMason Mount2414550314747
3LiverpoolMohamed Salah221246-82-14840
4West Ham UnitedMichail Antonio23995-1513736
5ArsenalEmile Smith Rowe21975-2613634
6Tottenham HotspurSon Heung-Min20956-4713632
7Aston VillaOllie Watkins2194851142631
8Manchester UnitedCristiano Ronaldo22796-84-43830
9Crystal PalaceConor Gallagher2278751342429
10Wolverhampton WanderersRaul Jimenez216114-58-23429
11Brighton and Hove AlbionNeal Maupay22778-29-23028
12SouthamptonJames Ward-Prowse2269721202527
13Leicester CityJamie Vardy20749-110-32625
14EvertonDemarai Gray2058741621923
15BrentfordIvan Toney235513-314-12320
16Newcastle UnitedCallum Wilson21471041821519
17Norwich CityTeemu Pukki22211911701617
18BurnleyMaxwel Cornet18210642021216
19Leeds UnitedRaphinha213612-715-42215
20WatfordEmmanuel Dennis203611119-11415
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Read: Top 5 oldest goalscorers in Premier League history

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.


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