The Opta Player Ratings are something you’ll be hearing a lot more about across the new season on Opta Analyst. But what are they, and how can they be used to measure performance?
With the new Premier League campaign on the horizon, we look back at the top performing players from last season at each of the 20 clubs that will make up the 2023-24 Premier League, based on their Opta Player Rating score.
Before we do that, it’s important to show you how the Opta Player Ratings are devised.
Opta Player Ratings Explained
The Opta Player Ratings have been carefully formulated over time to provide an accurate measure of performance for a player over a single match, specific period or whole season across a competition, based on their in-game data.
Over 100 different metrics are taking into consideration for the Opta Player Rating, with the final score being devised from six subcomponents, corresponding to different qualitative aspects of a player’s performance. The six sub-scores are:
The formula that works out the overall match rating have been developed by Opta’s own team of data scientists in conjunction with our award-winning data editorial team.
Using each subcomponent, the total score is calculated according to the player’s position in the match. This ensures that ratings are distributed fairly across each of the subcomponents regardless of position. For example, a defender would not be expected to perform as well in the attacking subcomponent as a centre-forward, and therefore the weighting applied to defenders and centre-forwards for those actions are different.
These raw scores are then smoothed out to measure how close they are to the average (Z-scores) and then converted into an intuitive rating on a scale of 20 to 100 to give them a final rating.
Opta Player Ratings: Top Performers of 2022-23
It’s likely that you’ll have already seen the OptaJoe Premier League team of the season for 2022-23, which was built using our Opta Player Ratings system. These were the players with the highest score in each position across the campaign, but who were the highest scoring players at each club?
Here, we go through each of the 20 Premier League clubs that’ll make up the 2023-24 season, including the highest scoring stars at each of the three newly promoted teams coming up from the Championship.
Martin Ødegaard (85.8/100)
Arsenal had a brilliant 2022-23 Premier League campaign, exceeding all expectations and pushing Manchester City (nearly) all the way in the title race. Central to their second-place finish and UEFA Champions League qualification was attacking midfielder Martin Ødegaard.
The Norwegian was Arsenal’s joint-top Premier League scorer alongside Gabriel Martinelli with 15 goals, while only Bukayo Saka (25) had more league goal involvements than him (22). Across the entire league, only Kevin De Bruyne (12.4) and Bruno Fernandes (9.5) had a higher expected assists tally from open play than Ødegaard (7.4), with the Arsenal star topping the league ranking for successful passes within the final third of the pitch (665).
Emiliano Martínez (76.5/100)
Not only did Emiliano Martínez win the World Cup with Argentina in 2022-23, but he also topped the Opta Player Ratings for Aston Villa across the Premier League season – arguably the pinnacle of a player’s career (we joke, of course).
He was one of only eight goalkeepers to keep 11+ clean sheets in the competition last season, while his saves prevented the opposition from scoring three goals, based on the quality of shots faced via Opta’s expected goals on target model (xGOT).
His Opta Player Rating of 76.5 topped the Aston Villa charts ahead of defensive rock Ezri Konsa and their leading scorer, 15-goal Ollie Watkins.
Neto signed on a free transfer for Bournemouth last summer and proved to be one of their shrewdest signings of all. Originally a backup to Mark Travers, the Brazilian earned the number one spot with some solid performances and helped the club avoid relegation in their first season back in the Premier League.
His goals prevented total of 2.4 was the seventh highest among all Premier League goalkeepers in 2022-23, while he averaged 3.8 saves per 90 minutes – below only David Raya (4.1) and Bernd Leno (4.0).
David Raya (83.9/100)
At the time of writing, Brentford have managed to hold onto their goalkeeper David Raya despite interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Raya’s qualities were assessed in great detail by us earlier this summer, but if he does end up staying in west London for 2023-24, he’ll have stiff competition from newly signed goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who joined from SC Freiburg in May for a reported fee of £11million.
Raya’s Opta Player Rating of 83.9 was higher than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League last season, earning him a place in the Opta Premier League Team of the Season.
Brentford’s backline produced some brilliant performances in 2022-23, which meant that Raya was followed in the club Opta Player Ratings by central defensive pair Ben Mee and Ethan Pinnock. The defence will have to be on form again in 2023-24, following the news that star striker Ivan Toney will be out of action until the new year with an FA ban.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Moisés Caicedo (77.7/100)
Another Premier League player who has been linked to a host of Europe’s top clubs this summer is Brighton star Moisés Caicedo. Chelsea have been heavily linked to the Ecuadorian midfielder, which is no surprise considering his many talents – something we covered in greater detail here.
Caicedo was the ball-winner for Brighton in 2022-23, topping the club’s ranks for tackles, interceptions and possession won per 90. This is a major factor behind him topping the Opta Player Rating for Brighton in the Premier League, with 77.7 out of 100.
Connor Roberts (78.7/100)
Burnley won promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, thanks to Vincent Kompany’s possession-heavy style of play across his first campaign in charge of the club.
This style was a clear departure from the playing methods we’re come accustomed to expecting from Burnley and a key player in that success was attacking full-back Connor Roberts.
Roberts scored 78.7 out of 100 with his performances in the Championship – only three players to play at least 1,500 minutes of action scored higher in the entire league. One Burnley player who did manage a higher score was Manual Benson (79.7/100), however, he fell 11 minutes short of the cut-off threshold of 1,500 minutes played. Harsh, we know.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (72.9/100)
The 2022-23 season was a disaster for Chelsea. The early sacking of Thomas Tuchel was followed by Graham Potter, who lasted just 31 competitive games before being replaced by caretaker manager Frank Lampard, who did even worse in charge.
It could have been a whole lot worse if not for the performances of Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, however. The Spaniard had struggled across his Chelsea career but enjoyed a sense of redemption in 2022-23. His saves prevented six goals for the opposition, based on Opta’s expected goals on target model (6.0) – this was below only Bernd Leno (11.5) and Allison (10.5) across the Premier League season.
Eberechi Eze (74.8/100)
Eberechi Eze was the comeback kid in 2022-23, with the young attacking midfielder enjoying a brilliant season at Crystal Palace to earn himself his first-ever England senior call-up this summer.
He was the highest scoring player in the Opta Player Ratings for Crystal Palace in the Premier League last season (74.8), which would have been helped by his excellent dribbling skills. No player in the Premier League beat an opponent more often with a dribble in 2022-23 than Eze (73), while his 10 goals and four assists made him Palace’s leading player for goal involvements, ahead of another exciting young talent in Michael Olise.
Dwight McNeil (73.2/100)
It was another underwhelming season for Everton, as they battled against relegation from the Premier League for a second successive campaign. However, just like in 2021-22, it was a battle they eventually won, mainly thanks to the appointment of Sean Dyche at the end of January.
Everton’s highest performing players in the Opta Player Ratings were a duo that Dyche knew well from his time at Burnley: Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski.
McNeil’s score of 73.2/100 was higher than any other Everton player in 2022-23, thanks mainly to his performances in the second half of the season under Dyche. From the first game in Dyche’s tenure (the 1-0 win over Arsenal on 4 February) onwards, no Everton player was involved in more goals than McNeil (seven – five goals, two assists), while the winger posted the most chances created (27), highest expected assists total (4.0) and second-highest expected goals total (2.9) at the club.
Bernd Leno (80.6/100)
Not many would have expected Bernd Leno to have been arguably the best goalkeeper, statistically, in the 2022-23 Premier League – especially after some underwhelming displays at former club Arsenal across four seasons.
Leno’s goalkeeping performances in 2022-23 were a key reason in their brilliant top-half finish as a newly promoted club. His saves saw him achieve a tally of 10.5 goals prevented based on the expected goals on target total of opposition players, a league-high total ahead of Liverpool goalkeeper Allison (11.5).
Fulham’s highest scoring outfielder in the Opta Player Ratings last season was Willian (72.6) – a player that they’ll be pleased to have tied down to a new deal after a summer of speculation.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (75.2/100)
There may have been more questions raised regarding Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities last season, but he was still a very influential player going forward for Liverpool and even ended the season excelling in more of a midfield role.
Over the course of the campaign, Alexander-Arnold tallied a team-high 71 chances created, leading to nine assists. That may have been three less than Mohamed Salah, but the Egyptian’s expected assists total of 7.2 was a fair bit below the right-back’s 9.1.
That suggests the quality of the chances Alexander-Arnold laid on were of a consistently higher quality (0.13 xA per chance created) compared to Salah (0.11 xA), who seemingly benefited from his teammates’ good finishing.
In fact, Alexander-Arnold’s 9.1 xA was only bettered by three players in the entire division, as the England international once again showed his reliability as a creator.
Carlton Morris (75.9/100)
Few would’ve predicted Luton Town earning promotion from the Championship last season; without Carlton Morris’ goals, they almost certainly wouldn’t have.
The 27-year-old, who’d only scored seven times in each of the previous two Championship campaigns for Barnsley, netted 20 goals in his debut season for Luton. Only one came from the spot, with his 19 goals excluding penalties bettered only by Chuba Akpom (24).
Morris outperformed his xG by 3.9, the eighth highest in the division. This reflected how dependable he was in front of goal, with his 63.2% big chance conversion bettered by only three players in double digits for goals, and none of them scored more than 11.
You might have expected Erling Haaland or Kevin De Bruyne to be City’s entry here, which you can be forgiven for. But as the deep-lying playmaker who makes everything tick for a possession-obsessed team, Rodri ranking higher shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
He was second of all players in the Premier League for passes attempted (2,943) and successful passes (2,680), giving him a brilliant completion rate of 91.1% that is made even more remarkable by the fact Rodri was the most-pressured player in the Premier League last season (1,100).
He really was a vital component for City, playing a part in more open-play passing sequences (1,594) than any other player in the division, and ranking fourth for involvements in open-play sequences than end in a shot (179) despite not being a leading chance creator.
Bruno Fernandes (77.3/100)
Marcus Rashford might have enjoyed the highest highs of players in the United squad last season, but in terms of consistency over the campaign, it’s difficult to argue against Fernandes being their standout star.
The Portugal international created the most chances in the entire league (119) and laid on 30 more opportunities to teammates in open play than anyone else (98).
Although his assists total only got as high as eight, there was a feeling United didn’t make the most of his creative talents, with him recording 16.8 xG assisted, far more than the next best in the league (De Bruyne, 13.9).
He led by example and he’s since been rewarded with the honour of becoming United’s permanent captain after Harry Maguire was stood down from the role.
Kieran Trippier (83.7/100)
Last season was memorable for Newcastle, who finished fourth to ensure a long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League. A host of players impressed, but Trippier was the standout for many.
A solid and reliable presence defensively, Trippier was also – as ever – a good option going forward from right-back.
But where he came into his own was, unsurprisingly, from set plays. His 76 chances created from set-pieces was 33 more than any other player; sure, having a physically dominant group of players to aim for helps, but you’ve still got to be a consistent and effective deliverer of the ball; Trippier certainly was.
In fact, Newcastle arguably didn’t take full advantage of Trippier’s dead-ball expertise. He only got one assist from 3.6 xA at corners, with just one other player bettering 2.0 xA from such situations (Dwight McNeil, 2.2 xA).
That even extended to open play as well, with Trippier’s 5.0 xA translating to just three assists.
Nevertheless, Trippier’s use of the ball continues to be a brilliant weapon even with Newcastle having room for improvement in terms of capitalising on his excellence.
Sèrge Aurier (61.8/100)
If you were able to move in the summer of 2022, chances are Nottingham Forest tried to sign you at some point. Having returned to the Premier League after a long absence, Forest were a team in a hurry and brought in a whopping 21 new players.
Among those was Sèrge Aurier. The former Tottenham right-back was available on a free transfer after leaving Villarreal, and despite being much-maligned at Spurs, Aurier impressed at the City Ground in his debut campaign.
The Ivorian averaged more touches in the Premier League per 90 than any other Forest player (60.2), showing how much he was involved in their play despite being a full-back, while only Neco Williams made more than his 64 tackles, and he boasted an impressive duel success of 62.1%.
Aurier’s player rating score of 61.8 put him just ahead of Orel Mangala (58.2) and Joe Worrall (57.2).
Iliman Ndiaye (76.6/100)
It had looked earlier this summer as though Ndiaye would be leaving Bramall Lane for Marseille, but the deal ultimately fell through. Sheffield United fans will be hoping they can keep hold of the Senegal international for their Premier League return.
Ndiaye featured in all 46 league games for Paul Heckingbottom’s men in 2022-23, with 24 goal involvements (14 goals, 10 assists). Only Viktor Gyökeres (31), Chuba Akpom (30) and Carlton Morris (27) had more. His superb dribbling ability opened up all kinds of chances for his team in England’s second tier last season. Only Gyökeres, Patrick Roberts and João Pedro attempted more dribbles, though none of that trio could match Ndiaye’s 56.9% success rate.
Ndiaye’s rating of 76.6 was narrowly ahead of striker Oli McBurnie (75.6), who scored 13 goals in the Championship last season.
Harry Kane (90.7/100)
Last season may have been Harry Kane’s last at Tottenham, with Bayern Munich making very public attempts to lure the England captain to the Bundesliga. If it was Kane’s Spurs swansong, it wasn’t a bad way to go out.
The team may have struggled badly but Kane thrived as usual, hitting 30 goals in the Premier League with a shot conversion rate of 23.1%. Only five players in the league who scored at least seven goals had a better conversion rate. Of forwards who scored at least three goals in the Premier League last season, only Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Gabriel Martinelli created more chances than Kane’s 57.
Kane also scored 16 goals away from home, a joint-Premier League record (with Kevin Phillips in 1999-2000). With an Opta Player Rating score of 90.7, he was the top performing Premier League player in 2022-23 and rated much higher than the next two for Spurs, in Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (74.9) and Son (74.4).
West Ham United
Declan Rice (82.7/100)
Speaking of talismanic players leaving, one who has already swapped clubs in the off-season is Declan Rice, who sealed a £105m move to Arsenal.
Last season Rice again stood out for West Ham. His total of 334 possession wins was comfortably the most in the Premier League, with only Man City’s Rodri (301) also breaking the 300-mark. He was also only dribbled past 20 times in the league in 2022-23 at an average of 0.6 times per 90. That was a better rate than the likes of Caicedo (0.8), Rodri, Bruno Guimarães (both 0.9), Thomas Partey (1.0), Idrissa Gueye (1.1), Fabinho (1.3), João Palhinha (2.0) and Casemiro (2.1).
He was also a primary creator for David Moyes’ side. Only Saïd Benrahma (47) and Jarrod Bowen (35) created more chances from open play for them in the league than Rice, while only those same two players as well as Vladimír Coufal and Aaron Cresswell created more than his three big chances. In fact, Cresswell (77.4) was the only West Ham player to come close to his Opta Player Rating score of 82.7.
Max Kilman (64.6/100)
It may seem alarming to Wolves fans that their best player last season was someone who was once rejected by Gillingham’s academy, but Max Kilman has undoubtedly proven his credentials.
The former futsal expert was integral for Julen Lopetegui’s side last season, starting 37 out of 38 Premier League games and playing 3,308 of a possible 3,420 minutes (96.7%) – the 10th most game time of all outfielders. His progressive carries and passes from the back were a key element of his role in the back three. Kilman’s net opponents bypassed total – the net number of opponents bypassed with passes, where backward passes that go past opponents count as negatives – was the seventh highest in the Premier League. Each of his passes bypassed 1.8 players on average, and he ranked eighth in the top flight for the number of passes he made that bypassed at least five players.
He did well defensively also, making 163 clearances in the Premier League last season, fewer than only three other players in the whole top flight, while he also ranked fourth for headed clearances (101). With a rating of 64.6, Kilman narrowly edged out Nathan Collins (63.2), who has since moved to Brentford.
Who Won the Most Player of the Match Awards?
Using the Opta Player Ratings on a per-game basis, we can look at which players scored the highest score in a single Premier League game across 2022-23 most frequently. Whilst the ‘Player of the Match’ award can often be handed out to the player who had the most impact on the narrative of the game, the Opta Player Ratings can give a more accurate, statistical angle on which players performed at the highest level in a match.
Across the 380 different games in the 2022-23 Premier League, Harry Kane was the leading player the most often, based on the Opta Player Ratings. He was the top scoring player in nine different matches – one more than Erling Haaland and Martin Ødegaard.
Declan Rice was the top scoring player in seven different Premier League games in 2022-23, while Callum Wilson, Gabriel Martinelli and Marcus Rashford all top scored in six separate matches. Five different players had the highest Opta Player Rating in five separate matches across the 2022-23 top flight in England: Dwight McNeil, Eberechi Eze, José Sá, Kevin De Bruyne and Ollie Watkins.