Potential CB Options

arthurka

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Cristian Romero of Atlanta is a good shout. Have always been impressed with him and unlike some of the other most talented options we're considering like Koundé and Torres, I can't really think of any major flaws he has. He's a very well-rounded cb, he's good in the air and wouldn't be bullied by strikers. Decent option.
Agree wouldn't cost a fortune. Think he is madly underrated.
 

VivaRonaldo85

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Away from talent, the most attractive feature for a new CB would be fitness. We’ve carried Bailly, Tuanzebe and Jones (I know I know) for a good while plus Lindelof’s back is often a cause for concern. Not saying we’d go for someone like Coady from Wolves as I don’t think he’d be good enough, but he never misses a game which should be high on our radar for me. Try and establish a long term partnership with Maguire then.
 

golden_blunder

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Considering we’ve spent quite a lot on defenders lately I think we will put the big money on midfield and attack. Also, the CBs we’ve been linked with are all quite expensive and also some kind of risks as nobody could know how they would cope in the PL.
:lol:
 

Mylock

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Varane has been world-class, but I'm concerned that he has been on a downward curve for the last 18 months. Maybe a transfer would get him back on form.
My choices in the following order would be
Torres - brilliant reader, brilliant passer, left-footed, doesn't get caught out, doesn't overcommit, experienced. Still not apparent how fast he is as he doesn't get exposed to often; it will be interesting to see tonight against our attack.
Tapsoba - very similar to Torres but not as experienced and needs another season in Germany but is a great talent.
White - outstanding footballer but right-footed, and my preference would be a left-footed player. He is the best English option.
 

justsomebloke

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Varane has been world-class, but I'm concerned that he has been on a downward curve for the last 18 months. Maybe a transfer would get him back on form.
My choices in the following order would be
Torres - brilliant reader, brilliant passer, left-footed, doesn't get caught out, doesn't overcommit, experienced. Still not apparent how fast he is as he doesn't get exposed to often; it will be interesting to see tonight against our attack.
Tapsoba - very similar to Torres but not as experienced and needs another season in Germany but is a great talent.
White - outstanding footballer but right-footed, and my preference would be a left-footed player. He is the best English option.
Statistically though, Torres doesn't look like much of an upgrade on Lindelof. His pass completion is lower and he hits slightly fewer passes, he's only got half the tackles Lindelof has and makes fewer interceptions, and is considerably less effective in the air (60,6% won against Lindelofs 65,7%, and that's in La Liga). On the plus side, his xg+xa is slightly better, he makes more progressive passes, has a bit more shot creating actions and more progressive carries. I'm not sure that translates to a clear case in his favor.

At least this season, Varane doesn't stack up impressively against Lindelof either. Like Torres, his xg+xa is a little better, he's got more shot creating actions, and is superb in the air (75,3%, almost as good as Maguire). But he makes fewer progressive passes, completes fewer passes, has fewer tackles, fewer touches and fewer progressive carries.

Judging from stats, White is inferior to Lindelof in xg+xa (which is interesting, given that he's spent some time as a CM), has a much worse pass completion (83,2, which is bad even for a midfielder, to 91,1), completes much fewer passes and has much fewer touches on the ball. His biggest disadvantage though is in the air (a paltry 53,1% of aerial duels won). Like most players he's got more shot creating actions (though again his CM time will affect that), and also more tackles and blocks, and slightly more interceptions. I'm hard pressed to see that as making a strong case he's really much of an upgrade on what we have.

Tapsoba on the other hand is superb statistically. The only area (among those I've looked at) where Lindelof has better numbers is aerial duels won, and even there it's a small difference (64,2 vs 65,7%). In all other areas, he doesn't just have better numbers than Lindelof, he generally has MUCH better numbers.

Of course, stats doesn't tell the whole story (and more stats would tell a more complete story than my above selection). Stats aren't fully comparable across leagues, and are also affected by the team you play for and the players role. Varane has probably had a subpar season compared to his normal level, Tapsoba is inexperienced and so on. But still.
 

justsomebloke

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Tapioca looks the best bet to my limited knowledge. Romero also looks exciting.
He's a bit of a downgrade compared to Lindelof on pretty much everything ball-related though. Especially in the PL, where he'd experience a much more intense high press more often than in Serie A, I think you'd have to assume there would be a fairly significant negative impact on the ability to move the ball forward effectively and safely.
 

justsomebloke

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Cristian Romero of Atlanta is a good shout. Have always been impressed with him and unlike some of the other most talented options we're considering like Koundé and Torres, I can't really think of any major flaws he has. He's a very well-rounded cb, he's good in the air and wouldn't be bullied by strikers. Decent option.
I've not seen him play much, but on stats at least he looks like the complete opposite of "well-rounded"? That is, his off-the-ball attributes are terrific, but his on-the-ball stats are awful. Among the 13 players I looked at (which includes all 3 of our top CBs), he has by far the fewest progressive passes/90, and by far the lowest number of passes completed, also the lowest number of touches and progressive carries, and the lowest xg+xa (at an almost non-existent 0,01). Which adds up to a picture of a player not really asked to do much with the ball. At United, he'd have to.
 

justsomebloke

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How would Niklas Sule stack up? Anyone have his stats?
Yes, see the overview I posted on the previous page.

On those stats at least, he stacks up arguably better than anyone else, actually. Not very strong in the air, but otherwise excellent.
 

A-man

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Varane has been world-class, but I'm concerned that he has been on a downward curve for the last 18 months. Maybe a transfer would get him back on form.
My choices in the following order would be
Torres - brilliant reader, brilliant passer, left-footed, doesn't get caught out, doesn't overcommit, experienced. Still not apparent how fast he is as he doesn't get exposed to often; it will be interesting to see tonight against our attack.
Tapsoba - very similar to Torres but not as experienced and needs another season in Germany but is a great talent.
White - outstanding footballer but right-footed, and my preference would be a left-footed player. He is the best English option.
I am not so convinced a left-footed would be best. Lindelof has always been moved between left and right so his partner can play his preferred position. When Maguire came, Victor immidately took the RCB and Maguire took the LCB position. You would think an 80 mill CB would be given the position he wanted. I think it is his preferred position.
 

Mylock

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Statistically though, Torres doesn't look like much of an upgrade on Lindelof. His pass completion is lower and he hits slightly fewer passes, he's only got half the tackles Lindelof has and makes fewer interceptions, and is considerably less effective in the air (60,6% won against Lindelofs 65,7%, and that's in La Liga). On the plus side, his xg+xa is slightly better, he makes more progressive passes, has a bit more shot creating actions and more progressive carries. I'm not sure that translates to a clear case in his favor.

At least this season, Varane doesn't stack up impressively against Lindelof either. Like Torres, his xg+xa is a little better, he's got more shot creating actions, and is superb in the air (75,3%, almost as good as Maguire). But he makes fewer progressive passes, completes fewer passes, has fewer tackles, fewer touches and fewer progressive carries.

Judging from stats, White is inferior to Lindelof in xg+xa (which is interesting, given that he's spent some time as a CM), has a much worse pass completion (83,2, which is bad even for a midfielder, to 91,1), completes much fewer passes and has much fewer touches on the ball. His biggest disadvantage though is in the air (a paltry 53,1% of aerial duels won). Like most players he's got more shot creating actions (though again his CM time will affect that), and also more tackles and blocks, and slightly more interceptions. I'm hard pressed to see that as making a strong case he's really much of an upgrade on what we have.

Tapsoba on the other hand is superb statistically. The only area (among those I've looked at) where Lindelof has better numbers is aerial duels won, and even there it's a small difference (64,2 vs 65,7%). In all other areas, he doesn't just have better numbers than Lindelof, he generally has MUCH better numbers.

Of course, stats doesn't tell the whole story (and more stats would tell a more complete story than my above selection). Stats aren't fully comparable across leagues, and are also affected by the team you play for and the players role. Varane has probably had a subpar season compared to his normal level, Tapsoba is inexperienced and so on. But still.
Stats can be a bit misleading, I'm not totally disregarding your message as its does highlighted some areas of concerns on Torres. I still believe from watching him over the last 6 months that he's the best option available, it will be interesting to see how he gets on later, hopefully not too well.
 

A-man

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At least this season, Varane doesn't stack up impressively against Lindelof either. Like Torres, his xg+xa is a little better, he's got more shot creating actions, and is superb in the air (75,3%, almost as good as Maguire). But he makes fewer progressive passes, completes fewer passes, has fewer tackles, fewer touches and fewer progressive carries.
I think you need to be careful with the aerial stats, and not draw the wrong conclusions.
First of all we need to look at how many aerials a player wins. A player with high % might only challenge for the once he is sure to win. Varane wins 2.4 aerials per game, Harry 4.0.
Aerials are "aerial duels". On top of that we have clearances, interceptions, etc which can also be in the air.
Offensive aerials are mixed with defensive. Players who are targets at corners get 1-2 extra per game.
Some teams are very good at putting pressure and shutting down the possibilities to hit crosses. A CB in such a team will not be exposed to many aerials.
 

BFernandes

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Tapsoba - He cites players such as John Stones, Per Mertesacker and Virgil van Dijk as inspirations.

:nervous:
 

sincher

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Tapsoba looks a real talent tbh, regardless of his inspirations.
 

OleGunnar20

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Who is Tapioca?
The joys of spellchecker ey. Tapsoba even.

He's a bit of a downgrade compared to Lindelof on pretty much everything ball-related though. Especially in the PL, where he'd experience a much more intense high press more often than in Serie A, I think you'd have to assume there would be a fairly significant negative impact on the ability to move the ball forward effectively and safely.
Good point. I haven't seen enough of him to judge really, but have been impressed with how tenacious he is - something I think we lack in the Maguire / Lindelof partnership. Balance has to be struck though of course with on the ball ability to avoid a rerun of the Smalling years.
 

justsomebloke

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Is there not a decent CB in the PL we could buy? In recent years, buying CB's from other leagues hasn't worked out that well for us.
I don't really think there is, outside of the clubs who won't sell. There are some good ones, but none I think who would represent a clear upgrade on what we have. Unless we think Leicester might sell Fofana or Soyuncu at an acceptable price.
 

MadMike

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I am not so convinced a left-footed would be best. Lindelof has always been moved between left and right so his partner can play his preferred position. When Maguire came, Victor immidately took the RCB and Maguire took the LCB position. You would think an 80 mill CB would be given the position he wanted. I think it is his preferred position.
I second this. Whatever their preferred foot, we want someone who feels at home on the RCB position because Maguire has the LCB nailed. And since Lindelof is absolutely fine playing LCB we don't really need someone for there.

The problem we have is Bailly only plays RCB and he ain't fit enough (or good enough imo) to make that position his own. So we need someone to nail RCB and Bailly/Tuanzebe can be the back up for that position whenever they are fit. Jones can jog off.

We also desperately need another CB who is decent in the air because we concede way too much from set pieces while being no threat on the other end. We are in the bottom half of the table for goals from set pieces and most of those are direct shots instead of headers:


... conversely we are second worse in the league for goal conceded from set pieces and most of those are headers instead of direct shots at goal:



I think part of this is having goalkeepers who are poor at collecting long balls from free-kicks or corners. But since we're not after GKs this summer and we're after a CB, we should look for someone who can help cover that deficiency by being really strong in the air on both ends of the pitch.
 
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Dazzmondo

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I've not seen him play much, but on stats at least he looks like the complete opposite of "well-rounded"? That is, his off-the-ball attributes are terrific, but his on-the-ball stats are awful. Among the 13 players I looked at (which includes all 3 of our top CBs), he has by far the fewest progressive passes/90, and by far the lowest number of passes completed, also the lowest number of touches and progressive carries, and the lowest xg+xa (at an almost non-existent 0,01). Which adds up to a picture of a player not really asked to do much with the ball. At United, he'd have to.
He's definitely not a typical ball playing defender the way the other top young cbs are. I guess I never really thought he was particularly bad on the ball. Xg/xa is pretty irrelevant for a cb imo, if they can score a header cool, but I'd never let that determine whether or not to get a cb unless in a close tie break with someone else. Passing is definitely important though and he actually does appear to lag a bit behind the others here which I never really noticed while watching him. I knew he wasn't a Pau Torres launching beautiful long balls forward obviously but I would still expect him to have done a bit more on the ball than he has. Worth noting in his defence, he plays in a back 3, and in general, cbs who play in a back 3 will get less touches than a cb playing in a back 4. He also isn't really asked to play that ball playing role at Atalanta, so it doesn't necessarily mean he's incapable of passing and progressing the ball, it's just not required. His pass completion success is very good for the passes he does make at 90.5%. He wouldn't be my first choice in any case, as I watch more and more of these players I think I'm most excited by Edmond Tapsoba atm, but I still think he's a very talented young cb and he lacks some of the physical frailties of other options.
 

Dazzmondo

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I think you need to be careful with the aerial stats, and not draw the wrong conclusions.
First of all we need to look at how many aerials a player wins. A player with high % might only challenge for the once he is sure to win. Varane wins 2.4 aerials per game, Harry 4.0.
Aerials are "aerial duels". On top of that we have clearances, interceptions, etc which can also be in the air.
Offensive aerials are mixed with defensive. Players who are targets at corners get 1-2 extra per game.
Some teams are very good at putting pressure and shutting down the possibilities to hit crosses. A CB in such a team will not be exposed to many aerials.
I get the point you're making but Varane is undisputedly excellent in the air. He always has been and it's evident whenever you watch him. The number of headers attempted is important to keep in mind but it would concern me more if someone is attempting huge numbers of headers with only a 30% success rate tbh. Ultimately I'd say there is some balance between the 2 to determine how good a cb is in the air.
 

justsomebloke

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He's definitely not a typical ball playing defender the way the other top young cbs are. I guess I never really thought he was particularly bad on the ball. Xg/xa is pretty irrelevant for a cb imo, if they can score a header cool, but I'd never let that determine whether or not to get a cb unless in a close tie break with someone else. Passing is definitely important though and he actually does appear to lag a bit behind the others here which I never really noticed while watching him. I knew he wasn't a Pau Torres launching beautiful long balls forward obviously but I would still expect him to have done a bit more on the ball than he has. Worth noting in his defence, he plays in a back 3, and in general, cbs who play in a back 3 will get less touches than a cb playing in a back 4. He also isn't really asked to play that ball playing role at Atalanta, so it doesn't necessarily mean he's incapable of passing and progressing the ball, it's just not required. His pass completion success is very good for the passes he does make at 90.5%. He wouldn't be my first choice in any case, as I watch more and more of these players I think I'm most excited by Edmond Tapsoba atm, but I still think he's a very talented young cb and he lacks some of the physical frailties of other options.
Thanks, good and interesting points all.
 

A-man

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I get the point you're making but Varane is undisputedly excellent in the air. He always has been and it's evident whenever you watch him. The number of headers attempted is important to keep in mind but it would concern me more if someone is attempting huge numbers of headers with only a 30% success rate tbh. Ultimately I'd say there is some balance between the 2 to determine how good a cb is in the air.
Its not a concern, just that if he’s compared with the best “aerial CBs “ in the PL they have both high % and high amount of won aerials. That kind of defenders don’t exist in la Liga. Probably because other abilities are more valuable in that league.
 

Dazzmondo

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Its not a concern, just that if he’s compared with the best “aerial CBs “ in the PL they have both high % and high amount of won aerials. That kind of defenders don’t exist in la Liga. Probably because other abilities are more valuable in that league.
Definitely a fair point on the differences between leagues
 

A-man

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Definitely a fair point on the differences between leagues
Just want to add that Ramos and Varane have been my favourite CB pair for a long time and I think highly of Varane. I used to watch almost every RM game before but this season I haven’t had access to la Liga and am worried because I read everywhere that he has declined so much.