Potential CB Options

OleGunnar20

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Why get fleeced for Leicesters second best Centre Half? Surely we have the scouting network required to go looking for a Vidic type tucked away somewhere unfashionable.

Better yet, pick up the next French model off the line. They seem to have cracked the centre half code over there.
 

userman

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If we're not getting Varane the others two options we've been heavily linked with are Torres and Kounde. According to the stats both of them are actually worse options compared to Lindelof when it comes to his biggest and most critical weakness IMO, his aerial ability and strenght in duels.

Another option that has vaguely been linked is Milekonvic from Fiorentina - anyone here who has regularly seen him play?
I have not seen him play, but according to the stats he looks like a much better option then Torres and Kounde if we're after a solid defender with aerial ability, and he's apparantly available for then the other two because of having only 12 months left on his contract.

What's the Cafs impression of him?

Some of his stats per 90 min(compared to Lindelof, Torres and Kounde in that order), source FBref:
- 77% aerial duels won (vs. 65.7%, 60.6% and 63.8%)
- 1.19 tackles won (vs. 0.59, 0,21 and 0,48)
- 71% successrate vs dribblers defensively (vs. 57.1%, 33.3% and 43.5%)
- 1.69 blocks (vs. 1.39, 1.48 and 1.27)
- 0.89 interceptions (vs. 1.11, 0.91 and 1.27)
- 87.1% pass completion (vs. 91.1%, 89.2% and 90.7%)
 

mazhar13

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Another option that has vaguely been linked is Milekonvic from Fiorentina - anyone here who has regularly seen him play?
I have not seen him play, but according to the stats he looks like a much better option then Torres and Kounde if we're after a solid defender with aerial ability, and he's apparantly available for then the other two because of having only 12 months left on his contract.

What's the Cafs impression of him?
Short summary:
  • Strong aerially
  • Aggressive defender
  • Decent at bringing the ball forward though quite safe
  • Gets out of position easily and struggles to get back into the defensive line
  • Ball-watches on several occasions
Basically, he offers something different, but he won't necessarily be better than who we already have.
 

sullydnl

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If we're not getting Varane the others two options we've been heavily linked with are Torres and Kounde. According to the stats both of them are actually worse options compared to Lindelof when it comes to his biggest and most critical weakness IMO, his aerial ability and strenght in duels.
I would sound a slight note of caution when it comes to comparing Torres and Kounde to Lindelof statistically in that regard.

In Kounde's case because while his stats for this season are worse than Lindelof's (63.8% vs 65.7% in terms of aerial duels won in domestic leagues) if you look back over previous seasons you see it fluctuates quite a bit. 68.8% > 54.9% > 74.5% > 63.8%. Two of those being better than any season Lindelof has recorded on Fbref.

In Torres' case because while his stats for this season are also worse than Lindelof's (60.6% vs 65.7%), we only have two season's data to judge him on, in which we already see a rather large improvent (47.4% to 60.6%).

Meanwhile we have a bit more to go on with Lindelof. A very low 33.3% in his first season here (in a smaller size of 17 league appearances) followed by 65.1%, 66.0%, 65.7%.

Based on the progression of stats (rather than just a direct comparison) my take would be that as a more experienced CB in a settled side we can probably assume that the three seasons in a row in which Lindelof has won between 65.1% and 66% of aerial duels for us are a relatively stable representation of what we will get from him.

Whereas the two younger players are still developing as CBs, Kounde has been recording his stats in different teams/leagues, Torres has a much smaller sample size to judge from and neither have yet fallen into a consistent standard. Because of that and the fact that you can see quite significant jumps between different seasons anyway, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Kounde/Torres landed here and posted better aerial stats than Lindelof has been. Particularly given Kounde has already done so in the past (albeit in a different league) and Torres has an obvious physical advantage being a notably bigger CB than Lindelof.

Plus to really break it down you'd have to look at why the younger CBs are posting the lower stats when they do and why they've improved when they have. For example if it's a case of them having small technical flaws to iron out or needing to add extra muscle (as you would perhaps expect young CBs coming from La Liga to the PL to do) then you would project more of an improvement ahead of them than if they had more permanent flaws.

For example thinking back to Vidic when he first arrived, as I remember it he spoke about having to pack on significant extra muscle in the six month when he landed at United. The effect that kind of physical adjustment to deal with the different nature of the league (which someone like Lindelof has gone through but these other CBs haven't) would have is difficult to predict. If we were looking at Vidic's aerial stats back then we may have seen improvement upon landing at United as he built himself into a more physically imposing player and was coached with more emphasis on dealing with aerial threats. The large jump between Lindelof's first 17 PL appearances and his next full season is maybe illustrative in that regard.

The detail involved in trying to project that kind of improvement is why the club employ dedicated scouts and analysts rather than a bunch of amateurs with access to Fbref. But it does underline the point that direct statistical comparisons should be taken with a large pinch of salt when not backed by more in-depth analysis.
 
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Jibbs

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I maintain that apart from Varane, who most likely will end up at PSG or extend his contract, the most polished defender we can sign is Pau Torres.
 

A-man

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I would sound a slight note of caution when it comes to comparing Torres and Kounde to Lindelof statistically in that regard.

In Kounde's case because while his stats for this season are worse than Lindelof's (63.8% vs 65.7% in terms of aerial duels won in domestic leagues) if you look back over previous seasons you see it fluctuates quite a bit. 68.8% > 54.9% > 74.5% > 63.8%. Two of those being better than any season Lindelof has recorded on Fbref.

In Torres' case because while his stats for this season are also worse than Lindelof's (60.6% vs 65.7%), we only have two season's data to judge him on, in which we already see a rather large improvent (47.4% to 60.6%).

Meanwhile we have a bit more to go on with Lindelof. A very low 33.3% in his first season here (in a smaller size of 17 league appearances) followed by 65.1%, 66.0%, 65.7%.

Based on the progression of stats (rather than just a direct comparison) my take would be that as a more experienced CB in a settled side we can probably assume that the three seasons in a row in which Lindelof has won between 65.1% and 66% of aerial duels for us are a relatively stable representation of what we will get from him.

Whereas the two younger players are still developing as CBs, Kounde has been recording his stats in different teams/leagues, Torres has a much smaller sample size to judge from and neither have yet fallen into a consistent standard. Because of that and the fact that you can see quite significant jumps between different seasons anyway, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Kounde/Torres landed here and posted better aerial stats than Lindelof has been. Particularly given Kounde has already done so in the past (albeit in a different league) and Torres has an obvious physical advantage being a notably bigger CB than Lindelof.

Plus to really break it down you'd have to look at why the younger CBs are posting the lower stats when they do and why they've improved when they have. For example if it's a case of them having small technical flaws to iron out or needing to add extra muscle (as you would perhaps expect young CBs coming from La Liga to the PL to do) then you would project more of an improvement ahead of them than if they had more permanent flaws.

For example thinking back to Vidic when he first arrived, as I remember it he spoke about having to pack on significant extra muscle in the six month when he landed at United. The effect that kind of physical adjustment to deal with the different nature of the league (which someone like Lindelof has gone through but these other CBs haven't) would have is difficult to predict. If we were looking at Vidic's aerial stats back then we may have seen improvement upon landing at United as he built himself into a more physically imposing player and was coached with more emphasis on dealing with aerial threats. The large jump between Lindelof's first 17 PL appearances and his next full season is maybe illustrative in that regard.

The detail involved in trying to project that kind of improvement is why the club employ dedicated scouts and analysts rather than a bunch of amateurs with access to Fbref. But it does underline the point that direct statistical comparisons should be taken with a large pinch of salt when not backed by more in-depth analysis.
I don’t think percentage of won aerial duels is the most interesting if it is not used in combination with attempts.

Then comparing aerial stats are not so straight forward.The stats include both defensive and offensive aerials. The stats don’t include aerial clearances. And then of course, as you wrote, the leagues are different. It is difficult to compare la Liga with PL. Some players adapt and improve, some not.
 

andersj

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I maintain that apart from Varane, who most likely will end up at PSG or extend his contract, the most polished defender we can sign is Pau Torres.
Polished yes. But best? I also think the potential upside with both Torres and Kounde is higher than with Varane.
 

userman

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Short summary:
  • Strong aerially
  • Aggressive defender
  • Decent at bringing the ball forward though quite safe
  • Gets out of position easily and struggles to get back into the defensive line
  • Ball-watches on several occasions
Basically, he offers something different, but he won't necessarily be better than who we already have.
Thanks. So apparantly he has his known weaknesses that needs ironing out for him to improve our squad, similar to the other options albeit different ones. Would you say he's worth a punt for the rumoured 20 mill?


I would sound a slight note of caution when it comes to comparing Torres and Kounde to Lindelof statistically in that regard.

In Kounde's case because while his stats for this season are worse than Lindelof's (63.8% vs 65.7% in terms of aerial duels won in domestic leagues) if you look back over previous seasons you see it fluctuates quite a bit. 68.8% > 54.9% > 74.5% > 63.8%. Two of those being better than any season Lindelof has recorded on Fbref.

In Torres' case because while his stats for this season are also worse than Lindelof's (60.6% vs 65.7%), we only have two season's data to judge him on, in which we already see a rather large improvent (47.4% to 60.6%).

Meanwhile we have a bit more to go on with Lindelof. A very low 33.3% in his first season here (in a smaller size of 17 league appearances) followed by 65.1%, 66.0%, 65.7%.

Based on the progression of stats (rather than just a direct comparison) my take would be that as a more experienced CB in a settled side we can probably assume that the three seasons in a row in which Lindelof has won between 65.1% and 66% of aerial duels for us are a relatively stable representation of what we will get from him.

Whereas the two younger players are still developing as CBs, Kounde has been recording his stats in different teams/leagues, Torres has a much smaller sample size to judge from and neither have yet fallen into a consistent standard. Because of that and the fact that you can see quite significant jumps between different seasons anyway, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Kounde/Torres landed here and posted better aerial stats than Lindelof has been. Particularly given Kounde has already done so in the past (albeit in a different league) and Torres has an obvious physical advantage being a notably bigger CB than Lindelof.

Plus to really break it down you'd have to look at why the younger CBs are posting the lower stats when they do and why they've improved when they have. For example if it's a case of them having small technical flaws to iron out or needing to add extra muscle (as you would perhaps expect young CBs coming from La Liga to the PL to do) then you would project more of an improvement ahead of them than if they had more permanent flaws.

For example thinking back to Vidic when he first arrived, as I remember it he spoke about having to pack on significant extra muscle in the six month when he landed at United. The effect that kind of physical adjustment to deal with the different nature of the league (which someone like Lindelof has gone through but these other CBs haven't) would have is difficult to predict. If we were looking at Vidic's aerial stats back then we may have seen improvement upon landing at United as he built himself into a more physically imposing player and was coached with more emphasis on dealing with aerial threats. The large jump between Lindelof's first 17 PL appearances and his next full season is maybe illustrative in that regard.

The detail involved in trying to project that kind of improvement is why the club employ dedicated scouts and analysts rather than a bunch of amateurs with access to Fbref. But it does underline the point that direct statistical comparisons should be taken with a large pinch of salt when not backed by more in-depth analysis.
Although I absolutely agree with you that stats doesn't tell the full story and that historical stats does not guarantee a precise forecast for the future, I do however feel that stats provide a good indication on how a player performs on certain metrics.
If the statistical perfomance over time(several seasons) suggests that a player is less effective than another, in for example aerial duels, I do think one should be cautious when considering to bring that player to a more physical league, especially when that's one of the weaknesses you want to improve on your current option(Lindelof).
Yes they can improve on their weaknesses and develop into becoming the player that we need, but can we afford to give them the time and room for errors that that will require, or do you we need someone that will eliminate our flaws instantly?
 

Redcy

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Lets be honest we are ending up with Ben White, all this talk of Varane (who is off to PSG), Torres or Kounde are just that .. talk. Ole will go with White, who Maguire seemingly likes, is english speaking and fits our transfer approach perfectly.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Lets be honest we are ending up with Ben White, all this talk of Varane (who is off to PSG), Torres or Kounde are just that .. talk. Ole will go with White, who Maguire seemingly likes, is english speaking and fits our transfer approach perfectly.
Says who?
 

Jibbs

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Polished yes. But best? I also think the potential upside with both Torres and Kounde is higher than with Varane.
Never said best. But he is best option for us in the position we need.
 

mitchmouse

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Have to say, I've been hugely impressed by Mings in the euros so far and saw him have quite a few good games last season. Be a cheaper alternative than some and still young (unlike Ramos)
 

mazhar13

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Thanks. So apparantly he has his known weaknesses that needs ironing out for him to improve our squad, similar to the other options albeit different ones. Would you say he's worth a punt for the rumoured 20 mill?
No reliable source has reported on a possible fee, yet. The Italian newspapers have priced him at 30 million Euros at a minimum. If he was going for 20 or cheaper, he'd be a very good depth option for United.
 

Tallis

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Tapsoba from Leverkusen is my muppet choice.

Camavinga (40m), Tapsoba (50m) and Sancho (100mm).

Sell Pogba, Martial, Lingard, Dalot, James, Andreas, Bailly
 

arthurka

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raised this possibility for the future last season and got shouted down in the caf
Many have said that he could make a good CB he has most of the attributes to do so. But we need a CB even if we start to use him there regularly.
 

Sea-Cow

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Tapsoba from Leverkusen is my muppet choice.

Camavinga (40m), Tapsoba (50m) and Sancho (100mm).

Sell Pogba, Martial, Lingard, Dalot, James, Andreas, Bailly
You were so close to having a great suggestion! Unless its absolutely silly money we should not sell Pogba.
 

Lash

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You were so close to having a great suggestion! Unless its absolutely silly money we should not sell Pogba.
Why? He's in the same situation as Varane. Supposedly given very little indication he wants to resign, this is our last window to sell.
 

Tallis

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You were so close to having a great suggestion! Unless its absolutely silly money we should not sell Pogba.
Sorry to spoil it. I would love for him to stay with a modest wage increase but I just feel like he will leave on a free next summer.
 

Sea-Cow

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Why? He's in the same situation as Varane. Supposedly given very little indication he wants to resign, this is our last window to sell.
Why? Not to sound like a smartarse, but its because he's really good at football. I doubt our brain trust can adequately replace him, and maybe I am naïve here but I don't see him as the kind of dude who would quit or half-ass it.
 

Jibbs

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I would much rather we sign Torres and Tielemans than getting Varane and extending Pogba. United should be done with contract hunters. Same with de Gea, should be shown the door pronto.
 

AjaxCunian

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Did a stats job (based on fbref.com) on some of the main candidates, and put Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly at the bottom of the chart for comparison.

The players are ranked according to how they compare with Lindelof. Everyone from Romero down are actually on minus compared with VL - they have more categories where they have lower values than him than categories where they have higher values.

I was surprised by how good Süle looks statistically. I understand he's being made available too.

90snpxG+xa/90Cmp%ProgProg/90CmpCMP90SCA90TklWTklW/90BlocksBl/90IntInt/90TouchesT/90ProgProg/90aewon%
Niklas Süle
16,7​
0,09​
91​
94​
5,6​
1194​
71,5​
1,61​
18,0​
1,1​
29,0​
1,7​
21,0​
1,3​
1472​
88,1​
110​
6,6​
57,9​
Edmond Tapsoba
29,5​
0,05​
91​
145​
4,9​
2497​
84,6​
0,85​
34​
1,2​
72​
2,4​
49​
1,7​
3107​
105,3​
150​
5,1​
64,2​
Jules Kounde
33,1​
0,08​
90,7​
141​
4,3​
2144​
64,8​
0,85​
23​
0,7​
42​
1,3​
42​
1,3​
2691​
81,3​
180​
5,4​
63,8​
Kalidou Koulibaly
24,5​
0,04​
89,6​
85​
3,5​
1555​
63,5​
0,69​
29,0​
1,2​
54,0​
2,2​
30,0​
1,2​
1964​
80,2​
103​
4,2​
57​
Sven Botman
36,8​
0,03​
88,3​
173​
4,7​
2245​
61,0​
0,35​
30,0​
0,8​
46,0​
1,3​
38,0​
1,0​
2883​
78,3​
133​
3,6​
69,3​
Cristian Romero
28,3​
0,1​
90,5​
68​
2,4​
1128​
39,9​
0,81​
46​
1,6​
52​
1,8​
81​
2,9​
1623​
57,3​
81​
2,9​
67,5​
Nikola Milenkovic
33,4​
0,09​
87,1​
97​
2,9​
1443​
43,2​
0,53​
40,0​
1,2​
57,0​
1,7​
30,0​
0,9​
1987​
59,5​
109​
3,3​
77​
Raphael Varane
30,2​
0,07​
91,1​
86​
2,8​
1588​
52,6​
0,53​
12​
0,4​
42​
1,4​
36​
1,2​
2013​
66,7​
94​
3,1​
75,3​
Pau Torres
33,0​
0,07​
89,2​
138​
4,2​
1822​
55,2​
0,45​
10​
0,3​
50​
1,5​
30​
0,9​
2316​
70,2​
167​
5,1​
60,6​
Ben White
35,5​
0,04​
83,2​
116​
3,3​
1470​
41,4​
0,73​
33,0​
0,9​
69,0​
1,9​
45,0​
1,3​
2064​
58,1​
108​
3,0​
53,1​
Harry Maguire
33,9​
0,07​
89​
104​
3,1​
1904​
56,2​
0,92​
18,0​
0,5​
45,0​
1,3​
61,0​
1,8​
2500​
73,7​
200​
5,9​
77,5​
Victor Lindelof
28,7​
0,05​
91,1​
92​
3,2​
1640​
57,1​
0,31​
16,0​
0,6​
40,0​
1,4​
32,0​
1,1​
2036​
70,9​
113​
3,9​
65,7​
Eric Bailly
10,2​
0,01​
90,3​
29​
2,8​
494​
48,4​
0,29​
5,0​
0,5​
17,0​
1,7​
22,0​
2,2​
653​
64,0​
34​
3,3​
61,4​
Great post, Tapsoba also looks awesome.
 

Red_Orchestra

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We should be looking at a left footed CB to broaden and widen up the play a little bit, Zagadou, Pau Torres or Romagnoli should be considered.
 

userman

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We should be looking at a left footed CB to broaden and widen up the play a little bit, Zagadou, Pau Torres or Romagnoli should be considered.
I theory yes, but why would you go for at left footed CB to play on the left when that is Maguires preferred position and it would require a different style of play for Maguire? As far as I can recall the "LCB" has been his position when playing for Hull, Leicester, England(when not in the center of a three) and for us, and IMO it's not given that he would be as good or comfortable playing RCB, and we did after all pay 80 mill for him to be our LCB.
 

justsomebloke

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If we're not getting Varane the others two options we've been heavily linked with are Torres and Kounde. According to the stats both of them are actually worse options compared to Lindelof when it comes to his biggest and most critical weakness IMO, his aerial ability and strenght in duels.

Another option that has vaguely been linked is Milekonvic from Fiorentina - anyone here who has regularly seen him play?
I have not seen him play, but according to the stats he looks like a much better option then Torres and Kounde if we're after a solid defender with aerial ability, and he's apparantly available for then the other two because of having only 12 months left on his contract.

What's the Cafs impression of him?

Some of his stats per 90 min(compared to Lindelof, Torres and Kounde in that order), source FBref:
- 77% aerial duels won (vs. 65.7%, 60.6% and 63.8%)
- 1.19 tackles won (vs. 0.59, 0,21 and 0,48)
- 71% successrate vs dribblers defensively (vs. 57.1%, 33.3% and 43.5%)
- 1.69 blocks (vs. 1.39, 1.48 and 1.27)
- 0.89 interceptions (vs. 1.11, 0.91 and 1.27)
- 87.1% pass completion (vs. 91.1%, 89.2% and 90.7%)
Milenkovic doesn't stack up that well statistically against Lindelof overall. If you look at more ball-related stats, it really comes out.