Manchester City have narrowed down their search for a left-back to two players in Ryan Bertrand and Benjamin Mendy – and we’ve taken a look at how the pair compare statistically.
Mendy is one of the most exciting and sought-after players in Europe right now having helped Monaco win the Ligue 1 title this season.
Bertrand, meanwhile, has established himself as one of the most consistent left-backs in the Premier League after joining Southampton from Chelsea in 2014, and is now a regular in the England squad.
At 27, Bertrand is five years older than Mendy, and the two defenders are considered slightly different in style, but what do the stats suggest?
Defensive statistics can often be misleading without context, as dominant teams are more likely to spend matches on the front foot, keeping possession and giving the opposition few chances to attack their backline.
But, given context, they numbers can still be a useful barometer to judge a defender’s effectiveness.
For instance, Mendy made more tackles per game in the league last season with 1.9 to Bertrand’s 1.3. However, the Frenchman actually attempted more tackles, and it is Bertrand that posted a higher success rate, winning 72.2% of those he attempted as opposed to Mendy’s 67.9%.
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Likewise, Bertrand was more disciplined that Mendy, conceding 0.9 fouls per game in comparison to 1.2, while both players averaged 1.6 interceptions.
The stats are generally in keeping with Bertrand’s reputation as a solid defender, but what about going forward?
Mendy impressed last season with a number of eye-catching performances bursting down Monaco’s left flank as the French outfit reached the Champions League semi-finals, and the 22-year-old is seen as a more threatening attacking outlet in comparison to Bertrand.
In terms of goals and assists, however, there is not much difference between the two players.
Last season Mendy contributed five assists in Ligue 1 for Monaco but failed to find the back of the net, while Bertrand provided four assists and two goals for Saints. After scoring in the EFL Cup against Arsenal, he described himself as one of the best finishers at the club.
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Bertrand’s passing accuracy 83.4% also trumps Mendy’s record of 76%, although that is partially down to the Monaco man attempting more long passes.
There is nothing between the two players when it comes to chances created per 90 mins with the duo averaging one per appearance, though Mendy (1.4) provided more crosses than Bertrand (0.5).
Mendy was also a more proficient dribbler than Bertrand, completing 55.6% of his take-ons as opposed to the Southampton man’s 35.7%.
Let’s see more of this.
No prizes for getting No.1.
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One of the Premier League’s most intimidating men.
A tribute to the absolute master of the chip.
Who knew Paul Ince could do *this*?
Twelve to get in 10 minutes.
It makes good reading for the English clubs.
YouTube comments can be pretty entertaining.
Rayo Vallecano’s story is one you’ll want to read.