Nabil Fekir missed out on a move to Liverpool over the summer, but the Lyon star could yet move to the Premier League with Chelsea, according to reports.
Fekir looked all set to complete a £52.8million transfer to Liverpool in June, only for the Reds to pull the plug on the deal at the 11th hour following a medical.
L’Equipe claims Chelsea are now interested in him signing instead, but how do the France international’s stats in Ligue 1 so far this season compare to the Blues’ existing attacking midfield options of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian?
Fekir has made only six starts and one brief substitute appearance for Lyon in Ligue 1 but has contributed two goals and two assists in that time, meaning he has directly contributed to a goal every 105.75 minutes.
That is some way short of Eden Hazard, who has scored seven goals and laid on a further four from his 783 minutes at a rate of a direct goal contribution every 71.2 minutes.
Fekir also falls just short of Pedro, who has provided a goal or assist every 101.6 minutes (four goals, one assist), but Willian has also only provided two goals and two assists despite playing 778 minutes, meaning his direct goal contributions in the Premier League have been 194.5 minutes apart.
It is worth pointing out, incidentally, that Fekir has also contributed two goals and two assists from just three appearances in the Champions League. Perhaps he is just saving his best performances for the biggest stage.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 7, 2018
Fekir’s modest contribution of two goals from his 423 minutes certainly isn’t for want of trying – the 25-year-old has averaged 6.4 shots per 90 minutes, more than any other player in Ligue 1 and significantly more than the 3.4 Hazard has been averaging per 90 minutes at Chelsea.
The 25-year-old has created just short of two (1.9) chances per 90 minutes for his Lyon team-mates, a tally significantly bettered by Memphis Depay (4.1) and more pertinently Willian (4) and Hazard (3.7) at Chelsea, though he has been outperforming Pedro (1.4) in this respect.
Hazard (3.2) unsurprisingly leads the way in terms of dribbles per 90 minutes, but Fekir (1.3) is also bested by Pedro (2.5) and Willian (2.2), too, suggesting he would need to step up a level should he move to Stamford Bridge. He does, however, win his team an average of 1.9 fouls per game, which is more than Willian (0.8) and Pedro (0.7) but again not as many as Hazard (2.8).
In terms of their use of their ball, Fekir has been sending over 1.5 accurate crosses per game, which is more than Hazard (1.3) and Pedro (0.4) have been managing but not as many as Willian (2.1).
That is made to seem more impressive when you consider Fekir has only been averaging 22.6 touches per game, significantly less than Hazard (55.1), Willian (41.5) and Pedro (33.8), but his pass accuracy of 84.2% is also the worst of the quartet, with former Barcelona man Pedro (89.6) leading the way.
— The Sun – Chelsea (@SunChelsea) November 12, 2018
None of the quartet are much use in the air (Hazard leads the way with an average of one aerial duel won per game), but Fekir has been getting his foot in more than the other three so far this season.
The Lyon man has won an average of 2.2 tackles per 90 minutes compared to Pedro’s 1.4, Willian’s 1.2 and Hazard’s 0.2, while in terms of interceptions per 90 minutes he comes out in third (0.6) behind Pedro (0.9) and Willian (0.8) but again ahead of Hazard (0.5).