The left-back position has been a big bone of contention for Liverpool this season. Having played veteran midfielder James Milner as a makeshift left-back for the entirety of the season, the Reds are scouring the transfer market for a left-sided defender ahead of the next season.
Many names have been linked with the Reds over the past few months, but it seems like Jurgen Klopp has closed in on two options, Schalke’s Sead Kolasinac and Atletico Madrid’s Theo Hernandez, who is out on loan at Deportivo Alaves.
According to recent reports, Liverpool have submitted an offer to land Kolasinac, who is out of contract with Schalke at the end of the season and is free to negotiate with clubs. The Reds are also reportedly willing to offer a huge amount of fees to sign Hernandez, who is also being chased by Bayern Munich.
Both full-backs are young and strong, with great potential and talent. But who should Liverpool sign among the two? Who will make an immediate impact at Anfield upon arrival? We take a look at their stats to find out.
The 19-year old Theo Hernandez has made 23 appearances for the La Liga newbies Alaves this season, scoring no goals and assisting 3 while the 23-year old Sead Kolasinac has played 19 times in the Bundesliga for Schalke with 3 goals and 4 assists.
|Attributes||Theo Hernandez||Sead Kolasinac|
|Goals & Assists||0 goals, 3 assists||3 goals, 4 assists|
(27 attempted, 17 won)
(67 attempted, 38 won)
(88 attempted, 55 won)
(33 attempted, 14 won)
(73 attempted, 41 won)
(84 attempted, 41 won)
|Avg. Defensive Actions Per Game||4||6|
When we look at the amount of goal-scoring chances created so far this season, Hernandez, despite playing four games more, has created 16 chances, compared to Kolasinac’s 21. However, it must be noted that Hernandez plays for a team who do not always enjoy a good share of possession and on most occasions are on the back-foot.
Hernandez is an excellent passer of the ball and averages a pass-success rate of 80% on his 683 attempted passes, while Kolasinac has an average success of 70% on his 728 attempted passes. The average pass length for Hernandez is 19 metres and for the Bosnian, it is 18 metres. Not a lot to separate them there. On comparing their take-on attempts, the French youth international comes out on top again with 63% success from 88 attempts to dribble past an opponent whereas Kolasinac has attempted much lesser take-ons (33) and has a below average success rate of 42%, indicating that Hernandez has more flair and is a better dribbler of the ball.
On the defensive side of the game, Kolasinac averages 6 defensive actions per game, compared to only 4 for Hernandez. Despite being of almost the same height, Kolasinac has clearly shown more willingness to contest for the ball in the air having attempted 67 aerial duels with a success percentage of 57%. On the other hand, Hernandez has attempted to win the ball in the air only 27 times but has a better success rate of 63%. Kolasinac has also gone in for more tackles to win the ball (84 times) compared to Hernandez (73 times), but the Alaves loanee has a slightly better success rate. The Schalke man has also made almost double the number of interceptions (65) than Hernandez (35) this term.
On comparing the numbers, it is abundantly clear that both the full-backs are exceptionally talented and will add a lot of value to Liverpool if they come in. However, if Liverpool are looking for immediate impact on the squad, Kolasinac will be a better fit, considering his all-round abilities and the fact that he has contributed with goals as well this season. Hernandez may be immensely talented and will grow into a fine left-back, but considering that Kolasinac will be coming in for free and can walk in straight into the line-up, he seems to be the way to go for Klopp and the Reds.
*All Stats Taken From Squawka.com.