Comparing Soyuncu and Van Dijk – PL’s best centre-backs right now
Defenders are as vital to a team as strikers are. Sir Alex Ferguson once rightly said, ‘Attacks wins you games, defence wins you titles’, and that is why centre-backs have developed to become more influential in the game of football.
Most centre-backs have qualities of aggression and they fight like warriors for their team. They are the ones who protect the team.
Over the past decade, Premier League has witnessed many great centre-backs who have put in solid defensive displays. Sometimes, defenders are not recognized as much as the strikers in the world of football, but they seem to be a great deal.
Currently in the Premier League, there are many centre-backs who have made a massive difference for their respective teams. This season, we have two such centre-backs who have been more influential in their team’s successful run.
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk and Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu are doing wonders for their teams at the moment.
Van Dijk, UEFA Men’s player of 2019 and Goal 50 winner, has been the core of Liverpool’s transformation since arriving at the club. He was the most important player when Liverpool won the Champions League last season and has continued to grow stronger coming into this season.
Meanwhile, Caglar Soyuncu has just come into the frame this season, playing as a centre-back for Leicester City. He has been a revelation under Brendan Rodgers this year after taking the place of Harry Maguire, who departed for Manchester United in the summer.
Now let’s analyze both the centre-backs’ stats and take a look at who has fared better.
Both Soyuncu and Van Dijk have been entrusted with the task of keeping the opponents quiet. According to whoscored both of them have featured in all 12 games in the league, amounting to 1080 minutes.
Goals and assists
As centre-backs, they may not have many goalscoring opportunities. While both have scored a goal each, Soyuncu has also assisted once for his team.
Comparing their pass success, Soyuncu’s is higher up the ranks where he has 87.8% accuracy to Van Dijk’s 86.5%.
In defensive duties, Soyuncu has made successful tackles at an average of 2.3 per game and Van Dijk has made just 0.8 tackles per game.
Soyuncu seems to be more successful than Van Dijk while attempting successful tackles this season.
Aerial Duels and Interceptions
With an average of 5.5 aerial duels won, Van Dijk seems to have bettered Soyuncu’s 3.5. Van Dijk has an average of 1 interception per game, which is not too less than Soyuncu’s 1.5 per game.
Soyuncu has an average of 5.5 clearances per game. Van Dijk is not far behind at 5.2 per game.
With an overall average of 7.25, Soyuncu has made a better impact for the Foxes than Van Dijk’s 7.25 for the Reds. This has ensure that Leicester City have kept more clean sheets (5) than Liverpool (2).
It is clear that Soyuncu looks better when compared to Van Dijk statistically, but the Liverpool man has bought laurels to his team and has been at the top of his game for the past few years.
On the other hand, Soyuncu has just begun his career and has shown promises of reaching his potential in the future.