Is selling Nemanja Matic and buying Tiemoue Bakayoko really a step forward for Chelsea? Looking at it from a paper perspective, and sentimentally, one would just blurt out, yes. Matic to United at 40m GBP is very good business. Jose Mourinho knows Matic tactically and technically, still 28 years old, he has 3-4 years of top flight football left in him, barring injuries. Manchester United needs a good defensive cover in midfield for their centre backs, which they lacked last year, and getting Nemanja at £40m, considering the astronomical cost of players now, it’s a 100%.

Now to Chelsea, Matic is older than Tiemoue, but much more experienced. His defensive covering is amongst the best in the Premier League, as he shields his centre backs and wing backs allowing them to go forward. Passing ability is well above average and Matic is very good in the opposition’s box. Having played in the premier league for 4 years or more that cannot be shoved under the carpet, as he knows how to win Championships, being part of Jose & Conte’s triumphant teams.

Tiemoue Bakayoko is a name every football fan knows now, after his exploits at last season’s UEFA Champions league with Monaco. Albeit, when you hear his name, a few things comes to mind, most especially EPL experience. Will Chelsea in their quest for a dynasty afford him the learning curve he needs, bearing in mind the demand for immediate success by Roma Abramovich?  He is 6yrs younger than the Serb, with a big presence on the pitch to say the least, which of course makes sense in the long run – with 10 years to give, he would also be tutored by an ex defensive midfielder in the name of Antonio Conte, who played out his career with Juventus. Bakayoko is full of running, better on the ball than Matic, technically above average. The youngster is good going forward too, and passes the ball very well. However, Tiemoue is not the finished product yet, an uncut diamond so to say, that must improve his defensive abilities and positioning. He has a tendency to go forward a little bit too much, ironically, Conte likes that, having told Kante to venture forward more. But we know leaving spaces at the back is criminal in the premier league as, many opponents like Tottenham will definitely punish you for such errors. How can he cope should Kante gets suspended, injured or moves forward? Statistically they look like this for 2016/17 season…

 

MATIC             BAKAYOKO

GOALS12
ASSISTS21
PASS COMPLETED88%87%
KEY PASSES2014
CHANCES CREATED2715
TACKLES WON3756
TAKE –ONS COMPLETED3154
AERIEL DUELS WON3857
INTERCEPTIONS5554

 

The above table only has one inference, Bakayoko is not an upgrade on Matic, however as much as football is not mathematics, we cannot ignore these figures, as they are crucial in decisions making, at any level or discipline in life generally. If Conte leaves Chelsea tomorrow, will Bakayoko be a regular? Nathaniel Chalobah is as good as Tiemoue, but of course he hasn’t been given substantive time on the pitch like Monaco has done for Bakayoko. Be that as it may, only time will tell who got the short end of the stick in this particular transfer transaction.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!