Lewandowski v Martinez - Which striker would be better for Chelsea?

Robert Lewandowski playing for Poland, with József Varga and Vilmos Vanczák

Chelsea have been linked with Robert Lewandowski of Borussia Dortmund and Jackson Martinez of FC Porto, but who is the better player?

Chelsea have a superb squad, filled with immensely talented players but they lack a centre forward who can show consistency and power the side to glory on several fronts this season with a prolific strike rate.

Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have all been tried and tested but the side is lacking something up front and unfortunately, Romelu Lukaku can’t be recalled from his loan spell at Everton.

The two high profile players the club is being strongly linked with are Robert Lewandowski and Jackson Martinez but how do they shape up against each other this season?

Appearances

There is nothing between either of them in terms of appearances with Lewandowski making one more appearance off the subs bench.

That suggests they are equally as important to their respective clubs this season, which won’t make it easy for the blues to sign either.

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Goals

Martinez is slightly ahead in terms of goals having bagged seven in seven for Porto in the Portuguese league. Lewandowski isn’t too far behind with six goals and two assists from his league appearances so far this season.

Both players are clearly deadly in front of goal, which is exactly what Chelsea will be looking for in any January signing.

Passing

The passing stats also suggest that Lewandowski uses the ball better, with a superior pass completion rate of 76.2% from Bundesliga appearances this season.

The available passing stats for Martinez suggest he doesn’t protect the ball quite so efficiently with a passing success rate of 65.5% from Champions League appearances, a slightly higher quality of competition than the Portuguese league, for Porto.

This suggests that Lewandowski would be a better option for Jose Mourinho in terms of how he’d link up with the rest of the Chelsea midfield and squad.

Aerial Threat

Any striker in the modern game needs to have an aerial threat, which gives him different options and different ways to affect a game.

Martinez is ahead based on Champions League appearances with 4.5 aerial duels per game won compared to 3.6 per game that Lewandowski is winning in the Bundesliga, which is interesting as they are both the same rough height.

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It suggests that Martinez is slightly more effective winning long balls, knocking possession onto another player and also that he’d be more of a danger in set piece situations.

Basic Attacking Stats

Lewandowski has more shots per game on average than Martinez; five per game in the Bundesliga and 2.5 per game in the Champions League, which suggests he’s more likely to pull the trigger and go for goal when he gets into good positions.

Martinez is winning slightly more fouls per game than Lewandowski in dangerous positions but the Pole is ahead in terms of key passes and dribbles.

One interesting area which suggests Martinez is more effective than Lewandowski is in terms of offsides. Martinez is yet to be caught offside in the Champions League this season, which suggests the timing of his runs is spot on.

Lewandowski has cast doubt over a reported agreement to join Bayern Munich while Martinez is one of Porto’s prize assets. It’s going to be an expensive deal either way but Lewandowski seems like the more complete package.

Who do you think would be the better option for the Blues?

images: © DrabikPany, © Roger Gorączniak

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