How does £30m Chelsea target Luke Shaw compare to Cole and Azpilicueta?

Ashley Cole

Luke Shaw has been tipped as the long term replacement for Ashley Cole at Chelsea.

£30 million rated Luke Shaw remains a Chelsea target and if recent reports are to be believed, he’s hinted to those close to him that he would be interested in a big money move to Stamford Bridge.

However, Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has been admirably protective of his teenage defender, keen to protect and keep one of the best defensive talents currently in the Premier League.

Although Cesar Azpilicueta has done a brilliant job when he’s been asked to play at left-back this season, Jose Mourinho will have to show his hand for the Southampton left-back if he's interested as Ashley Cole won’t be able to play forever. Here’s how Shaw compares to Cole and Azpilicueta this season.

Total Tackles

PlayerColePosTotal TackleAppsMins
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 51 14 1,002
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 32 13 1,104
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 32 19 1,562

Azpilicueta has made more tackles than Cole and Shaw, which isn’t surprising because he’s covered more than one position. In terms of judging and knowing when to make tackles there is no difference between Shaw and Cole, who has the edge in terms of experience.

Interceptions

PlayerClubPosInterceptionAppsMins
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 17 14 1,002
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 17 19 1,562
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 16 13 1,104

There isn’t really any difference between the three of them in terms of interceptions. They all seem to have a very good ability to read the game well and anticipate to cut off potential danger.

Duels Won

PlayerClubPosDuel WonAppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 110 19 1,562
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 81 14 1,002
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 54 13 1,104

One area where Shaw is head and shoulders above Cole and Azpilicueta is in terms of duels won. He has a little more pace than both of the current Chelsea stars which allows him to take advantage of his agility, offering an explanation for the difference. Total Passes

PlayerClubPosTotal PassAppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 714 19 1,562
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 539 13 1,104
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 525 14 1,002

Shaw is in a team where he’s encouraged to get high up the pitch, press and pass well with the Southampton midfield so it’s no surprise he’s a free passing player. Also bear in mind that he’s played more games than Cole and Azpilicueta which has enabled him to accumulate more passes.

Crosses

PlayerClubPosTotal CrossAppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton DF 65 19 1,562
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 16 14 1,002
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 8 13 1,104

One of the jobs for any left-back is to get forward and provide width and crosses from the left hand side. Shaw is extremely efficient in that respect and he seems like an ideal player for Chelsea out on the left, providing that width which would allow Eden Hazard to regularly cut inside and maintain his good form.

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