Stats - Proof Gaitan would be £16m wasted for Liverpool

Benfica V Liverpool

Nicolas Gaitan is reportedly being lined up for a summer move to Liverpool.

Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan is a reported transfer target for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool according to several sources in the written and online media.

The 26-year-old is an attractive proposition for the Anfield side because he represents the chance to take care of a problematic left midfield problem, which has seen both Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge used in wide positions this season.

The Argentinian’s contract expires in the summer of 2016, which means an investment would be needed from Liverpool this summer if they go for him. The question is, is he worth it?

We’ve compared his basic stats in key areas against the current crop of Liverpool midfielders to see whether he’d improve or hinder Rodgers’ midfield.

Goals

PlayerClubPosGoalsAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 8 24 2,023
Raheem Sterling Liverpool MF 6 23 1,501
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 3 23 1,751
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 3 28 2,499
Victor Moses Liverpool MF 1 15 618

Gaitan has just the one goal in the Portuguese league for Benfica, which suggests at the moment his attacking threat isn’t too imposing. Five of his appearances have come as subs but he’s still some way behind the stars Rodgers regularly uses.

Assists

PlayerClubPosGoal AssistAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 9 24 2,023
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 6 28 2,499
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 4 23 1,751
Raheem Sterling Liverpool MF 3 23 1,501
Luis Alberto Liverpool MF 1 9 135

Gaitan has two assists in the league, which again puts him behind the majority of Liverpool’s current crop of midfielders.

Discipline

PlayerClubPosYellow CardAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 5 24 2,023
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 5 19 1,555
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 4 28 2,499
Raheem Sterling Liverpool MF 3 23 1,501
Joe Allen Liverpool MF 2 15 798
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 1 23 1,751
Victor Moses Liverpool MF 1 15 618

Gaitan has been booked in the league five times this season which puts him joint top with Liverpool’s midfielders in terms of discipline. That would mean a suspension in Premier League terms, not fitting the numbers, or lack of, that Gaitan has produced in terms of goals and assists.

Passes per Game

PlayerClubPosAccurate Pass / appsAppsMins
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 55.47 19 1,555
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 52.21 24 2,023
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 46.39 28 2,499
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 35.70 23 1,751
Joe Allen Liverpool MF 26.80 15 798
Raheem Sterling Liverpool MF 19.22 23 1,501
Victor Moses Liverpool MF 16.13 15 618
Luis Alberto Liverpool MF 10.44 9 135

One of the only areas he would be competitive is in terms of the number of accurate passes he makes per game; 36.2 per match based on Champions League displays this season. That ranks him higher than Coutinho, Sterling and Allen from the Premier League this season.

Crosses per Game

PlayerclubPosTotal Cross / appsAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 5.46 24 2,023
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 2.70 23 1,751
Raheem Sterling Liverpool MF 2.17 23 1,501
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 1.39 28 2,499

Gaitan averages 2.6 crosses per game in the Champions League, which makes him competitive compared to Coutinho and Gerrard. His ability out wide could certainly benefit Liverpool down their left flank.

Conclusion: Gaitan has promise in one or two areas but he’s statistically way behind Liverpool’s current crop of midfielder in several areas, which suggests any investment from the club this summer could be better used.

image: © plassen

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