Adam Lallana is reportedly one of Chelsea’s transfer targets this summer with Jose Mourinho seemingly keen to tie down a player who can fill the void created by Juan Mata’s transfer to Manchester United.
Chelsea’s primary number ten at the moment is Oscar, an extremely talented player on the ball and someone who is perfectly able to create chances at will for the current first team.
Lallana has been one of the standout players in the Premier League this season but if Mourinho sees him as an option to come into the squad in place of Mata, will he be faced with the same problems he had with the Spaniard?
One of Mourinho’s reported problems with Mata was his work rate off the ball and his inability to go from a forward thinking midfielder into a defensive one, so what do the stats say about Lallana?
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||27||23||1,699|
Lallana is substantially more effective than Mata when it comes to tackling. It shouldn’t be a major surprise considering the pressure Mauricio Pochettino places on his players to press high up the pitch and win back the ball quickly.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||84||23||1,699|
Lallana is also far more effective in terms of the number of duels he’s won this season. It suggests that he’s an extremely difficult player to get the better of in any duel where he goes up against an opponent to try and win the ball. He creates pressure.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||10||23||1,699|
He also reads the game more effectively than Mata, which would allow him to get into positions all over the Chelsea midfield where he could step in, cut off angles and generally make it extremely difficult for the opposition to move the ball out of their own defensive third.
|Juan Mata||Man Utd||MF||12||23||1,699|
One area Mata is better in a defensive sense is with the number of fouls he gives away per game. Lallana commits more fouls all over the pitch, which can be negative in a defensive sense because it releases pressure and allows a side to get the ball away from their own defensive third.