Rodriguez vs Blind stats - Who’s best for Liverpool left back slot?

Ricardo Rodriguez and Messi

Two of the tournament's most impressive left backs have both been tipped to join Brendan Rodgers' Anfield revolution.

A number of young defenders have shone in the week and a half the World Cup has been running, and inevitably, these players have been linked to Premier League clubs.

Two of the very best have been left backs Ricardo Rodriguez and Daley Blind, and with that position somewhere Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is looking to strengthen, it is worth weighing them up against each other.

Wolfsburg's Switzerland defender Rodriguez has long been held up as one for the future since winning the Under-17 World Cup in 2009, and already has 22 caps for his country despite not even reaching that number in years.

In comparison, Ajax's Blind has been slowly growing into a key player at the Amsterdam club over the last three seasons, and has become Louis van Gaal's first choice left back for the Dutch national team within the last 18 months. His superb assist for Robin van Persie's stunning header saw him flash up on to the radar of a whole host of top clubs, including Van Gaal's future outfit Manchester United.

Below we compare the two players according to their two World Cup performances so far:

  TeamPassing Accuracy %Goal AssistTotal Att AssistTouchesAppsMins
Ricardo Rodriguez Switzerland 78.57 2 5 144 2 180
Daley Blind Netherlands 87.78 3 6 136 2 180

Given that the Netherlands have recorded two victories it is perhaps unsurprising that Blind has a stronger passing percentage than Rodriguez does for the Swiss. Both have been creative in terms of setting up goals, and setting up assists, with the Dutchman just edging it. However, the Wolfsburg fullback did manage to get marginally more touches than Blind, indicating that he is perhaps a more integral player for his national team, or that he is happier to demand the ball. 

  TeamTackling Accuracy %Poss Won Def 3rdGround Duel Won %Effective ClearanceAerial Duel Won %AppsMins
Ricardo Rodriguez Switzerland 90.91 5 80.00 6 70 2 180
Daley Blind Netherlands 85.71 7 68.75 3 100 2 180

Rodriguez triumphs in three defensive categories, with an excellent 91% tackling accuracy and impressive odds of winning 4 out of 5 duels for possession. He has also completed twice as many effective clearances as the 24-year-old Dutchman, who does manage to come out on top when it comes to winning possession in the defensive third. Blind's 100% aerial duel statistic is on account of winning 1 challenge in the air from one, while Rodriguez has won 7 from 10 to earn his 70%.

It seems that both players offer something going forward, setting up plenty of shots and more importantly, plenty of goals. However, Rodriguez just about has the edge on Blind, with stronger tackling accuracy, group duels won and effective clearances. Despite this, it is likely the 21-year-old will cost significantly more than the Ajax player.

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