Stats: How does Ryan Bertrand compare to current Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique?

Chelsea left-back Bertrand is said to have become one of Brendan Rodgers' prime transfer targets.

Liverpool are expected to turn their attentions to Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand as they look to strengthen their defence ahead of the new campaign.

The left-back spent the second half of the season on loan at Aston Villa last term as his opportunities were limited at Stamford Bridge. 

Brendan Rodgers has been searching for a new left-back to bring to Anfield as it is an area Liverpool are a little short in. Jon Flanagan played much of last season on the left side but is naturally a right-back, whilst Aly Cissokho also played a part there. He has now returned to Valencia after a loan spell on Merseyside. 

Jose Enrique was Liverpool's established left-back the two seasons prior to the most recent campaign, but suffered from a knee problem for much of the last term which limited his opportunities. With his return to fitness this season, it is likely he will compete with whichever left-back is brought to the club.

Sevilla's Alberto Moreno has been on Liverpool's radar for much of the summer but appears to be too pricey for the club's liking, with Bertrand now appearing the more viable option.

So, here is a comparison between him and Enrique to see who is likely to get the number one left-back spot.

  TeamPosOutfielder Block / appsDuel Won / apps(Aerial Won / (Aerial Lost+Aerial Won)) * 100(Won Tackle / Total Tackle) * 100Interception Won / appsAppsMins
Ryan Bertrand Chelsea DF 0.35 4.53 53.66 86.67 0.88 17 1,455
José Enrique Liverpool DF 0.13 2.50 22.22 72.73 1.13 8 602

It seems on the defensive side of his game last season that Bertrand was more prolific than Enrique, He made more blocks per game he played, won more duels and has a higher percentage of aerial duels won. He also has a higher percentage of tackles won than the Spaniard. One part of the game where Enrique seems to excel is winning interceptions as he seems more inclined to step up and take a risk to win the ball compared to Bertrand.

Some will argue these statistics probably don't paint a true enough picture given that for several appearances last season, Enrique played in a more advanced wing-back role for many of his eight appearances. For that reason, we'll go back another season to 2012/13 to have a look at the Spaniard's stats from then.

  TeamPosOutfielder Block / appsDuel Won / apps(Aerial Won / (Aerial Lost+Aerial Won)) * 100(Won Tackle / Total Tackle) * 100Interception Won / appsAppsMins
José Enrique Liverpool DF 0.10 4.55 38.24 84.72 0.90 29 2,257

Here the duels that Enrique won are far higher than his brief spell from the 2013/14 campaign, and slightly higher per game than that of Bertrand's from the season that has just gone by. Bertrand still outperforms him when it comes to percentage of tackles won, though it is close and percentage of aerial duels won, even though the Spaniard's are more impressive when his season wasn't as affected by injury.

One quality that Brendan Rodgers does like from his full-backs is for them to cross the ball well. We often see Liverpool's full-backs get heavily involved going forward. Judging by last season, Enrique seems to be the most accomplished crosser of the ball of the two.

  TeamPos(Accurate Cross / Total Cross) * 100AppsMins
José Enrique Liverpool DF 14.29 8 602
Ryan Bertrand Chelsea DF 6.67 17 1,455

It would seem Enrique is better at finding his team-mates from crosses with a significantly higher percentage than Bertrand regarded as accurate, though that percentage is probably not as high as the manager would like. 

But defensively the statistics show Bertrand up in a pretty good light. He would certainly provide stern competition for Enrique and would probably improve the Liverpool squad as a result. Whether Jose Mourinho will be tempted to sell to a rival club remains to be seen in the coming weeks and months.

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