De Vrij v Rojo: Did United sign the right defender this summer?

Stefan De Vrij

Comparing Manchester United player Marcos Rojo to Lazio's Stefan de Vrij.

During the summer, Manchester United were linked with a whole host of Holland stars, which was not surprising given the identity of their new manager.  In the end, only Daley Blind joined his former Netherlands coach at Old Trafford, leaving oft-reported target Stefan de Vrij to instead move to Lazio.

But how does De Vrij compare with a defender United did move for in the shape of Marcos Rojo?  

As you can see from the statistics below (which take into consideration the two players' league performances to date) there is not a great deal between them.

The United defender's passing accuracy is slightly better than De Vrij's but only just, while both players average almost the same number of blocks and fouls per game.  But there is a bigger difference when it comes to tackles, which Rojo edges by point-seven-five per cent, while the Dutchman averages more interceptions and more clearances per game.

  Passing accuracyTackles per gameInterceptions per gameFouls per gameClearances per gameOutfield Block per gameAppsMins
Marcos Rojo 87.59% 1.75 2.75 1.00 5.75 0.5 4 360
Stefan de Vrij 87.2% 1 3.8 1.2 7.2 0.8 5 450

It is too early to tell how good both players are going to become for their new clubs, but both have settled relatively well and while there were question marks over Rojo's abiliity to play as a centre-back given some of his erratic performances in the past, he is proving to be an effective addition to van Gaal's squad.

As for De Vrij, he is impressing in Italy and looks set for a glittering career of his own, but had van Gaal really wanted him at Old Trafford, after watching him so closely for so long, surely he would have made a move when he had the chance.

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