Tiemoue Bakayoko to Chelsea: How does Frenchman compare to departing star?

first_img The French international looks nailed on to replace the outgoing Nemanja Matic With Tiemoue Bakayoko seemingly set to complete a £40million move to Chelsea from Monaco, some space needs to be created in the Blues midfield.The French international looks nailed on to replace the outgoing Nemanja Matic as the 28-year-old prepares to be reunited with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.But who offers more in the engine room of their side’s midfield?Bakayoko starred for Monaco en route to his side’s memorable run to the semi-finals of the Champions League and their first Ligue 1 triumph in 17 years.Matic, meanwhile, helped the Blues reclaim their Premier League crown and went some way to restoring his previously soaring reputation at the heart of the Chelsea midfield.Antonio Conte is likely to wave goodbye to Matic after a single season working together, but will Bakayoko prove to be an upgrade on the Serbian?Style of playBoth players could be defined as midfield destroyers, but it would be doing the pair a disservice to limit their capabilities to simply being a dependable tackler.The flair of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva captured the imaginations of fans across Europe, but the Monegasque side’s offensive style was built on the solid foundations that Bakayoko and Fabinho provided in Leonardo Jardim’s 4-4-2 formation.The combative and athletic duo offered protection to the backline and were tenacious in their stifling duties, allowing the gifted attackers to shine further up the pitch.Chelsea’s preference to play an adaptable 3-4-3 system allowed them to dominate their opponents and secure the Premier League title with relative ease.PFA Players’ Player of the Year, N’Golo Kante, almost singlehandedly broke up play before allowing the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa to flourish.And despite not earning rave reviews, Matic proved to be a nearly ever present member of the Chelsea midfield, making 35 appearances for the champions across the season.Matic was tidy if not spectacular in possession, picking out a teammate with 87.7 per cent of his passes, a slightly better average than Bakayoko’s 87.3 per cent in Ligue 1.However, the more youthful Bakayoko proved he was more capable in terms of covering ground and breaking up play, with his average of 2.8 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per 90 minutes, compared to the Chelsea man’s 1.7 tackles and 1.7 interceptions.But it was Matic who proved to be more of a threat in the attacking-third, with the Serbian completing more key passes per 90 minutes in league action (0.9 to 0.6) which led to him registering seven assists to Bakayoko’s one.However, Bakayoko outscored the man he is set to replace after scoring two goals compared to Matic’s solitary effort. And despite standing 10cm shorter than Matic, Bakayoko displayed superior aerial capability, winning 2.6 per 90 minutes compared to Matic’s 1.3.Show us your medalsWhile the two midfielders are pretty similar, in terms of style, when it comes to honours there is no contest.Matic has a host of trophies to his name – two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one Primeira Liga title, one Portuguese League Cup and one Slovak Cup.To save you counting, that’s seven club trophies earned during his career with Chelsea, Benfica and Kosice.Meanwhile, Bakayoko lifted his one and only piece of silverware in the form of the Ligue 1 title with Monaco in May.So when it comes down to out-and-out winners – Matic is on top by a mile.International pedigreeWith Bakayoko embarking on what looks to be a promising career on both domestic and international stages, the 22-year-old can expect to prosper for the French national team.But despite enjoying a breakthrough season with Monaco, Bakayoko has managed only a single appearance for Didier Deschamp’s side, in comparison to Matic’s 32.The Chelsea midfielder missed out on representing his country at a major tournament after seeing his name chalked off the list for the final squad at the 2010 World Cup. But the 28-year-old has featured prominently in his side’s qualification campaign for next year’s edition in Russia.Bakayoko, meanwhile, is likely to face a tougher task of confirming his place in Les Bleus’ squad, considering he is directly competing with future teammate N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Adrien Rabiot.Should Bakayoko be given the opportunity to shine, he could end the summer of 2018 with football’s biggest prize in his hands.Statistics courtesy of The Sun 1last_img

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