With Chelsea weighing up a move for Mateo Kovacic following a more than average loan spell last season, it begs the question, why would you waste €55 million on a player when you have a like for like player already in your ranks?
Tiemoue Bakayoko trumps Kovacic in the battle for a central midfield role, and after a successful loan spell at AC Milan, the Frenchman deserves the time to prove himself next season. Admittedly the 24-year-old did endure a slow start to his AC Milan loan spell, however, he ended it well by winning the second most man of the match awards at the Italian club (6) last season.
After witnessing such contrasting seasons from Bakayoko and Kovacic, to then go and spend €55 million on a central midfielder who scored zero goals and assisted just three would be a huge waste of money for Chelsea. Kovacic suffered indifferent form last season and was trumped by Bakayoko in almost every attacking and defensive area
In defensive areas, Bakayoko beat Kovacic in every single department, apart from blocks made per games. The stats show that keeping Bakayoko rather than buying Kovacic could add more steel in front of the defence, who after conceding 56 goals in all competitions could use the extra cover.
In attacking areas, Bakayoko beat Kovacic in every single area bar dispossessions per game and assists. However, it’s the dribbling statistics that really stand out for the 24-year-old. At six feet high, Bakayoko can provide Chelsea with an imposing figure in the middle of the park. He averaged 1.8 dribbles per game in all competitions last season and would provide Chelsea with a different dimension in midfield that they currently don’t possess. Kovacic has the highest average dribbling stats of any of Chelsea’s central midfielder last season with 1.3 per game, a good 0.5 less than Bakayoko.
With Chelsea still deciding whether to sign Kovacic or not, I believe the statistics and performances last season shows the former Monaco man deserves his chance next season. It would be a waste of money to spend €55 million on a midfielder, who won’t be an upgrade on the current central midfielders.