Comparing Nicolas Otamendi With The Premier League’s Best – How Does The Argentine Fare?
Manchester City are easily the team to beat this season. They have now won all but one of their games in the domestic league, and have opened up a five-point gap at the top of the table, just 9 games into the season.
While the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Kevin de Bruyne have been ruthless in the attack, one player who deserves more credit than what is given to him recently is Argentine centre-back Nicolas Otamendi.
Having taken more than a year to settle in at the Etihad, Otamendi is now the first choice CB for Pep Guardiola, and his performances recently only make him one of the best in the business. But how does he compare to the other top CBs in the league? Here is a statistical comparison of Otamendi with other top defenders in the country.
With a pass completion of 92%, Otamendi is the best CB in the league with more than 500 minutes played this season. The closest to him is Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, who has 90% pass accuracy.
The Argentine has won 1.37 tackles per game, which is more than the likes of Toby Alderweireld (1), David Luiz (1.29), Laurent Koscielny (0.34), and Eric Bailly (0.83). He has also been successful with each of his take-on attempts this season, a feat that has been achieved by Bailly as well. In comparison, Chelsea Luiz has been successful with just 40% of his take-ons.
Also strong in the air, Otamendi aces all other names when it comes to winning aerial duels, managing to win 72.22% of his aerial duels. Alderweireld has won just 36.67%, Luiz just 42.11%, Koscielny just 60.87% and Bailly has managed to win just 60% of his aerial duels this season.
Otamendi wins 53.16% of his total duels and is bettered only by Koscielny, who wins 54.29% of his total duels. Alderweireld (41.27%), David Luiz (43.66%), and Eric Bailly (42.50%) are all far behind the duo.
With 1.71 interceptions, 0.34 blocks and 4.22 clearances, Otamendi has also been effective at the back. He has also committed just 1.14 fouls per game, which is up with the best.
In comparison, Luiz makes 2.88 interceptions and is the best of the lot. Koscielny makes just 0.34 fouls and 0.67 blocks – the best in these stats this season. Bailly leads the clearance stats with 5.67 per game but Otamendi is not too far behind any of those numbers.
Otamendi has made more passes than any other player in the entire league this season. Though the backlines of clubs like Burnley and Leicester, who are tested more, have better figures than Otamendi, it is hard to argue against the fact that the Argentine is easily one of the best and probably the most in-form defender in the league at the moment.