According to reports, Newcastle United are interested in signing Sassuolo defender Gian Marco Ferrari this summer.
Ferrari, 26, spent the last season on loan at fellow Serie A club Sampdoria. He made 29 league appearances for Sampdoria as they finished 10th. His impressive performances in the 2017/18 campaign have attracted the interest of Newcastle, who are set to face competition from Sevilla, Monaco and newly-promoted Premier League side Fulham for the Italian defender’s signature.
Rafael Benitez is reportedly looking to sell Chancel Mbemba this summer after the Congolese defender played just nine Premier League games last season, the last of which came in Newcastle’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City in December.
Here’s a statistical comparison between Ferrari and Mbemba which would explain whether Newcastle should sign the Italian or not.
First of all, the 6’2″ Ferrari played much more games than Mbemba last season. In 29 Serie A games, Ferrari had a pass completion rate of 89%, while Mbemba had a 72% pass completion rate in 9 Premier League games.
The Italian, who played for Sampdoria on loan from Sassuolo last season, won 58.97% aerial duels. Despite playing just nine games for Newcastle, the Congolese won 51.52% aerial duels, which is very impressive.
With 28 interceptions, 37 blocks and 142 clearances, Ferrari established himself a mainstay in Sampdoria’s defence last season. He was the club’s defensive lynchpin, turning out 29 times in the league.
In contrast, Mbemba made 15 interceptions, three blocks and 42 clearances last term. He played an important role in helping Newcastle return to the Premier League in 2017 but was overlooked by Benitez last season, with defenders Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Florian Lejeune impressing.
Attacking wise, Ferrari scored two goals but Mbemba failed to find the net. However, both managed four key passes last season.
Comparing Ferrari with Mbemba would be unjust because the latter didn’t play much last season. Mbemba made just nine league appearances as compared to Ferrari’s 29 as the Italian defender had the luxury of a full season to express himself.
But going by Ferrari’s individual statistics, Benitez must consider signing him this summer. Ferrari’s impressive form in Sampdoria colours also saw him called-up by the Italian national team for the friendlies against Argentina and England in March. However, he didn’t feature in those games.
Strong, powerful and intelligent, Ferrari would certainly solidify Newcastle’s defence and bring healthy competition to centre-backs Clark, Lejeune and club captain and Lascelles.
Statistics credit: Squawka
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