During the summer transfer window, both Liverpool and Arsenal were busy in completing the deals to get new players on board. It was clear by the end of last season that both teams require a combative defensive midfielder to make their squad better in many aspects.
While the Reds needed a number six to provide the base for the attackers and the fullbacks to go forward and help the team score goals to challenge for the title, the Gunners procured a player of that calibre to start a new era under Unai Emery in good stead.
The former went on and signed Fabinho from Monaco for a fee of around £43.7m and the latter captured the services of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for £26.5m. There is a slight difference in the transfer fees, but both players are doing an equally impressive job for their respective teams.
With both teams set to face each other this weekend, let’s analyse the performances of these two crucial figures so far in the Premier League and use some stats to back the facts up:
Both players didn’t start the season by getting games on a regular basis, especially Fabinho. Torreira had chances to play coming on as a substitute from the first game of the season but not Fabinho.
Jurgen Klopp is a type of manager who will give time to a new player, more so if they are coming from a different league. As a result, his defensive midfield signing started his first league game in late October.
However, we won’t be comparing them solely on numbers, but talk about their style of playing and how they keep the team secured in the midfield. There is a similarity in them, to be brave on the ball and make forward passes.
Tackling and stopping the opposition attacks on the counter is a forte mastered by both. Fabinho makes tackles at a rate of two per game, while Torreira is ahead with an average of 2.1.
The best thing about a defensive midfielder is that they don’t get dribbled past as they are the protective shield in front of the back-line. The Brazilian gets dribbled past at a mere rate of 0.9 and the Uruguayan at 0.5. This just shows that as an attacking player, it is not easy to get past these two.
In terms of aerial duels, Fabinho has a height advantage. He wins those duels at an average of 1.4 per game, while Torreira does them at 0.6.
The aerial advantage of the former helps the Liverpool centre-backs to allow him to find the route-one balls towards the striker and they can take care of the knock-downs and second balls.
In general terms, the South Americans are doing a fantastic job for their respective teams. The managers are managing them very well and getting the best out of them, which is important. We will see more of Fabinho come the second half of this season and Torreira has already been a star at Arsenal.
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