Victor Lindelof vs Virgil van Dijk – A Statistical Comparison
Manchester United are reportedly close to announcing their first transfer this summer and it has been reported that Swedish centre-half Victor Lindelof is the name to start off their summer dealings with.
However, the biggest clubs in the country are after former Celtic star Virgil van Dijk, who is slowly growing into one of the best defenders in Europe. Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly interested in Van Dijk and his asking price of around £60m has made Lindelof look like a bargain buy. So how does the 22-year old Swede compare to the 25-year old Dutch star?
Van Dijk has not been able to keep himself fit all season and played 17 hours of football less than the Benfica man last campaign. Both players are comfortable with the ball at their feet, which is clear from their passing accuracy. While Lindelof found his man with an astonishing 90% of his passes, Van Dijk is not too far behind with a success rate of 84%.
Lindelof is an assured defender who loves to read the game and wait for a mistake before pouncing on them. But Van Dijk is more pro-active and loves to nip the danger in the bud. He won 1.46 tackles per game last season compared to just 0.53 tackles won per game by Lindelof in the Portuguese league.
The Dutch star is a more dominating presence in the box and won 75% of his aerial duels all season. Lindelof is still learning that part of the game and won just below 59% of his aerial duels. Van Dijk is also better in the total duels department, winning 66.81% of his duels with opponents while Lindelof was successful in just 52.40% of his total duels.
Lindelof was also slightly more reckless than Van Dijk, as he committed at least one foul a game, while Van Dijk is in a slightly better position with 0.87 fouls per game to his name. At just 22, Lindelof was tremendous all season but he did not have to do as much work as Van Dijk did at the St. Mary’s.
The Dutch international made 2.72 interceptions, 0.68 blocks and 6.80 clearances per 90 minutes last season – figures that are up there with the best, not just in England but also in Europe. Lindelof, on the other hand, made 3.72 clearances, 0.22 blocks and 2.72 interceptions all season.
These stats show why Van Dijk is rated at around £60m. However, Lindelof has age on his side and will easily overtake Van Dijk in a couple of years!