It never is easy to compare two players who are playing at the top of their games but Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic are probably the two best defensive midfielders in the world at the moment, alright, Pogba cannot be clubbed as a totally defensive midfielder and is more a box to box player while Matic is the archetypal defensive midfielder out to stop opposition attacks and act as a shield for the defence.
Pogba is just 21 years old but seems to have been playing football for a lot of years while Matic has become the most important player in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, we try to compare both players using stats from Squawka.com and hopefully be able to decide which player is the best.
Serie A vs. Premier League
The most obvious stat that people would compare is goal scoring and Pogba trumps Matic in that respect with the Frenchman scoring almost every third game for Juventus while Matic averages 0.05 goals per game but this should not be the only stat to be used when comparing two players with different roles in their team.
When it comes to the more dirty work of playing as a tough midfield enforcer, it is Matic with his physicality who overtakes Pogba. Matic averages 2.33 interceptions per game while Pogba only averages 0.88 per game, Matic again gets more blocks in per game with 0.24 per game compared to just 0.12 per game by Pogba.
Again when we look to the more creative aspect of playing as a midfielder, it is Pogba who overtakes Matic with the Juventus midfielder providing 1.41 key passes per game compared to just 0.62 per game for the Chelsea midfielder,Matic.
Even in terms of chances created, Pogba averages 1.47 chances per game while Matic averages just half of that 0.71 for in every game for Chelsea, it must be pointed out that Matic does not have to do as much of the creative work as Pogba has to do for Juventus, sure Pogba does have Pirlo playing beside him but the onus is on Pogba to do the running while Matic just has to get the ball to Cesc Fabregas most of the time for Chelsea and lets the Spanish midfielder do the work.
The one fact that does stand out a bit when comparing the 2 players is in terms of aerial duels won with Pogba actually leading Matic with 66% aerial duels when compared to 61% for the Serbian but even if this is taken into account, Pogba is a better attacking midfielder and Matic a better defensive midfielder, there cannot be a player better between them since they play completely different roles and positions for their respective clubs.