Reece James has been one of the unluckiest footballers in Chelsea’s history. The English full-back has suffered a lot of injuries and was ruled out for some time after suffering an injury in the opening match of the campaign. He was handed the armband, but Chelsea were without their captain for the three matches that concluded before the international break.
Chelsea’s transfer business brought in some new faces at the Bridge. One of them is a French full-back who was signed from Lyon. Malo Gusto became a Chelsea player in January and was loaned back to the French side. The 20-year-old is now a part of the Chelsea squad and has replaced Reece James in the starting 11. Here is a look at some of the stats that show how Gusto is a safe backup for the captain.
Contributions to defence
The first task of any defender, whether he is a full-back or a wing-back, is to perform his defensive duties well. Chelsea plays with a back three, and Gusto is the right-wing back in the team.
Chelsea has only kept one clean sheet this season. The above image shows the defensive territory of the 20-year-old Frenchman in the current Premier League campaign. He is decent with his ground duels and won 66.7% of them. Other than this, the full-back has made 20 crucial interceptions, with three coming inside the penalty box. Overall, he has performed decently for a side struggling to defend their goal.
Contributions to the attack
Malo Gusto likes to go forward, and that is what Mauricio Pochettino demands from his players. With a decent ability to rotate the ball with his passing, Gusto has a high accuracy rate of 88.6%. These include 12 passes to the opposition penalty box with a low accuracy rate of 41.7%. Despite having low accuracy on passes to the penalty box, the player added two assists to his name against Luton Town.
Of the 17 crosses attempted by the player, only five have found a teammate. This is one of the areas where Gusto will look to improve his game in the upcoming games.
Reece James’ perfect replacement
Malo Gusto was not a regular right-back for Lyon. However, the player was decent in his performances. The above graph compares the percentile rank of both players according to their stats in their respective leagues.
Reece James likes to attack and attempt shots. Gusto, on the other hand, is decent with his passes and also maintains his position well. Both players have a different style of gameplay, with Gusto being more on the defensive side.
Malo Gusto will look to impress his manager more and fight for his place in the team. Chelsea are struggling and will demand more from their players in the upcoming games.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine