Home » Marcel Sabitzer vs Christian Eriksen: A look at the numbers as loan move edges closer

Marcel Sabitzer vs Christian Eriksen: A look at the numbers as loan move edges closer

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United are closing in on a temporary transfer for Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer.

Following the club’s confirmation that Christian Eriksen will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks with an injury picked up during the FA Cup clash against Reading, Erik ten Hag has turned to the Austrian.

Sabitzer was spotted at Munich airport as he races against time to seal the switch to Old Trafford before the transfer deadline elapses.

If Sabizter’s underlying numbers are anything to go by, United fans should be excited by the prospect of the 28-year-old plying his trade in the Theatre of Dreams.

Sabitzer is likely to slot directly into Eriksen’s position, that is, in a midfield pivot next to Casemiro with Bruno Fernandes ahead of them in the playmaking role.

In terms of the defensive aspect of the game, Sabitzer’s stats are much more impressive than those of Eriksen.

The Bayern Munich star wins 3.06 tackles per 90, compared to Eriksen’s paltry 0.89 per game. In this statistic, Sabitzer ranks in the 92 percentile of midfielders in Europe.

He also wins 1.84 tackles a game to Eriksen’s 0.54. The same trend is true for other defensive metrics such as dribblers tackled, dribbles contested and clearances made.

Sabitzer is also statistically better than Eriksen in intercepting. The Austria international averages 1.23 interceptions per 90, to Eriksen’s 0.6.

Defensively, United’s number 14 only betters Sabitzer in passes blocked and shots blocked.

There is not much to separate the two midfielders in passing phases of the game. Sabitzer averages two more passes than Eriksen’s 50 per 90.

Sabitzer has a higher pass accuracy – 84.4% to Eriksen’s 78.2%.

United’s Danish maestro boasts slightly better numbers in terms of assists and key passes. Eriksen executes almost double the number of final third passes than Sabitzer.

The two men register about the same number of touches per game for their respective clubs. In possession, however, Sabitzer outdoes Eriksen in dribbling.

What is clear is that United are getting a viable and adequate replacement for Eriksen. Granted the Premier League is a much more physical competition than the Bundesliga, however, Sabitzer’s numbers paint a picture of a player that possesses the acumen to hold his own in the big time.

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