The big bargain of the next summer?

Category: Player Analysis

We analyzed David Alaba's performance with data. The Bayern player finishes his contract in June and that puts him in the point of view of many big clubs.

Published:12/01/2021

Like any other industry, professional football has been hit hard by the Covid-19. Clubs’ incomes have dropped substantially; even some of those that were considered ‘fixed’, as it has happened in France with the group that was in charge of broadcasting the games on TV. Many powerful teams have activated a policy of austerity for a while and in the 2020 summer market window, spending on transfers fell by 39.8% compared to 2019 in Europe’s top five leagues: 2.2 billion less was invested than the previous year. In this difficult context, taking advantage of opportunities represents a major added value. In June, a fully consolidated player such as David Alaba (1992) will end his contract with Bayern. He’s a member of Austrian national team, capable of playing in different positions and who has more than 90 matches of experience in the Champions League. Acquiring such a player at zero cost seems ideal, but what does our data tell us about his performance?

On this radar we can see how he is performing in the current campaign. Alaba has spent most of his career as a left back, but the arrival of Alphonso Davies (2000) and the team’s irregularity at the back led Hans-Dieter Flick to move him to centre-back. This season he has played almost 85% of his minutes in that position. One area where he has stood out the most is his passing and upbringing of the ball: he is well above average in terms of effectiveness in his passing and specially in the build up of plays that end in a shot, participating in 0.40 of the expected goals generated by Bayern every 90 minutes of play.

His numbers are less consistent in the aerial duels. It is true that he participates in fewer aerial duels per match, but his success rate in them (47.8%) places him among the least solid profiles in this position, as we will see later on. He is a very effective player with his tackling, with a 76% effectiveness in tackling actions. His volume of successful tackles or interceptions per 90 minutes is below the average of the big leagues, but we must bear in mind that Bayern Munich is a team that has the ball for a long time and exposes its defenders to fewer duels than normal.

In the following graph we contrast some metrics of Alaba (in the Bundesliga) with those of the other centre-backs who have played at least 800 minutes in 2020/21 in Europe’s top five leagues. The dark green spheres indicate the top 20% of profiles in that particular parameter; while red marks the worst 20%. With this we wanted to go deeper into different aspects of the game. The Austrian is among the best in terms of ball progression (advances of 10 or more meters generated by a pass or a carry) or effectiveness in passes that end in the last third of the field. Perhaps he has room for improvement in long-range displacements. He has recently been linked to Real Madrid and, for example, he completes fewer long-distance passes (4.17) than Sergio Ramos (7.79).

As we have mentioned, he has not shown sufficient efficiency in aerial duels, a facet in which he is in the bottom 40% of center-backs with the worst percentages. In terms of successful tackles per 90 minutes, his average in the German tournament is 1.15, around the average of the position. It is close to the most outstanding profiles in terms of intercepted balls. In any case, what is clear is that Alaba is a very interesting profile for a team that wants to build and start plays from behind. Its reliability as a passer and its influence on the construction of sequences that end up in shots places him as a good option for top teams.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 150,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Antonio Durán
Para Player Analysiswe also recommend you:

Analyzing the leading scorers of the last five UCL editions

With the Champions League now in its hottest phase, Kylian Mbappé's name once again sounded above the rest last Wednesday, when he prevented Bayern from reaping the rewards of their impressive attacking efforts. The player born in Paris got profitability of two...

Dani Olmo, ‘playmaker’ in Leipzig

On 25 January 2020, RB Leipzig signed one of the most sought-after players outside the big leagues. His name was Dani Olmo, he had dominated Croatian football at Dinamo Zagreb, he had been outstanding in the Spanish youth teams and he arrived at a team where he had...

Who is the best game changer?

When the initial plan doesn't work, the coaches' vision is key to see who are the players with the most ability and who are best suited to coming off the bench to revolutionize a game immediately. Just a few weeks ago, Thomas Tuchel himself admitted to having been "a...

The latest and surprising İlkay Gündoğan

New Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester’s top scorer this season, builds less and finishes more, becoming the surprise for the Premiership leader.

Three ways to replace Luka Modric

Modric continues to be key for Zidane but at 35 it seems time to look for a replacement. We use our Similarity tool to search for the new R. Madrid’s number ’10’.

Ricardo Horta’s strong influence in Liga NOS

We analyze some of the metrics of the Portuguese player, one of the keys of SC Braga’s recent success

Seven CONMEBOL U25 players with European passports

We analyze seven players whose second nationality would make it easier for them to make the leap to Europe.

Bryan Gil: the uprising of a hidden gem

The 20-year-old has been gaining minutes, confidence and continuity with Eibar. We analyze the latest season of La Liga’s revelation.

Similar players: Replacing Modric, van Dijk, Sancho or Enzo Pérez

Players turn old, get injured, decide to change teams or simply drop in performance. One of the best ways to replace a player is to identify which profile we take as a reference, what functions are desired for that position and see who are the most similar names....

Weston McKennie: Juventus’ (not so) secret weapon

From one of the most defensive teams in Europe to a Juventus team that gives him freedom in attack. This is Weston McKennie’s transformation and evolution.

Driblab

Corporate Information

We are a company based in Madrid founded in 2017 by Salvador Carmona and Cristian Coré Ramiro. Since our inception our work has focused on statistical analysis to help clubs in sports planning. We are a consulting firm that offers personalized services for each client and defends a mixed management model and constant communication to accompany the day to day of the institutions. Our strength is the widest coverage available in number of professional and junior tournaments. For more details please contact us.

Colaboramos con:

           

Hemos aparecido en:


Talk to our speciali