Three underrated players in the Ligue 1

French Ligue 1 is a habitat where footballers of a very high level coexist year after year. In addition to the power that the PSG roster accumulates and the quality that is usually summed up by clubs such as Monaco or Lyon, which signedXavier Chavalerin, a key player for Reims, the team that has conceded […]

Published:21/04/2020

French Ligue 1 is a habitat where footballers of a very high level coexist year after year. In addition to the power that the PSG roster accumulates and the quality that is usually summed up by clubs such as Monaco or Lyon, which signedBruno Guimaraesjust a few months ago, there is a lot of talent hidden away in not-so-strong teams. Today we’re focusing on three underrated players in the competition: three men who are performing above what is suggested by factors such as their market value or their fame, even if these are hardly tangible.

The first of them isXavier Chavalerin, a key player for Reims, the team that has conceded the fewest goals in Ligue 1 this season (21) and was fifth before the tournament was interrupted due to coronavirus. Chavalerin is a versatile midfielder who in his second year in the league has registered excellent metrics in the defensive aspect. He averages almost 4.3 ball recoveries and in his position there are few players so difficult to overcome in one-on-one situations. He has a 72% success rate in tackling. In this graph we have compared his numbers to those of midfielders who have played at least 900 minutes in the French championship this year.

He doesn’t have good creative numbers in terms of dribbles or trough balls. But the truth is that it is difficult to stand out on the opposing half in an offensively limited team like Reims. Nevertheless, it must be said that Chavalerin is not a bad player with the ball. He misses very few passes in the own half (92%) and only suffers 0.43 steals for 90 minutes. His high average of chances created is because of the his condition of set-pieces taker.

Our next name isZinedine Ferhat. His superb ability to generate shooting situations for other team-mates hadalready attracted attention years ago in the Ligue 2, while he played at Le Havre. In his debut campaign in the French top division, he has only managed to add three assists, but the reality is that he has generated a lot of danger in those final meters considering the possibilities of Nîmes, a team involved in the battle for permanence. In 2,426 minutes he has added 7.03 expected assists, an accumulated amount that is only exceeded by three players in the Ligue 1 (Di María, Payet and Mbappé).

This year Ferhat is being less productive on the set-piece, but his average of xA in open play has increased from 0.16 to 0.18. This speaks of a fairly mature player. Despite his unbalanced profile, he is not a player who is prone to dribble and this year his success rate in one-on-one actions has not reach 45% . However, because of his depth and his vision in the last pass he should have a place in a superior team.

Another player who seems ready to make a competitive leap is Alexander Djiku. Strasbourg was right when they paid for his transfer from Caen in July. On the radar below, we can see that the centre-back has improved in many parameters. He has a higher passing success rate (87%), shows a top effectiveness in the long balls (61%). And also has much more influence than last year in the expected goals (xG) generated by his team, taking part in the build up of 0.32 per 90 minutes.

On the other hand, supported by his physical qualities and with a little more experience at the first level, Djiku has become a very powerful player in individual disputes. He wins 67% of his aerial duels and the rival attackers just manage to overcome him 11% of the times they attempt it. We’re talking about a really promising defender who has also played nearly 600 minutes as a pivot this season. The radar we see, however, belongs exclusively to the 1,634 he has played as a centre-back.

This space could also be occupied by players like the Rennes’ complete right-back Hamari Traoré or the veteran Thomas Mangani (Angers), who is among Ligue 1 midfielders who make more ball progressions and is still a significant threat from the corner.

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 130,000 players from more than 120 competitions, covering information from all over the world.Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Coré Ramiro
Para New Talents | Player Analysiswe also recommend you:

The big bargain of the next summer?

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.

Four players who stood out in the last African Champions League

By Ali Hassan;
We analyze some details on four names that performed at a high level in the last edition of the CAF Champions League

Brenner: a potential proven by data

A long time after Cafu, Ronaldo or Rivaldo consolidated their careers in big European clubs, Brazil is still one of the countries that exports most talent abroad in the football industry. The cases of Pedrinho (1998, Benfica), Antony (2000, Ajax) or Luis Henrique...

Is there a replacement for Sergio Ramos?

With the help of the data we look for a U-25 centre-back that can replace the Real Madrid captain in case he leaves the club one day. We use the parameterized search and propose some names.

The benefits Atlético gets from the Suárez-Morata exchange

Until a few days ago, Atlético de Madrid was one of the LaLiga teams that was passing this market window with more discretion. Except for the return of Yannick Carrasco and the incorporation of the young Croatian goalkeeper Ivo Grbić, the club had almost made no...

Three players from the 2000 class who are surprising in the Brasileirão

Brazil is one of the countries that produces the most footballers throughout the seasons. In fact, our database contains around 10,000 players born there. Every year it is common to see very young boys emerge in the Brasileirao and soon after sign for a foreign club....

Darwin Nunez: the surprise signing that breaks all records

Benfica has decided to make an unprecedented investment in order to encourage us the calmest transfer market in a long time. The Portuguese giant has been the biggest revolution in this summer in terms of changes in the squad, even ahead of Chelsea, who have renewed...

Three U-23 midfielders to watch in the Balkan leagues

The Balkan leagues continue to produce great talent year after year, although these may not have the level and prestige of Western European competitions. Nemanja Vidić, Edin Džeko or Josip Iličić are just some examples of this. So if a few weeks ago we were looking at...

Five promising youngsters to watch in MLS

The coronavirus crisis cut the start of the season in North America, but MLS stood out as one of the first leagues in the Americas to return to activity. With the 'MLS is Back' tournament they managed to get back into the competition and now that the regular season is...

Three U-23 defenders to watch in the Balkan leagues

After a few weeks of inactivity we return to set our sights on Eastern Europe. The countries that used to make up the Republic of Yugoslavia have always been a wellspring of talent when it comes to sport. And football has been no exception. Pedja Mijatović, Davor...

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.

Collaborate:

Mentioned in: