4.2 tackles, 4.8 fouls won: Chelseas chart-topping flop impressing on loan – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…

Chelsea may still be under a transfer embargo, but that has not stopped them once again sending a number of players out on loan as they have so often done in recent years.

This term, 27 players have been shipped out from Stamford Bridge to no less than 13 different leagues. Amongst those to depart on a temporary basis is Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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The 25-year-old is spending the current campaign with AS Monaco, from whom Chelsea signed him in 2017 for £40m. It didn’t go his way in south-west London, and this is now his second loan spell in as many years.

Yet, whilst he struggled to make an impact in the Premier League, he seems to be enjoying life back in Ligue 1.

Les Monegasques may not be having the best campaign in France, as they currently lie 16th in the table, but Bakayoko cannot be blamed for that. So far this term, he has started five matches and has the second-best WhoScored rating of all of his teammates with 7.46. Islam Slimani, another player who previously played in England, tops the list with 8.02.

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There are some stats that really do make for impressive reading. The midfield enforcer has averaged 4.2 tackles per game, which only Metz’s Habib Maiga has been able to better in the whole division, whilst he also has 1.4 interceptions per match.

His defensive qualities were always well-known, but going forward he has looked good too. He has an average of two dribbles per game, which puts him in the top 20 in Ligue 1, whilst no-one has been able to come close to the 4.8 fouls he has won per match. It appears that his power has caused his opposition plenty of problems already.

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There are some areas in which he has struggled, conceding a worrying 1.6 fouls per game and being dribbled past the same amount of times. Bearing in mind Chelsea are currently full of options in midfield and are doing well in the Premier League, it seems unlikely he will have much of a future in SW6.

But his good performances in the principality will make him a far more attractive option for prospective buyers. The better he performs, the higher any potential transfer fee will be.

The Blues’ hierarchy will therefore be loving his form at the moment, and will be hoping it continues for as long as possible.

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