So, in regards to Liverpool’s plans to address their ongoing defensive issues, it seems there are two players who continue to be drawn up as viable solutions: Ben White and Dayot Upamecano.
White of Brighton and Upamecano of RB Leipzig are among the two most exciting prospects currently on the market.
According to The ECHO, White has been extensively scouted with the view of making a potential move for the 23-year-old this summer.
Meanwhile, Upamecano has been identified as Liverpool’s top-priority target, as per, The Athletic.
Both players could potentially be considered as long-term successors for Liverpool’s Joel Matip, who according to The Independent, is expected to be directly replaced in the summer.
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In terms of quality, we’ve taken a look at the pair’s statistics on WhoScored, to gauge a better perspective of who is better suited to Liverpool.
Of course, stats don’t tell the full story, but considering both White and Upamecano are due to play at Anfield during the second period of the season, it provides a better idea of what to expect should Liverpool pursue a move.
That may well be of interest to Liverpool fans if the reports surrounding both players are accurate.
WhoScored’s comparison is split into defensive, offensive and passing numbers.
Considering both players are centre-halves, it seems only natural we begin with defensive stats, and they’re pretty evenly matched, too.
White comes out on top in terms of tackles (1.8 to 1.1) and interceptions (1.8 to 1.1) per game.
Alternatively, Upamecano has the upper hand in terms of blocks (0.8 to 0.6), clearances (2.2 to 1.4) and marginally less fouls (0.9 to 1.0).
Both defenders enjoy making a number of tackles and interceptions per game, which implies the pair are typically more proactive front-foot defenders.
The only major difference between the two players is the number of times the individual has been dribbled past per game. In that regard, Upamecano is significantly stronger (0.3 to 1.1).
Going forward, again, both players are similar although one individual slightly has the edge.
Although Upamecano is the only one of the two to have scored this season, White marginally comes out on top in terms of chances created (0.3 to 0.2), number of dribbles (0.5 to 0.4) and unsuccessful touches (0.6 to 1.1).
Both players are clearly confident at striding out from the back and playing passes.
White and Upamecano are prepared to take risks, too. This is something Jurgen Klopp favours. He likes his players to play with purpose when in possession, after all.
The pair’s numbers have broadly been comparable so far, but there is a glaring contrast in regards to passing ability – where Upamecano comfortably outperforms White.
Despite boasting similar numbers in terms of chances created, Upamecano comes out top in a number of passing statistics.
This is quite surprising considering White has regularly been utilised in holding midfield this season.
However, it demonstrates just how effective Upamecano is on the ball.
Upamecano makes on average, 80.6 passes per game, which obliterates White’s average of 49.8.
White’s passing accuracy is around 82 per cent whereas Upamecano’s is 89 per cent. But as mentioned before, both players like to take risks with the ball and still, eight in every 10 balls are finding their target.
Luckily, Liverpool fans will get the chance to see firsthand if both players back up their impressive statistics. White is scheduled to play at Anfield for Brighton on February while Upamecano and RB Leipzig are due to play the Reds 13 days later.