Jack Stroudley looks at our newest potential defensive recruit.
Deadline day is now upon us and Marco Silva has said to expect a busy day with 3-4 potential new arrivals. The first of those appears to be current PSG left back Layvin Kurzawa who will join on a loan according to The Athletic. Other reporters are claiming there is an option with that loan but that currently remains to be seen. With Joe Bryan off to Nice for the season I thought I’d take a look at the current 29 year old to see how he weighs up to Antonee Robinson and what we can expect.
The fact fileEmbed from Getty Images
Kurzawa made his professional debut for Monaco in 2010 against Lens in the Coupe de la Ligue and was substituted in the 65th minute during a 1-0 win and made his Ligue 1 debut three days later against Lorient. Monaco were relegated that season to Ligue 2 but got promoted at the first time of asking before he played regularly for Monaco in the 2013-14 season, with 28 appearances throughout the campaign.
The former French international continued to feature consistently for Monaco before getting his move to PSG in 2015 for €23 million. Throughout his time at PSG he has featured regularly making over 100 league appearances and has helped contribute towards 4 Ligue 1 titles as well reaching the Champions League final in 2020.
A deeper diveEmbed from Getty Images
Kurzawa has had very limited game time over the last few years with the introduction of Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon, so I’m going to take a look at his 2019-20 campaign where he made 20 appearances across Ligue 1 and the Champions League. Firstly, Kurzawa’s passing stats are impressive, a 90.2% pass completion put him in the top 3% of full backs during that season and in the top 2% of short passes. The 29 year old’s passing stats decrease the further the distance is showing his ability to play it short but difficulties when he needs to be more direct.
His shot creation stats are relatively poor being in the bottom 25% of full backs but in the top 11% of goal creating actions. I think the latter can be taken with a slight pinch of salt, as the PSG front line is incredibly clinical so more often than not, chances will be converted to goals.
I have also decided to look at Kurzawa’s 2019-20 season and compare to Antonee Robinson’s start to the season (albeit a very small sample size) and this is what I found.
- Very similar tackling stats with Robinson contributing 2.8 per 90 and Kurzawa 2.4 per 90
- The same story for interceptions with Kurzawa making 1.8 compared to Robinson’s 1.4
- Kurzawa attempted just under 40 more passes per 90 (albeit in a more attacking PSG system) and has a pass accuracy of 90% compared to Robinson’s 66%.
- Very similar in terms of attempted crosses and attempted dribbles per 90
I have also attached a photo of Kurzawa’s heat map which shows he is a hive of activity who isn’t afraid of getting up and down the flank.
Yes or no?Embed from Getty Images
This one seems like a bit of a no brainer to me, a clear upgrade on Joe Bryan and an experienced defender who will add necessary depth and also provide solid competition for Antonee Robinson. While we don’t know if there is an option or not, Kurzawa’s attacking and defensive abilities could be exactly what Marco needs and will help to provide another option to Robinson.