City are a club well known for their plethora of squad depth and quality all over the pitch.
For all of their depth only one position seems to have a little scare – the left-back position.
Pep Guardiola admitted in January that the club were “thinking about” signing a new left-sided defender thanks to the serious injury suffered by Benjamin Mendy.
It was then heavily reported that Chilwell had been identified as a target and City were ready to make a move at the end of the season.
Zinchenko came in as cover at the start of the year though, seriously impressed the coach, who then felt that the owners should focus their recruitment drive on other areas of the pitch as they already have that problem solved.
City eventually pulled the plug on their plans to sign Leicester’s Ben Chilwell this summer thanks to the emergence of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
However, let’s take a look at the statistics of both players. Would Ben Chilwell have been an upgrade to City’s current left-back Zinchenko?
The City man had an average of 2.4 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per 90 minutes which was better than that of Ben Chilwell at 1.5 tackles and 1.1 interceptions.
However, when it came to clearances, Chilwell has a superior lead as his 3.6 clearances per game was more than double that of Zinchenko at 1.1 per game.
It’s a rather surprising stat as City have way more possession compared to Leicester and it would normally be expected that Ben Chilwell should lead the pile in all defensive regards. Goes to show that regardless of his team, Zinchenko is a hard worker.
Considering City are a more offensive side than Leicester City, one would expect Zinchenko to come out on top in this aspect.
Surprisingly, the Leicester man is the clear winner.
Chilwell had an average of 0.6 shots per game and 1.3 key passes per game which is significantly higher than that of Zinchenko at 0.5 shots and 0.9 key passes per game.
The killer blow is that the Leicester man had an impressive 1.4 dribbles per game which is totally above the ratio for Zinchenko with 0.4 dribbles per game.
It is no surprise then that Chilwell finished the season with one assist higher than the City man (4 compared to 3).
Both players are roughly the same height with Zinchenko at 5′ 9″ and Chilwell at 5′ 10″.
However, their statistics in this regard are nowhere near the same.
Ben Chilwell won an average of 3.1 duels per 90 minutes which is a major upgrade to Zinchenko’s aerial struggles at 1.7 duels per 90 minutes.
In an attacking setup like City, it makes sense why Guardiola will ideally want the Leicester man at his club. Bearing in mind that his numbers will definitely improve upon playing with better players.
The intent of City chasing Ben Chilwell was to bring in a young defender with a lot of attacking potent in him. At 22 years of age, the Leicester man perfectly fits that bill.
Also when you consider that Mendy can barely play three consecutive games without an injury and compare to the fact that Chilwell started 36 out of Leicester’s 38 games and only missed 180 minutes of playing time, it makes sense that City were interested in signing the Englishman.
That being said, Chilwell, playing week in and week out with a better crop of City players would have been an upgrade to what Zinchenko currently offers.