To chart his progress, I thought it best to first take players of a similar ilk from the Premier League’s top seven, who have all seen a similar amount of action this season. Therefore, Scott Parker, Alex Song, Gareth Barry and Cheick Tiote all make the cut. Ball winning, retention and distribution are all core values of a defensive midfielder’s arsenal, and here are the relevant categories for this quintet.
The most revealing feature of this chart is Fellaini’s clear dominance and superiority in and around the tackle area. He is quite simply prolific, winning almost nine out of every 10 attempts, a ratio no-one can touch. In fact, his nearest challenger, Gareth Barry, is 15% less efficient in that department, itself a striking margin. Similarly in ground 50-50s, although Parker and Barry scarcely eclipse his success rate of 52%, Fellaini’s skill in this area is similarly powerful, victorious in 151 of these contests.
Predictably, Fellaini also posts impressive numbers in the air, winning double as many clashes as any of the others on this list, and at a far higher success rate. Interestingly, even with 5 less starts than Tiote, Fellaini is also the hardest man on this list for opponents to dribble past. This season, that has happened on just 21 occasions, whereas Alex Song has been turned, and left for dead 36 times.
Next Page: Fellaini compared to Fletcher, Mikel, Lucas Leiva, Cattermole, Nzonzi, Reo-Coker & Petrov…
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