Bayern Munich will splash out a Bundesliga-record €80million on Lucas Hernandez after agreeing a deal with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Lucas is to join Benjamin Pavard in moving to Bayern for the start of next season as the Bavarian giants look to improve on a disappointing 2018-19 season under Niko Kovac.
But having spent such a huge amount on the Atleti star – almost double the previous league record – what are Bayern getting for their money?
With the help of Opta data, we take a look at how France international Lucas compares statistically to Europe’s other elite defenders.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 27, 2019
Lucas has played just 14 times in LaLiga this season, yet his tally of only eight goals conceded is still mightily impressive. New Bayern team-mates Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng have played 15 and 17 times respectively this term, conceding 14 and 15 goals.
With the France international on the field, Atleti have conceded 0.57 goals per game. Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk has been on the pitch for 0.58 goals per game.
Lucas averages a huge amount of tackles compared to his peers, making 35 in total this season – or 2.5 per game.
That figure is more than double the number per match from Hummels (1.2), Boateng (1.12) or Van Dijk (1.06). Leonardo Bonucci averages only 0.59 and Thiago Silva just 0.68, although Milan Skriniar is a little closer with 2.0.
129 – Lucas Hernandez has won more tackles than any other LaLiga defender since the start of last season in all competitions (129/180, 71.6%). Titan. pic.twitter.com/qworDkRiEL
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 27, 2019
One area in which Lucas might need some time to adapt is in how Bayern’s defenders work on the ball. Playing for the pragmatic Diego Simeone at Atleti, the 23-year-old plays just 36.36 passes per match. Team-mate Diego Godin averages 33.86.
Unsurprisingly, those at other elite clubs make far more. Aymeric Laporte plays a massive 85.67, with Silva on 80.27 and Van Dijk on 79.68. Bayern pair Hummels (82) and Boateng (78.24) are also among the most prolific passers.
What cannot be questioned is Lucas’ reliability at the back. He might have made only 14 league appearances in 2018-19, but he has not made a single error leading to a shot. The same is true of Boateng and Skriniar.
Van Dijk has made one, while Gerard Pique has been guilty of a concerning five.
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