Right, been a while since I’ve done this but let’s give it a crack anyway. You guys already know how this works, let’s look at some strengths and weaknesses of Gabriel and then I’ll give you my take on his potential move to Chelsea.
Let’s start with his strengths:
Magalhães boasts a great aerial ability. Standing at 6’3 Magalhães is extremely impressive in the air. Across 30 games so far this season he has averaged 5.1 aerial duels per game winning 3.2 of those on average. Which is roughly 63%.
In comparison, Virgil Van Dijk has averaged 5.9 aerial duels per game for Liverpool this season, winning 4.3 of those. Equating to 73%. Obviously Van Dijk is one of the world’s best defenders, however, the numbers are encouraging for Magalhães.
A further strength of Magalhães is his ability to distribute the ball. He averages 61.8 passes per game, completing 80.9% of those. Very impressive numbers when you take into account 3.5 of those are long balls.
Let’s compare him to Van Dijk again, who averages 84.2 passes per game and completes at 89.3%. The statistics once again showing that Magalhães has very impressive numbers in his first season as a regular starter.
A very crucial strength of Magalhães is his ability to switch play with a long range pass out of his own half. Something which Chelsea have lacked since the departure of David Luiz. Considering the pace Chelsea have out wide, this can be a key asset to have in the XI.
Magalhães boasts great positional awareness when defending. Making 1.2 interceptions per game. Along with those numbers he makes 1.8 tackles per game with an additional 3.3 clearances and blocks. Magalhães is also very capable of using his solid frame to shield the ball.
If we were to compare his numbers to Van Dijk again. Van Dijk had 0.8 tackles per game, 1 interception, 4.6 clearances and 0.4 blocks. Once more, Magalhães performs well compared to Van Dijk.
Now let’s take a look at his weaknesses:
The biggest criticism of Magalhães is his lack of ability with his right foot. So far this season, Gabriel has proven to extremely favour his left-foot and struggles to use his weaker foot, only using it approximately 5% of the time.
A further criticism of Magalhães is his lack of aerial threat on attacking set pieces. Only scoring 1 goal so far this season, his aerial threat inside the opposition box is an area of his game which needs to improve. As Chelsea have been known to struggle attacking set pieces.
So here’s my take on it:
For the rumoured fee of around £30 million, Magalhães will be a very solid signing for Chelsea. A strong defender who is capable in winning aeriel duals and making tackles and intercepts it’ll certainly add something the Chelsea defence is missing.
Although his lack of ability with his weak foot is an issue, Chelsea boast an abundance of right-footed centre backs therefore it won’t be a significant issue considering Magalhães will play as a left-sided centre back.
Overall it’s a good signing. Adds something to the squad which Chelsea don’t have and has all the skills to become a very good Premier League defender when you combine his strength, size, distribution and defensive capabilities.
Written by: Tactical Role