Chelsea’s new manager Antonio Conte suggested that some players in the squad can improve and reach the level of the World’s elite players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba. Of course anything is possible in this world and in particular Football everything is possible. But I am interested in understanding the current gap that the Chelsea players ought to close in order to enter the elite group. Analyzing last seasons’ statistics reveals the mammoth hard work awaiting the Pensioners.
Even in such a disappointing season, Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s top dribbler, has had more successful dribbles than Ronaldo and Suárez. But their playing style completes goals and creates assists than dribbles. Though he is somewhat close to Paul Pogba, he is very distant to Neymar and Messi.
Chelsea’s topper Diego Costa has shot on target less than one third of what Ronaldo has had in the same season. All under comparison except Pogba had more than twice as much as shots on target as Diego Costa. Very steep improvement will be expected by Conte here.
The Spanish wizard Cesc Fàbregas who had showered the earlier season with assists had faded but still emerged as the top assist provider for Blues. Messi and Suárez have provided more than double of what Fàbregas did. Fluency in play should be focused on.
Finally, the statistic that matters the most – goals. Chelsea’s Diego Costa had scored 12 goals last season which is less than one-third of Suárez, just one-third of Ronaldo, less than half of Messi and just half of Neymar. He has only scored more than Paul Pogba who has an additional incredible 12 assists in his kitty. Huge efforts in front of goal is what Conte would expect from the Pensioners.