At the start of the January transfer window Chelsea bought the impressive Demba Ba from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee to ease the burden on Fernando Torres. However, Demba Ba shouldn’t just be mere back up, already against Southampton and his ten minute stint at Swansea, Ba has shown why he should be number one striker for Chelsea, and the stats back that up.
|Attacking Stats||Torres||Demba Ba|
|Mins per goal||244||128|
|Shots on Target||23||37|
|Shots off Target||12||33|
|Mins per shot||49||24|
|Mins per shot on target||74||45|
|Clear-Cut Chance Scored||3||7|
|Clear-Cut Chance Missed||8||6|
|Clear-Cut Chance Conversion %||27%||54%|
This season Ba has scored 13 goals while Torres has scored a meagre 7, he also has double the amount of shots as Torres as well as clear cut chance conversion. Although Torres may have a higher shooting accuracy this may be largely due to the fact that Torres takes less shots.
Demba Ba has shown a willingness to get in to the box, a willingness to make runs and has the physical presence to make him a top marksman for Chelsea. Considering that he has scored nearly double the amount of Torres whilst playing for Newcastle, Ba will surely get more chances in a side filled with wonderful creating talent. Torres was awful against Swansea in the league cup, having only 19 touches in 80 minutes. Demba Ba came on and had 2 headed chances, an offside goal and was given a yellow card wrongly for diving when it could have been a penalty.
|Passing Stats||Torres||Demba Ba|
|Total Open Play Passes (OPP)||428||489|
|Accurate Open Play Passes (OPP)||298||383|
|OPP Completion %||70%||78%|
|OPP Forwards %||26%||23%|
|OPP Backwards %||25%||26%|
|OPP Left %||21%||22%|
|OPP Right %||28%||29%|
Even with passing, Ba has a 8% better open pass completion rate and just under a 10% pass completion than the Spaniard. It highlights that Ba has become a more confident player, never mind striker.
|Total Chances Created||20||12|
|Mins per chance created||86||139|
|Clear-Cut Chances created||2||1|
A quick look at creativity stats show you that Torres is better here but Chelsea do not require a creative forward at this point. They have creativity in abundance with Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Lampard at their disposal. What they require is a finisher and the attacking stats above are clear in that Demba Ba will finish those chances and he’s twice as productive as Torres in this area (clear-cut chance conversion).
|Possession Stats||Torres||Demba Ba|
|Loss of Possession||53||52|
|Mins per Loss of Possession||32||32|
|Possession Won in Def Third||10||4|
|Possession Won in Mid Third||19||38|
|Possession Won in Att Third||11||4|
|Mins per Possession Won||43||36|
Winning possession back is something you’d look in a striker in the modern game and Demba Ba just edges out Torres here whilst Demba loses the ball a little more than Torres does too.
Demba Ba is the man in confident form, and it would be foolish of Rafa Benitez to start Torres instead of him. Torres is the only striker available for the Europe League therefore Ba should start key games in the Premier League. It’s a sad indictment of Torres’s demise that he is second striker, however the effort of last season isn’t there, coupled with the lack of confidence, it’s troubling times for Chelsea’s number 9.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.
My name is Kieran Makwana, currently studying Management at Lancaster University, I'm a lover of all things Chelsea Football Club, apart from Ron Gourlay. Follow me on Twitter - @BigMak92
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