Luka Modric has become the Helen of Troy of the transfer market. Like the fit girl in the year above which no-one can get and has a dickhead of a boyfriend, in this case the dickhead is Daniel Levy, everyone fucking wants him.
But why does everyone want him so much?
It is well known that he neither scores goals, or gets many assists, so it is a fair question to ask; what the fuck does he do?
Pass, a lot. In the past two seasons Modric has been completing a pass every minute, although this isn’t that impressive (even Mark Noble managed that rate with the sinking ship that was Wst Ham United last season). What is impressive though, s the accuracy of his passing.
|Total Open Play Passes (OPP)||1999|
|Accurate Open Play Passes (OPP)||1729|
|OPP Completion %||86%|
This shows Modric’s open play passing(OPP) last year. 86% is high, it is the same as Jack Wilshere’s last year and seeing as Modric managed to achieve the same percentage as holding midfielder in a passing side, the stat looks fairly impressive.
Modric can dribble as well as these stats suggest;
|Successful Dribbles per game||2.16|
And when compared to other Chelsea central midfielders dribbling stats last year, such as Lampard(successful dribbles per game 0.33) or John Obi Mikel at 0.57 dribbles. You can see why Andre Villas-Boas seems to want him so much.
Not only can Modric attack though, he can also defend.
|Total Ground 50-50’s||360|
|Ground 50-50’s Win %||54%|
|Mins per Ground 50-50’s||7.78|
|Total Aerial 50-50’s||35|
|Aerial 50-50’s Win %||51%|
|Mins per Aerial 50-50’s||80|
|Tackle Success %||63.33%|
|Mins per Tackle||47|
|Successful Last Man Tackle||0|
|Interceptions per game||2.83|
Here are his defensive statistics from last season. They aren’t incredible, unlike Mikels, but are surprisingly good compared to most other traditionally attacking midfielders and he gets far more involved in the defensive side when compared to other attacking players such as Frank Lampard or Cesc Fabregas. Modric’s interception stats are also highly impressive at 2.83 per game, higher than even Gareth Barry’s(a traditional defensive midfielder) interception statistics last season, and they show his great ability to read the game.
Some would argue that the defensive side of his game does not come naturally to him. They have arguably come because of the need to adapt after the signing of Rafael Van Der Vaart last season. After this, Harry Redknapp moved Modric deeper to compensate for the attacking style of Van Der Vaart. Because of this Modric had to improve the defensive side of the game and has become a more complete player because of it.
This is not true though, Modric has always had a good defensive side to his game and his stats have only gone up a small amount since the 2008/09 season. His defensive performance has got better though, but so has his all round game. People often forget that the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder (for the moment anyway), is still only 25, he arguably hasn’t reached his peak yet and his ever improving performances suggest this as well.
He would probably become even better if played in a better side as well. Chelsea fans must already be salivating at the thought of Modric, Mikel and Mata all in the same midfield. Mikel would provide the defensive stability, Modric the metronomic passing and a high work rate and Mata the final ball, he had 12 assists last season after all. Manchester United also would probably be better off buying Modric’s all round game, rather than Sneiders purely attacking play.
Obviously though, there are holes in Modric’s play. His heading ability has never been too good and it is understandable, given he is only 5ft 8in small. Even this is getting better though, winning over half of his aerial duels last year.
What is a weakness though, is his finishing. Modric has never been a goalscorer and I don’t think he ever will be. Modric’s chance conversion rate has never been over 8% in his time in the Premier League and I would happily stick my neck out and say it never will be. Most midfielders have higher conversion rates than 10% but this is the only area that Modric can be seen as below average as a Premier League footballer.
Modric would be first team player for any side in any top league in the world. He is the complete modern midfielder and the only player that is similar to him in the Premier League is Jack Wilshere.