Real Madrid should not buy Eden Hazard from Chelsea

I come to bury Eden Hazard, and to praise him. The player whose effortless runs once terrorized Premier League rightbacks is no more. Could he ever come back? Once in a while I scan NYA’s player ratings across different leagues to see if anything unusual is going on. I have a rating for skill in ground duels in possession, and the player I’ve tended to use as a benchmark for this rating is none other than Hazard. The reason is simple: he’s always been among the most dangerous wingers (or lately attacking midfielders) in the world. In a ground duel…
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What happened to Liverpool’s Naby Keita?

Naby Keita. Just a few years ago, his name evoked fervent exaltation in some sectors of the soccer analytics community – he was the young midfielder who could do it all, with apparently unlimited talents both attacking and defending. Now, he can’t get a game for Liverpool. What happened? To answer this question, I think it’s important to understand where Keita started. Following an impressive maiden season in Europe at Istres, he began 2014-15 playing a combination of defensive midfield and central midfield at Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga. Even as a defensive midfielder, he pushed the ball…
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How good was Andrew Robertson at Hull?

Andrew Robertson, Liverpool’s left back, has been garnering plenty of plaudits for his performances in the Premier League and the Champions League, including a nomination for player of the week in the latter competition. He’s part of the raft of successful signings by Michael Edwards, the onetime analyst who is now the club’s sporting director. But to some, Robertson’s signing was a bit of a surprise: (By the way, I’d recommend following James on Twitter and reading his always entertaining prose.) Edwards apparently has a team of up to five mathematics and physics PhDs working for him. What did they see in the young Scottish fullback…
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