Heading into the summer, Manchester United require to address a number of key positions as Erik ten Hag looks to bolster his squad and mount a title charge next season.
A midfielder, striker and defender are all on the cards.
Another crucial position that may need to be examined is the goalkeeper’s spot.
David de Gea‘s contract expires at the end of the season and the Red Devils are still yet to announce an extension of his terms.
Reports have indicated that De Gea is locked in negotiations with the club over an increased stay at Old Trafford but on significantly reduced terms.
Nevertheless, some within the fanbase still feel that this is the wrong move and retaining the Spaniard is ill-advised.
De Gea’s limitations have been on full display this season. His weaknesses are well-known. He is extremely poor in distribution, playing with his feet, commanding his box and initiating sweeping action.
It is for these reasons that United are looking at goalkeeping solutions in the market. The two names high on Ten Hag’s wishlist are Brentford’s David Raya and Porto’s Diogo Costa.
Let’s see how Costa and Raya rank in comparison to De Gea and which shot-stopper would be best suited to Ten Hag’s football philosophy.
Jack Fawcett, a football analyst, took a deep dive into the three goalkeepers across a number of metrics. The stunning revelations painted a grim image of De Gea’s suitability to Ten Hag’s brand of football.
This is something The Peoples Person also detailed a while ago.
Fawcett averaged out the numbers across De Gea, Raya and Costa’s respective careers and crunched the figures.
As per Fawcett, in terms of shot-stopping, which is based on how likely a keeper will save a shot compared to goals conceded, Costa is performing at the highest level compared to Raya and De Gea.
Raya comes in second place with De Gea massively underperforming. In terms of save percentage, De Gea ranks last with a save percentage of 72.05. Costa has a 74.5% save success rate while Raya tops this department with 74.82%.
Fawcett however adds that this does not necessarily make Raya the best saver between the three. The Spaniard faces lower quality shots than De Gea and Costa.
Costa is actually the best shot-stopper if consideration is paid to per shot expected goals per shot on target (PSxG/SoT).
In terms of distribution, Raya attempts 34.69 passes per 90. Costa tries 27.95 passes per 90. De Gea tries 19.78 passes per 90.
The launch pass accuracy gives a fairer reflection of the goalkeeper’s distribution ability. The Porto No 1 has an accuracy of 45.78%. Raya comes second with 38.78. De Gea comes in last with 35.68%.
Costa excels at finding his man with long efforts.
With regard to sweeping, this was measured by the number of defensive actions per 90. Raya averages 1.50 defensive actions per 90. Costa musters an average of 1.19 defensive actions per 90 while De Gea comes in third again with 0.73.
De Gea’s inability to sweep greatly limits the team in its attempts to play high up the pitch and press high. The Red Devils have the second-deepest defensive line in the league this campaign.
In terms of cross-claiming, De Gea has come out to claim a cross only 1.9% of the time in the last six seasons. Contrast this to Raya’s 7.26% and Costa’s incredible 7.5%.
Who is Better, Diogo Costa, David Raya or David de Gea? 🤔🧤 pic.twitter.com/vYwiCZmTcI
— Jack Fawcett (@JackFawcett1704) March 10, 2023
Cross-claiming helps relieve pressure at the back and opens up chances for counter-attacks.
The numbers and statistics prove that out of the three, Costa is by far the better goalkeeper and should be on top of the transfer queue for the 20-time English champions.
The metrics make Costa’s claim for him and if he can replicate his showings in a United shirt, an improvement on the pitch will be evident for all to see.
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