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As his goals return demonstrates from last season with Sevilla (one in 31 games), Kondogbia is more productive shielding the back four than he is in attack.
He is an effective tackler, though, committing just 50 fouls all season—an average of just 1.6 all season in a league known for a culture of referees quick to blow the whistle.
At 6' 3", images of the 20-year-old imposing himself physically throw up comparisons with other midfielders of African descent, such as Manchester City’s Yaya Toure or Chelsea’s Michael Essien.
It seems he has a little more in common with them, too, demonstrating a passing accuracy of 86.9 percent last term. Toure himself boasted 88.9 percent and Essien, on loan at Real Madrid, 88.5 percent.
He needs to improve what he offers offensively, however, with just 0.3 key passes last term and one assist in 31 outings along with less than one turnover.
In the modern era, the benchmark for any defensive midfielder is that of Claude Makelele—being adept at breaking up play, but also getting your team moving forward—and the stats suggest Kondogbia has much to work on in that area.
*Stats from WhoScored.com