Scouting Report: Grzegorz Krychowiak Liverpool's Mohamed Diame Alternative?

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Scouting Report: Grzegorz Krychowiak Liverpool's Mohamed Diame Alternative?
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

West Ham United utility player Mohamed Diame believes he is still a Liverpool transfer target, but would a better alternative be Reims' defensive midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak?

To cover that hypothetical, here is a scouting report on Krychowiak, a 24-year-old Polish international. 

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

 

Is Diame Liverpool Quality?

"I can't tell you if I will be a Liverpool player next season," Diame said per Sky Sports. "But I think my name is still on their wanted list."

What may hinder a potential move to Liverpool is Diame regressing instead of progressing. 

 

League Only Tackles Per Game Interceptions Per Game Pass-Completion %
       
Diame 2013-14 2.2 0.6 77.6
Diame 2012-13 3.5 1.2 84.1
Diame 2011-12 (Wigan Athletic) 3.2 1.0 83.9
Diame 2010-11 (Wigan Athletic) 3.0 1.9 77.5
Diame 2009-10 (Wigan Athletic) 5.2 3.2 80.9
       

In Diame's first season at Wigan, he accumulated 176 tackles and intercepted 110 passes in 34 Premier League games, numbers he has not come close to replicating since. 

The context behind that season was his rebounding from a failed move to Barcelona.

"We picked him up when Barcelona had refused [to sign] him because of his heart [defect]," Wigan owner Dave Whelan said per Rob Stewart of Goal.com. "I don't think that he has repaid the faith that we put in him."

This season for West Ham, Diame is averaging 3.0 less tackles and 2.6 less interceptions per game compared to his 2009-10 campaign for Wigan.

With Diame's diminished defensive productivity and Liverpool on course to win the Premier League, it is brazen for him to link himself with a move to the Reds.

From an attacking perspective, Diame has been inefficient: He takes 14 shots per goal and has recorded a 32 percent shooting accuracy, per Squawka.com.

Diame is declining statistically, which is bleak from a subjective point of view.

His positioning as a central midfielder is suspect, and he looks lost out wide. 

These reasons are why Liverpool should consider another midfield target.

One suggested transfer alternative is Krychowiak, who is described as "one of Ligue 1's most underrated talents," per Bleacher Report's Jonathan Johnson

 

Positives

Krychowiak is a 6'1", 187-pound defensive midfielder who leads Reims in headers won per game (3.1). 

He is immense in the air, which is why at one point of the season he was winning 89 percent of contested headers.

While it has dropped to 72, per Squawka.com, it is still 40 percent higher than Diame's.

Source: Squawka.com.

Krychowiak's aerial ability was on show when he sprung up to make a goal-line clearance against Lorient:

Source: Ligue1.com.

The manner in which Krychowiak elevated into the air to head home against Lille reinforces how high his vertical jump is: 

Source: Ligue1.com.

It is not the first time Krychowiak has chipped in with a handy goal, as you can ask Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho.

When he was at Paris Saint-Germain, there was a defensive breakdown in a play against Reims, and guess who profited? Krychowiak. 

Source: Ligue1.com.

Another strength in Krychowiak's game is his elite ball-winning capability, as he is approaching 100 tackles and interceptions for the season (he's currently at 85 tackles and 89 interceptions). 

 

Negatives 

Krychowiak has shown glimpses of vision, like creating Prince Oniangue's goal against Marseille:

Source: Ligue1.com.

However, Krychowiak is not a consistent playmaking threat from deep (he averages 0.5 key passes per game) and needs to bump his pass-completion percentage from 79.3 to 85-plus.

Krychowiak's concentration wavers at times:

Source: Ligue1.com.

His error leading to a goal against Lyon and a lapse in judgement against Saint-Etienne are concerning: 

Source: Ligue1.com.

Krychowiak, who is the primary penalty-taker, blazed over against PSG, another example that his mental application needs improvement:

Source: Ligue1.com.

 

Bottom Line

Krychowiak is a tough, resilient and hard-working footballer whose career is rising, while Diame's is stagnating.

That is why Liverpool should sign Krychowiak over Diame.

 

@allanjianga

Statistics via WhoScored.com unless otherwise noted.

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