With Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben being at the end of their careers, Bayern Munich are forced to find the successors of those two legends. While a winter move of young Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi fell through, 22-year-old Kingsley Coman remains the heir to the Throne.
The spectacular Frenchman has a lot of potential and may become a world-class winger one day, according to Bayern’s executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and ex-coach Jupp Heynckes.
In our statistical analysis, we will examine whether this belief is justified or not. Is Kingsley Coman indeed the player who can replace Ribery or Robben? Or would Bayern be better suited using him as a Plan B?
Unlike Franck Ribery, Coman can play on both wings. While Ribery prefers the left wing, Coman doesn’t mind playing on the right wing as well. This has to do with his style of play. His biggest strength is his incredible speed. Thus, his dribbling can be rather one-dimensional, as he lays the ball a few meters behind the defender and then uses his speed to out-pace him. This can be done in exactly the same fashion on both wings.
Ribery, on the other hand, is a playmaking winger. The figures show that Ribery, on average, played 2.2 key passes per game. Coman on the other plays just 1.1 key passes per game.
With Robben, he is famous for his cut inside from the right wing in order to shoot with his left foot. As well as scoring many goals that way, he is a good passer too, reaching exactly 2 key passes per game on average.
Thus, we see that Coman is slightly different. Only 0.7 crosses per game throughout his career is also relatively low for a winger. This is the first hint that Coman doesn’t have a great final ball after breaking through on the wing using his immense speed.
So from the characteristics, we already see that Coman is a different type of player compared to the inverse wingers Ribery and Robben.
A world-class winger needs to be productive in terms of goals and assists. Even though there are many fancy extended statistics in today’s world, goals and assists remain as key indicators. And these figures suggest that Coman still has a long way to go. If we look at his career stats, it doesn’t come as a surprise that his early years at PSG and Juventus weren’t successful. So we only analyse his time at Bayern.
Highlighted, you can see the 2015/16 season under Pep Guardiola. The Catalan coach surely knew how to make use of Coman. The dribbles per games especially are significantly higher than in other years. With 10 goals in 20 Bundesliga games and seven goals in just four Champions League games, this was a pretty successful season.
In the following years, the numbers show a noticeable decrease. In total, concerning his Bayern years, Kingsley Coman played 5137 minutes and produced 31 goals. This equals one goal every 165.7 minutes.
For Ribery and Robben, we start with the arrival of Robben in Munich in the 2009/10 season and breakdown their minutes per goal ratio.
For Ribery, the figures show that he has played 20,014 minutes since 2009. In this time, he has produced 78 goals and 89 assists. Therefore, he produced a goal contribution every 119.84 minutes.
Robben has played 19,145 minutes and scored 123 goals, making 64 assists for Bayern Munich. Thus, Robben only needed 102.38 minutes on average for a goal or assist.
As there are clear differences in terms of finishing ability between Coman and Robben, it is highly unlikely that Coman will improve that much to close the gap on Robben. But in order to reach Ribery’s production level, Coman would have needed 12 more goals.
As we can see, Kingsley Coman’s scoring production is not on a world-class level. Does that make him a bad player? Certainly not. He is one of the best players in the Bundesliga. But as the goal is to replace Ribery and Robben, it is rather unclear whether he will reach that.
One of the main problems is that there is no steady development. His best season was back in 2015/16. Due to injuries, he failed to improve continuously. While it may be difficult to develop him into an ice-cold finisher, more experience will help him to make better choices. Eventually, this could help him to improve his assist numbers and increase his value for the team.
It will be crucial for Coman to improve his crossing skills so that he can convert his dribbles possibly into more assists.
For Bayern Munich, it may be good though to have a backup plan at hand. Eventually, Callum Hudson-Odoi might be that plan.
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