A Contribution Post via Liam Hungate
Nicolas Pepe is a man that has been on the minds of many Chelsea fans for a while now. Many have called him the ‘Hazard replacement’ we need, and are looking to the future should Eden Hazard go to Madrid.
Obviously he is talented by his play and performance throughout the season, but another very telling presence are his statistics throughout the season.
I thought the best ways to compare Pepe, who is presumably our “Hazard replacement”, would be to compare him to Hazard’s phenomenal season this year, as well as Eden’s final season with Lille back during the 2011/12 Ligue 1 season, before he signed for Chelsea.
|Name||Nicolas Pepe 2018/19||Eden Hazard
|Shots Per Game||3.2||2.8||2.6|
|Pass Success %||78.1||81.9||83.6|
|Man of the Match Awards||12||10||13|
For 2nd-place Lille, Pepe has a combined total of 30 goal involvements this season, with 6 games remaining. Compared to Hazard’s combined 36 in his final season with Lille, and his combined 28 with 4 games to go this season with Chelsea, Nicolas’s numbers look really good. He has been consistent throughout the season and remained without injury.
His youthfulness as well as his ability and willingness to shoot, could make him a really well rounded player in the Premier League. And by the numbers, Pepe is a very promising prospect, similar to what the club saw in Hazard back in 2011. Whilst his passing isn’t quite up to Hazard’s standards, he has years to improve, and with his height he also wins a lot of aerial duels. You can only imagine a decade down the road, where clubs are looking for the “New Pepe”.