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EPL Index - The Rise and Rise of Salomon Kalou – Opta Analysis

Salomon Kalou confuses. The Ivorian sparks debate and splits Chelsea fans as to whether he is even worth a place in the side, courted by Arsene Wenger, there must be something about the man whose contract is up at the end of the season. Rumours are that he has been offered a new 4 year deal.

Kalou has always been a squad player at Chelsea and holds the all time record for substitute appearances, he has been a hero, crossing that ball on to Riise’s head in the Champions League. late goals against Manchester United and Tottenham in recent seasons, a hat trick against Stoke in a 7-0 thumping, but from game to game he is much maligned. Screen Shot 2012 03 25 at 23.40.48 300x186 The Rise and Rise of Salomon Kalou Opta Analysis

He has been improving over the last 3 seasons but is finding it hard and harder to find a place in the side. Kalou has seen his successful dribbles improve by 43%. his shooting accuracy has also improved as has his pass completion steadily from 76.39% in 2008/09 to 82.61% this season

Salomon Kalou, has had to wait for opportunities at Chelsea this season but made an immediate impact scoring the 2nd goal against Leicester City in the FA Cup. The Ivorian has scored 1 goal in 3 games for the club in the premier league this season and boasts 100% shooting accuracy in 3 of his first 4 appearances of the season. Kalou has also had a shot every 45.33 minutes and a shot on target every 68 minutes on average.

In the recent Chelsea victory over Stoke on the 10th March, Mata and Kalou both created 5 chances, the former praised, the later criticised for a having a poor game the only difference between them was Drogba converting one of those chances, from the Spaniard. That was by far Kalou’s best game of the season, he produced 5 of his 8 chances created all season, but was then left out of the side again.

Looking at key statistics of our wide players and strikers for completeness as Kalou can play either role the Ivorian comes out favourably.

Only Juan Mata creates chances in a shorter time span and only Drogba has a better minutes per goal ratio.

Kalou leads the other four on successful dribbles per game and on pass completion. He is also the most accurate shooter and has the best chance conversion.

The data may indeed be skewed by the fact his appearances have been few and far between but his numbers suggest he is deserving of more chances as other players are struggling and could prove crucial as Chelsea cling on to hope of Champions League qualification.