Stats analysed: How do Liverpool target Manu Kone’s 2022/23 figures compare to Jude Bellingham?

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Liverpool’s lengthy pursuit of Jude Bellingham ultimately proved to be in vain, with Real Madrid now looking set to land the Borussia Dortmund midfielder (Daily Mail).

However, it seems that the Reds are looking elsewhere in the Bundesliga for a player who’s been dubbed an ‘alternative’ to the England international.

BILD reporter Christian Falk tweeted on Tuesday night: “TRUE ✅ Liverpool started transfer Talks with the Management of Manu Koné (22) of Borussia Mönchengladbach. He could be the alternative for Jude Bellingham”.

With both players operating in the same position and also in the same league during the 2022/23 campaign, and with both having also been linked with Liverpool, there are several obvious parallels between the pair.

Would Kone be a comparable alternative to Bellingham in terms of performance figures, though? We’ve analysed the numbers from statistical website FBref to provide a side-by-side analysis (Bundesliga matches only).

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Attacking play

Goals and assists: Bellingham has a clear edge here, netting eight times and setting up another four goals compared to just one of each for Kone.

Expected goals: That disaprity is also reflected in their respective xG figures, with 8.2 for the English teenager and just 1.2 for the Monchengladbach man.

Shots (and shots on target): Unsurprisingly given the above figures, the Englishman trumps his French counterpart for the number of shots taken (66 v 26) and landed on target (23 v 14).

However, Kone is far more effective with his shooting, getting 53.8% of his on target compared to 34.8% for the Dortmund star.

Passing and possession

Passes made: Bellingham comes out on top for the number of passes attempted throughout the season (1,643 to 1,377) and also the number of those which reached a teammate (1,342 v 1,187).

Pass completion: However, similar to his shooting accuracy, Kone is also the more economical of the two when it comes to accurate passes, having completed 86.2% of his overall compared to the 19-year-old’s 81.7%.

Types of pass played: The Frenchman generally prefers to keep the ball ticking over safely, playing more short passes than Bellingham (704 v 694) and also being the more accurate passer (91.5% to 87.2%).

The latter is more adventurous in his distribution, though, attempting 233 long passes to Kone’s 89 and also posting a better accuracy return in that regard (72.5% to 65.2%).

Touches taken: Bellingham gets on the ball more often than the Frenchman (2,091 touches to 1,796) and has twice as many in the attacking third of the pitch (606 v 302), although the Monchengladbach midfielder takes more touches than the England star in the defensive third (404 v 342).

Dribbling and ball carrying: The Dortmund midfielder is the more adept of the two for this trait, attempting more dribbles (151 v 118) and completing a greater percentage of his (57% v 48.3%) than Kone. He’s also recorded more carries (1,342 to 1,164) than the 22-year-old.

Fouls won: Although the Englishman is generally more inclined to get into forward positions and take on opponents, his French counterpart actually won more free kicks in the 2022/23 Bundesliga, being fouled 74 times to the teenager’s 73.

Defensive actions

Tackling and interceptions: The two players post very similar returns for tackles attempted (76 v 74) and won (42 v 39) and interceptions made (35 v 32), with Bellingham narrowly edging all three metrics.

Aerial duel success: The Dortmund star won 50.7% of his aerial battles during the season, compared to 39% for Kone, although it should be noted that the former has a five-centimetre height advantage and is therefore naturally more likely to be successful in the air.


All in all, Bellingham does appear to have the edge on Kone, particularly when it comes to goalscoring.

However, the Monchengladbach midfielder is notably more clinical with his passing and shooting, while the two players are very closely matched for several other metrics.

If anything, Liverpool may feel they could get better value with a projected €40m-€45m (£34.5m-£39m) outlay for the Frenchman (BILD), compared to the £130m asking price which was being quoted for the England international (Liverpool Echo), considering that there isn’t a great disparity in overall performance levels between the two.

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