Can Ekstein become Chiefs’ new midfield general?
Based on statistics from Ekstein’s performances last season, it seems the 26-year-old still has a lot to do to fulfil his undeniable potential. His 2016/17 Absa Premiership numbers read as follows:
Ekstein may look busy on the pitch, but the numbers reveal his displays are not as effective as they could be. Despite have the second-best final third passing accuracy (84.3%) in the league last year, the midfielder failed to register an assist all season, a sign that those final third passes were ineffective in helping the strikers find the back of the net. However, a counter argument is that the attackers failed to convert the opportunities he created. Averaging 62 touches and 53 passes per game, only 27.6% of those passes were in the final third, while he only averaged 0.6 crosses into the box per game, and only 1,24 shots at goal per 90 minutes. Ekstein also struggled defensively, making just 1.98 tackles per game and winning just 1.4 of them on average.