Kranevitter, the new Mascherano

Note: this blog was written on the 14th of March. Spoiling a part of the rest of the article: Kranevitter made it to over 12 months (32 games) without losing a game before losing the super cup against Huracán (0-1) and the superclásico against Boca Juniors (0-2). He won the Copa Sudamericana 2014 and Copa Libertadores 2015 with River Plate.

In an earlier blog post I mentioned the great Matías Kranevitter, naming him as one of the top talents from the Argentine Primera División. Kranevitter (21) is, although his name might suggest otherwise, an argentine born defensive midfielder, currently playing at Copa Sudamericana holder River Plate. River Plate had an impressive year in 2014, winning both the local championship in May and the Copa Sudamericana (Europa League equivalent) in December. The young #5 was a key player in that team. He currently goes 25 games without a loss

Kranevitter’s speciality lies in tackling, but also his passing effectivity is impressive. However, his most impressive and eye-catching statistic is that he DID NOT LOSE any game in which he was present since the 7th of April 2014. After that date he has a record of 19 wins and 6 draws.

Matías Kranevitter’s record in the last 25 games for River Plate: 19 wins, 6 draws, 0 losses

This stat can be further investigated making a distinction between the River team with and without him. And his influence seems enormous. As can be seen from the following table River Plate averages almost 1 point more per game when Matías is playing:

All games of River Plate since 13/4/2014: without vs with Kranevitter
All games of River Plate from 13/4/2014 to 8/4/2015: without vs with Kranevitter

This rise in average points, but also the decrease in goals conceded, when Kranevitter is playing implicates the value he has for the “Millionarios”.

General stats

As sad Kranevitter’s passing and tackling stats are very impressive and among the best in the Argentine Primera División. The following stats are taken for all games he played since his debut (58 games).

Kranevitter's passes and tackles

Kranevitter averages a fair amount of tackles, of which he makes one third on the opponents half. Last season he even had by far the highest average of tackles per 90 minutes, as you can see in this table). And that considering that he plays in one of the most attacking teams of the country (and maybe continent). Besides that, his pass completion rate is also stunning: 93% against a league average of 83%. In the 33 full games (90 minutes) he played with River his pass completion rate NEVER dropped under 90%. And with only 15 players averaging more passes per 90 minutes also his amount of passes per game is among the highest for the Argentine Primera División 2015.

His major (and perhaps only) weakness seems to be his lack of attacking impulses. In the 58 games (3600 minutes) he played for River Plate he NEVER scored a goal, and only registered 1 assist. Moreover, he only took 9 shots in all those games, of which 3 went on goal. In his last 13 games he did not attempt any shot at all.

Kranevitter's attacking stats

But hey, Mascherano never scored a goal in his 216 appearances for Barcelona!


River probably demands a big transfer sum for their key man, but the European top clubs should be in line. Some reports:

Reportedly he has already been spotted in Italy, fixing a European passport and talking to clubs like AC Milan and Inter. But also a move (and more recent) to Valencia would be an option.

You can find a video analysis here.


Note: the data that has been used is provided by DataFactory

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