It’s generally been agreed that Reneilwe Letsholonyane has had a quiet start to the new season, with speculation growing that his recent heavy playing load for both club and country has taken an effect on the 31-year-old’s body.
Yeye’s perceived drop in form led to Stuart Baxter resting the normally high performing central midfielder, as he selected Lucky Baloyi instead during Chiefs’ recent 3-1 defeat to SuperSport United.
Against SuperSport, it appeared Chiefs may have lacked some presence in the middle of the park as the match wore on, and this allowed SuperSport to use this advantage and take the victory.
We looked at our exclusive Soccer-Laduma stats, to compare how Letsholonyane and Baloyi stack up against each other this season.
In the four matches in which Letsholonyane has featured, he made an average 48.25 passes per game. This compared to the 41 passes Baloyi made against United. This suggests Yeye has more of an influence in the middle of the park when it comes to the build-up play.
A plus side for the 22-year-old is that he completed 87.8% of his passes, compared to Yeye’s total of 79.79%.
However, Baloyi made just 16 forward passes per game which is far less than the 27 which the 31-year-old makes per match, on average. This seems to show that Yeye is slightly more positive in trying to drive Chiefs forward.
Yeye also seems more destructive when it comes to breaking up play. He averages 3.75 succesful tackles and 14.25 interceptions per match. Plus, he wins possession back 19 times per game.
Baloyi averages 1.0 successful tackle and 9 interceptions per game. He also wins the ball back 12 times per match.
The numbers seem to show that Letsholonyane does edge Baloyi in the middle of the park, in terms of being a physical presence as well as a creative force.
Nonetheless, the contest for the starting berth is still very tight, and it remains to be seen who Stuart Baxter will opt to line up against Maritzburg United on Saturday.