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Daily Schmankerl: Bayern Munich interested in Real Madrid’s Alvaro Odriozola as alternative to Hakimi

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Bayern Munich is sizing up all of Real Madrid’s backup options in their search for a right-back. Also: UCL opponent Chelsea’s goalkeeper is a major liability.

Club Brugge KV v Real Madrid: Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Bayern Munich interested in Alvaro Odriozola (Sky Sport)

You probably have seen that Bayern Munich is interested in Real Madrid’s Achraf Hakimi, currently on loan to Borussia Dortmund. Obviously, if Real makes good their alleged intention to put Hakimi on their team next season, he can’t come to Munich.

Sky Sport has learned that Bayern is also scouting the man behind Hakimi, 24-year-old Alvaro Odriozola. Odriozola is in his second year with Real Madrid, but he has hardly played this season. As the second choice behind Dani Carvajal, Odriozola one goal and nine assists in 1856 minutes last season, playing essentially when Carvajal was hurt. But it has been slim pickings so far this season as Carvajal enjoys excellent health.

If Hakimi returns to Real, they would probably let Odriozola depart. The question then is whether Bayern would consider him good enough.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga a major liability (Sky Sports)

Bayern’s Champions League opponent Chelsea has a major weakness in one of the worst possible places: their starting goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. A very interesting article by Adam Bate at Sky Sports explored potential flaws in his game with Goalkeeping Intelligence’s founder and former professional goalkeeper Richard Lee.

In Lee’s view, Arrizabalaga’s technique suffers from a major flaw. Reviewing a header that he conceded to Newcastle’s Isaac Hayden in the fourth minute of stoppage time, Lee said,

If you look at the moment the header is made, his hands are just tucked inside ever so slightly. All it means is that it’s just tougher to get the coordination right. You need to have such quick hands to get them into the position they need to be in.

Lee says he noticed the habit in Arrizabalaga’s first game for Chelsea in 2018: “His decision to swing his arms behind his back, seemingly in an effort to gain momentum, cost him valuable time when attempting to keep out Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s low shot for Arsenal.”

GK Intelligence has concluded that Arrizabalaga struggles in one-on-ones and close-range headers. The numbers back up their impression. His save percentage inside the box is the worst in the Premier League (just 51% — the second worst is 57.9%!), and his “goals prevented” number (a kind of mirror image of the xG of shots against him) is -7.79, also the worst in the EPL. In other words, he has conceded roughly eight more goals than expected by xG.

That is very good news for Bayern Munich, whose players thrive on creating multiple shots in the box from close range. If Arrizabalaga’s struggles continue, however, coach Frank Lampard could hypothetically bench the world’s most expensive goalkeeper — Chelsea paid a record-breaking €80 to Athletic Bilbao for him in 2018.

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