I have tweeted in the past about Anderlecht winning a bunch when Sacha Kljestan plays and in Brian Sciaretta’s latest interview with Kljestan, he got a stat from Daniel Renders (former Anderlecht assistant coach who is now in the club’s front office) about the staggering difference when Kljestan plays/doesn’t play.
Renders’ analysis shows that in Anderlecht’s last 108 games (for a total of 324 possible points), the club has won 72.8% of all possible points with Kljestan on the field. In the 22 games where Kljestan did not play, the club accumulated just 42.4% of the points (28 out of 66).
While it would take me eleventy billion hours to compare this to everyone in Europe, I was able to look up something to compare to other midfielders in Europe. I stuck with midfielders to stay among his “peers” and it cuts down on a lot of people to look into/while moving him further up the list.
So looking at midfielders in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands who have played at least 40 league games since the beginning of the 2011-12 season (40 seems to be about 75% of games for most teams, so looking at guys who are regular starters/contributors), here is where Kljestan (and his mustache) stacks up in Europe among players when they they play.
A couple things of note. Basically everyone on Bareclona is a midfielder, but I tried to look up where guys play on various sites so a couple guys are missing. Javier Mascherano has mainly been a center back the last two years, Lionel Messi is a forward and Andres Iniesta is missing since he has played in 39 games (just missed the cut!). Otherwise Iniesta would be #1 with 2.62 points per game played.
The other thing that sticks out to me is that Anderlecht has lost only three league games out of 53 when Kljestan plays. That is pretty tough to do.
Granted one player can’t control a team’s success/failure (unless it is Messi or Jeff Agoos), but Kljestan is among some good company.