Aston Villa have again been linked with Wolves winger Matt Jarvis as they seek to replace the departed Ashley Young, though the 25-year-old has rejected the speculation.
The left sided midfielder earned his first senior international call-up after an impressive campaign with Villa’s Midlands rivals and he has been quick to state that he hopes to continue his form in a Wolves shirt once again next season.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Villa are now some way ahead of the chasing pack in the race to sign Wigan’s star man Charles N’Zogbia, with a £9m bid reportedly on the cards. Any imminent deal may well be put on hold until the Latics have finalised a deal for long time Villa target Ali Al-Habsi, who enjoyed a fantastic loan spell at the DW Stadium last season and was a key factor in Roberto Martinez’s sides survival.
So who’s a better replacement for Young?
Both players are 25-years old and both operate in a predominantly left sided position which will no doubt lead many to suggest that Downing will be allowed to leave, despite Villa’s Player of the Year being deployed on the right for the majority of the last campaign. A fee for Jarvis is unknown but I would suggest that a bid of around £7-8m may force Mick McCarthy’s hand, so there is little between the two potential targets on that front either, so how about their stats?
N’Zogbia made 34 appearances last term (32 starts), netting an impressive 9 times from the wing, including an end of season flurry. Jarvis made 37 appearances (34 starts) scoring just 4 goals in the league in a higher amount of games to N’Zogbia so it is safe to say that the Wigan man offers more of a goal threat. Both men however, have experienced netting at Villa Park against the hosts from last term, N’Zogbia’s being the opener in a 1-1 draw and Jarvis’ the winner in a 1-0 win for the away side. N’Zogbia attempted far more shots at goal, 1.6 per game on average, compared to Jarvis’ 0.7.
In terms of assists for teammates, Jarvis just pipped the Frenchman with 6 to N’Zogbia’s 5 and the Englishman’s crossing is a key feature of his game and significantly more so than his opponent in this regard. The Wolves man completed an average of 1.9 accurate crosses per game compared to N’Zogbia’s 0.8. However, the latter turns the tables again when it comes to his passing stats, not only completing more per game on average, 29.6 to 22.8, but also completing a higher percentage of those attempted, 78% to 77%, both good figures for wingers. Out of interest, Ashley Young’s passing stats were significantly inferior having completed just 72% of the 33.6 passes he attempted per match.
Of the aforementioned passes, both players completed team highs with regards to key passes per game, with N’Zogbia coming out slightly on top once again, making 2 compared to Jarvis’ 1.8. One area in which it isn’t close whatsoever in terms of stats from the last term is the amount of successful dribbles completed. Not only is Jarvis inferior in this regard but the entire league lays in N’Zogbia’s wake with the Frenchman completing a fantastic 3.2 dribbles per game in comparison to Jarvis’ 0.8.
So N’Zogbia comes out on top with regards to the stats and I would suggest the extra £1-2m is probably warranted and the former Newcastle man would make a worthy replacement for Young at just over half the price. UTV!
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