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Walker Review: Stats, Pros and Cons of Villa’s Loan-Man

Kyle Walker impressed Fabio Capello enough to warrant his first senior international call-up after just 5 games at Villa Park, catching the eye with two fantastic individual efforts against old-club Sheffield United and a long drive against Fulham. Some Villa fans have been slightly less enthused as the 20-year-old, unsurprisingly due to his age, is prone to the odd hairy moment, especially in a defensive capacity. So I wanted to take a more in-depth look into the start of his Villa career to establish just how good, or perhaps not so, that the young full-back is.

So here’s the basics to start you off! In 6 appearances thus far for Villa, Walker has completed the 90 minutes on each occasion, 4 times in the Premier League and twice in the FA Cup against Sheffield United and Blackburn. Having scored twice in six games, funnily enough Walker has a goal ratio of 1 in 3, or 270 minutes for you clever folk! That was the very basic basics having not yet obtained an assist or even as much as a booking yet at Villa.

Now for a look into a little more detail of Walker’s stats with regards to shooting, passing and importantly, tackling during his 4 league games up-to-date. When it comes to shooting, statistically Walker is perfect having only taken 1 shot, from 35 yards against Fulham, which nestled in the bottom corner so that’s a pretty decent success rate, more of the same please! His passing stats, unsurprisingly, are not quite as emphatic. Having made 230 passes in total of which 12 were crosses, Walker has completed 167 at a success rate of 70.9% which is pretty decent for a defender and alludes to his more attacking style of play. However, I did notice against Fulham that his crossing needed work, and indeed of the 4 attempted deliveries he made, none hit their target. In all his record is far better having completed 4 of his 12 crosses at a rate of 33.3% but considering his position as a full-back, I feel this a key area for improvement for the hot prospect.

Now to the defensive side of things, and a department where Walker has picked up slight concern from fans and club/international managers alike. The 20-year-old has contested 48 tackles in his 4 league games, but has only come out on top in slightly under half of these instances, 23 to be precise, with a success rate of 47.9%. This figure will certainly have to improve if the right-back is to continue to push Glen Johnson for an England starting berth and indeed keep his place in the Villa line-up ahead of the more defensively assured Luke Young and Carlos Cuellar. Just to round things off, Walker’s disciplinary record is as yet exemplary having only made 4 fouls in as many games. I would suggest that adding a bit of bite to his game at the expense of a few cautions may be a good thing as the players athleticism and strength cannot be questioned. Just out of interest, or lack there of, the Spurs man has been fouled more times than having fouled, also unusual for a defender, winning 6 free kicks in total.

So that’s my geek session over! To sum up I think that Walker has the potential to be a senior international without a doubt but am glad that he wasn’t capped so early in his career as, in my opinion, he is not there yet. Certainly not the finished article but plenty to look forward too. Unfortunately I would suggest that the Spurs fans are the ones who will be witnessing his talent grow as it seems extremely unlikely that they would let such a talent leave after only recently signing for the club. It has been confirmed that there is no future fee involvement in the loan deal so I would suggest Villa fans get behind the youngster while they can and encourage what has been an encouraging start!



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