Leighton Baines has just been named as the best English player on the Bloomberg Sports List which has probably just added an extra couple of million onto his price if Manchester United are thinking of making a bid for him.
It certainly won’t be an easy transfer for David Moyes to pull off because it’s going to be expensive, drawn out and difficult as there is bound to be a lot of interest for Baines’ signature if he is available.
That should force United to look for alternatives and Dennis Aogo is someone they should consider because believe it or not, he’s better than Baines in several ways, would be cheaper and is two years younger.
One of the compliments about Baines is his basic passing game, the way he can link the defence and move the ball forward easily at both ends of the pitch.
He was remarkably consistent last season with an average successful pass rating of 82.3% which won’t come as a surprise to anyone.
What will comes as a surprise to most is the fact that Aogo has a successful passing percentage of 85.6%, which is significantly higher than the Everton left back.
Aogo has played fewer games but it shows that his basic passing game is better than Baines, in a division with the two strongest teams from European football this season in Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
Aogo is also better in terms of discipline with two yellow cards last season compared to Baines’ four.
That hints that his decision making as a defender is slightly better although the Premier League is naturally a more aggressive league than the Bundesliga with referees more willing to whip out the yellow card on a consistent basis.
Aogo’s stats also suggest he’s a more effective player aerially than Baines with an average for aerially duels won per game, .3% greater than Baines’ average last season.
That’s a minute difference between the two and something many people will suggest doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of things but it’s another stat where Aogo has an edge over Baines, widely accepted as the best left back in England.
Aogo’s goals and assists also suggest he can be just as effective as Baines from open play.
He only has two goals compared to Baines’ five but bear in mind Baines takes penalties and free kicks for Everton in a variety of dangerous situations, which make it easier for him to score.
Aogo also only has one assist less than Baines with four compared to five, which suggests if he’d played the same number of games as Baines last season, he’d more than likely be ahead in that category as well.
United could save millions by going for Aogo instead of Baines and he’d be easier to pick up as he doesn’t seem to be first choice at Hamburg.
Who would you go for? Would Aogo be worth the risk?
image: © Paolo Camera