Gareth Bale made his £85.3 million move from Tottenham to Real Madrid this summer off the back of a sensational season with Spurs, scoring 26 goals in all competitions and making 15 assists winning the individual honours of PFA Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
So far Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey has been voted Arsenal Player of the Month for the last three months in a row (October, September and August) and I’ll go out on a limb and guess he’ll get the award for November too. Ramsey was also voted Premier League player of the Month for September.
By this point last term, Bale had yet to be voted Premier League Player of the Month (his first honour of the season by the league authority came in February this year) and he had scored 5 goals and made 3 assists in the league for Tottenham.
So far Arsenal’s Ramsey has scored 8 goals and made 4 assists in the Premier League – so far he is more than on track to hit or even surpass the record of the world’s most expensive footballer.
Of course, this will depend on his ability to maintain his current level of fitness and form consistently for the next six months until May – an injury or a dip in form and confidence would prevent him from Bale’s tally of goals and assists but, you’d have to say, at his current level, he’s looking unstoppable for the Gunners this season.
Meanwhile, it’s not just the number of goals and assists he’s notching up – it’s also quality, the tenacity, the work-rate that is so impressive. Gareth Bale’s goals and assists last term were breathtaking as much as they were numerous but so far the Gunners man is giving the departed Spurs man a good run for his money.
Ramsey is also playing in a deeper role than Bale was with more defensive responsibility to theoretically hold him back and yet he’s on par to beat his Wales colleague’s stats from last season.
Let’s look at the stats between Bales’ season last term overall and Ramsey’s up to now. Bale took 5 shots on average per game to Ramsey’s current 2.3 per game and he played 2.5 key passes per game to Ramsey’s 1.4 per game.
That’s where the former Spurs man is superior so far but Bale completed 1.1 dribbles per game successfully to Ramsey’s current 1.5 per game, his pass completion rate was 78.5% to Ramsey’s current 85.6% pass completion rate. Bale played on average 1.1 successful long passes or long ball per game to Ramsey’s 3.8 per game this season, and Bale was accurate with 0.1 through ball per game to Ramsey’s slightly higher 0.2 per game. Bale put in better crosses more frequently as evidenced by his 1.9 successful crosses per game to Ramsey’s zero per game so far but Ramsey has made 4.5 successful tackles per game on average to Bale’s 1 per game last term.
Bale took a total of 133 shots on goal last season – so far Ramsey has taken 24 in total. Bale was on target with 76 of those (57% shooting accuracy) to Ramsey’s 17 on target (71% accuracy).
Overall, Ramsey’s form and level at the moment is on course to reach the levels of Gareth Bale last term – so far his passing, shooting, dribbling, and tackling are superior to Bale (on average) and his current goal and assist tallies are ahead of his Welsh colleague’s to this point in the season. There's a long way to go yet but so far Arsenal's Welsh ace is looking every bit as dangerous as Tottenham's former talisman.
image: © joncandy