The Sunday paper reveals that Arsenal reportedly attempted to sign the former England international midfielder on-loan during the summer, however Arsene Wenger’s intentions were knocked back as City didn’t want to release the player to a title rival.
The 32-year-old midfielder instead joined Roberto Martinez’s Everton – where he has flourished so far this campaign.
Gareth Barry – who is out of contract this summer – has been phenomenal in a defensive aspect for the Toffees, and according to Opta stats, has out-performed Mathieu Flamini in key defensive contributions:
|Name||Team||Pos||Outfielder Block||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Total Clearance||Effective Clearance||Interception||Apps||Mins|
|Gareth Barry||Man City||MF||9||50||37||55||55||25||19||1,710|
The stats demonstrate that Barry has the ability to win the ball back better than Flamini, making more tackles with a higher win percentage from the number of tackles attempted.
Arsene Wenger will also have noticed the amount of passes that Gareth Barry has made over the season - with Opta stats proving that Barry attempts many forward passes – more than doubling Flamini’s total:
|Name||Team||Pos||Total Pass||Accurate Pass||Total Fwd Zone Pass||Accurate Fwd Zone Pass||Fwd Pass||Apps||Mins|
|Gareth Barry||Man City||MF||1,353||1,161||892||721||513||19||1,710|
Despite Gareth Barry’s age, the signing in the summer could be a masterstroke by the Gunners’ boss as the lack of defensive depth beyond Flamini in that midfield position has been evident.
Liverpool’s 5-1 thrashing of the Gunners highlighted Arsenal’s fragile midfield without Flamini as Arteta and Wilshire struggled to deal with Liverpool’s precise passing and movement – resulting in a 20 minute mauling at the beginning of the first-half.
Everton are likely to want to rival Arsenal for Barry’s signature, however Arsenal offering Champions League football will likely be enough to persuade Barry to move to the Emirates for next season.
images: © mafue