The stats prove Arsenal should move for Manchester City outcast

Everton’s on-loan midfielder Gareth Barry has emerged as a summer target for Arsene Wenger.

According to the Sunday express, Arsenal will attempt to bring in Manchester City’s defensive midfielder Gareth Barry.

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.

Barry has started 19 Premier League games for the Toffees this season, netting three goals and picking up a further three assists.

Yet, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is probably more interested in Barry’s defensive duties, as Mathieu Flamini is the only natural defensive midfielder that the Gunners possess.

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:

NameTeamPosOutfielder BlockTotal TackleWon TackleTotal ClearanceEffective ClearanceInterceptionAppsMins
Gareth Barry Man City MF 9 50 37 55 55 25 19 1,710
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 9 30 21 41 41 28 18 1,134

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:

NameTeamPosTotal PassAccurate PassTotal Fwd Zone PassAccurate Fwd Zone PassFwd PassAppsMins
Mathieu Flamini Arsenal MF 801 740 442 403 256 18 1,134
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

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