Stats - Proof! Milner would be a terrible signing for Spurs this summer

Tottenham WHL

James Milner is being strongly linked with a summer switch to Tottenham Hotspur.

Several sources have suggested Tottenham Hotspur will look to versatile Manchester City midfielder with Tim Sherwood apparently keen to bring in a middle man who can cover multiple positions.

Milner has never got the best press in English football and he’s not the most entertaining player to watch but he works hard, has plenty of Premier League experience and would be a cost effective alternative to other midfield options.

The key question is whether he’d drastically improve the current Tottenham midfield. We’ve taken a look at five key areas for midfielders to see how he does up against current Tottenham stars.


Paulinho Spurs MF 4 23 1,861
Christian Eriksen Spurs MF 3 16 1,186
Gylfi Sigurdsson Spurs MF 3 17 934
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 1 12 686
Nacer Chadli Spurs MF 1 17 904
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 1 25 1,721
Aaron Lennon Spurs MF 1 20 1,623
James Milner Man City MF 1 21 822
Sandro Spurs MF 1 14 672
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 1 18 1,059

Milner is in the group of Spurs midfielders who only have one goal to their name this season so he wouldn’t add any significant direct goal threat to the current side.


PlayerClubPosGoal AssistAppsMins
Christian Eriksen Spurs MF 3 16 1,186
Nacer Chadli Spurs MF 2 17 904
Paulinho Spurs MF 2 23 1,861
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 1 11 813
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 1 25 1,721
Erik Lamela Spurs MF 1 9 326
Aaron Lennon Spurs MF 1 20 1,623
James Milner Man City MF 1 21 822

He also wouldn’t add much in the way of assists behind several key players and on the same as the inexperienced Nabil Bentaleb and a player who has been injured for most of the season, Erik Lamela.

Total Tackles

PlayerClubPosTotal TackleAppsMins
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 64 25 1,721
Paulinho Spurs MF 48 23 1,861
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 29 11 813
Aaron Lennon Spurs MF 28 20 1,623
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 25 12 686
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 22 18 1,059
Sandro Spurs MF 20 14 672
Christian Eriksen Spurs MF 18 16 1,186
Nacer Chadli Spurs MF 17 17 904
James Milner Man City MF 17 21 822
Gylfi Sigurdsson Spurs MF 16 17 934
Erik Lamela Spurs MF 11 9 326

In terms of tackles, he doesn’t really add much in that department either. Not surprising considering he plays for Manchester City, a predominantly passing team but it’s difficult to see how he’d improve the side if he was urged to do a physical or holding job in the midfield.

Accurate Crosses

PlayerClubPosAccurate CrossAppsMins
Christian Eriksen Spurs MF 23 16 1,186
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 14 18 1,059
Aaron Lennon Spurs MF 13 20 1,623
James Milner Man City MF 13 21 822
Nacer Chadli Spurs MF 7 17 904
Gylfi Sigurdsson Spurs MF 7 17 934
Paulinho Spurs MF 3 23 1,861

He could make a little bit of a difference in terms of wide play, as he’s not too far behind Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon in terms of accurate crosses. However, if he was brought in by Sherwood as a winger, is he really a better option down the left or right than those two plays plus Christian Eriksen? It’s doubtful.


Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 30 12 686
Sandro Spurs MF 25 14 672
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 24 11 813
Paulinho Spurs MF 24 23 1,861
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 17 25 1,721
Christian Eriksen Spurs MF 15 16 1,186
Aaron Lennon Spurs MF 14 20 1,623
Gylfi Sigurdsson Spurs MF 12 17 934
James Milner Man City MF 9 21 822
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 5 18 1,059

It’s also not very good news for Milner fans when it comes to interceptions because he’s way behind several Tottenham midfielders, including Sandro who has been missing for a large chunk of the season.

Most of the differences can be explained through the fact that Milner hasn’t had much game time this season. He may have made more appearances than some Spurs stars but most of those have been as a sub (14 of them to be precise).

However even taking this into account, it’s difficult to see where he could improve the Tottenham midfield in any aspect.

image: © hollidaypics

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