Townsend linked with Newcastle. Do the stats say he's better than Ben Arfa?

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend has been linked with a move to Newcastle, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa seems to be leaving the North East of England.

Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has been linked with a move to Newcastle United according to North-East paper The Journal.

The report indicates that manager Alan Pardew wants to sign more British players in order improve the side for next season with Swansea City's Jonjo Shelvey also linked to the club.

There are several wide options at Newcastle, and perhaps the most high profile player is Hatem Ben Arfa, who appears to be out of favour with the Toon boss.

But, would signing the England international be an improvement on Ben Arfa? Here is a look at a few statistics on some of the key areas where fans would want their player to perform.

  TeamPosBig Chance CreatedAppsMins
Hatem Ben Arfa Newcastle MF 5 27 1,303
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 4 25 1,225

For a good forward thinking player you want them to create chances for the side as well as getting amongst the goals as well. Ben Arfa has scored on three occasions this season for the Magpies whilst Townsend has struck the once in the Premier League, and the Frenchman has three assists compared to none from the Englishman, suggesting he has more of an effect going forward for his side.

  TeamPosTotal Scoring AttAppsMins
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 56 25 1,225
Hatem Ben Arfa Newcastle MF 46 27 1,303

However, Townsend, it seems, gets himself into positions to have a strike at goal a lot more than Ben Arfa, having had ten more scoring attempts with two fewer appearances. But if Ben Arfa is scoring more goals then it would suggest is he is far more clinical, or a bit more selective when it comes to shooting. He might want it to open up more for him to have a shot on goal, rather than just blasting the ball when there is nothing else on. 

  TeamPosAccurate CrossAppsMins
Hatem Ben Arfa Newcastle MF 18 27 1,303
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 15 25 1,225

As always, if you play in a wider position, you are expected to cross the ball for the strikers and advanced central players to capitalise on them. The interesting thing is that Ben Arfa has more accurate crosses despite not crossing the ball as often as Townsend. This season Townsend has made a total of 78 cross compared to 65 from Ben Arfa. 

Some may say that the Newcastle man crosses the ball less because of the amount of times he likes to cut inside, whilst Townsend is perhaps more accustomed to hugging the touchline on the occasions he plays.

Overall, if you look at these statistics, it does seem puzzling that Newcastle would want to opt for the Tottenham man over Ben Arfa. It would suggest just how out of favour the Frenchman has become. Townsend hasn't impressed much for Spurs in the second part of the season, and part of that is down to injury. But going by the form this season, Ben Arfa is probably a better option.

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