Stats: How Williams compares to Terry, Vertonghen & Skrtel

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Arsenal have been linked to Swansea City star Ashley Williams but how does he compare to Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool stars?

Having gone from League Two football with Stockport County to the Premier League with Swansea City in the space of just three years, captain Ashley Williams is demonstrative of hard graft paying off and, at 29-years-old, the centre back - who inspired the Welsh side to the League Cup title last season, is rumoured to be the subject of an opportunistic £3m bid from his admirers last summer, Arsenal, who have retained their interest.

Williams, who can also play as a right back, could possibly compete with Carl Jenkinson for the primary full back position in the aftermath of Bacary Sagna's expected Bosman exit, but would also be Arsene Wenger's tertiary choice centre back, as Thomas Vermaelen is also speculatively linked with a transfer away from the Emirates Stadium.

Williams is often on the ball and is renowned for his commitment, clearing ability and positional sense when it comes to intercepting the football.

At Arsenal, it is unclear who his ideal partner would be as he lacks the aerial prowess of, say Per Mertesacker, but can also be guilty of unforced errors - giving the ball away needlessly yet attracting highlight-reel replays for retrieving possession in Hollywood-fashion.

How does he compare to Arsenal's already established centre-back hat-trick?

  TeamTackle /App Block /AppClear /AppInt'cept /AppTouch /AppPass AccPass /AppClean Sheet /GamesMin
Williams Swansea 1.56 1.06 9.18 2.35 73.97 86.4% 56.94 7/ 34 3,040
Koscielny Arsenal 1.69 0.72 7.31 2.78 55.31 93.5% 39.66 16/ 32 2,741
Mertesacker Arsenal 1.17 0.49 7.06 1.69 61.83 93.0% 48.77 16/ 35 3,150
Vermaelen Arsenal 1.00 0.14 5.57 1.36 36.79 90.8% 24.79 1/ 14 782

On statistical evidence alone, Williams is impressive when measured against Gunners trio Laurent Koscielny, Mertesacker and Vermaelen. On a per game average, he is the most prolific tackler, blocker and clearer of the football whilst also enjoying the most touches on the ball each game and attempting the most passes.

Arsenal are far more disciplined when it comes to the pass, though, and while Williams returns a strong Premier League season average for completion rate (86%), he still lags behind even Vermaelen, who has been starved of regular football in the competition. Williams, though, is responsible for more clean sheets than Vermaelen.

  TeamTackle /AppBlock /AppClear /AppInt'cept /AppTouch /AppPass AccPass /AppClean Sheet /GamesMin
Williams Swansea 1.56 1.06 9.18 2.35 73.97 86.4% 56.94 7/ 34 3,040
Vertonghen Spurs 1.39 0.26 4.61 1.83 63.04 82.9% 43.22 10/ 23 2,004
Skrtel Liverpool 1.36 1.06 11.39 1.67 67.53 90.8% 48.89 8/ 36 3,222
Terry Chelsea 0.85 0.59 6.62 1.06 61.88 90.2% 50.24 16/ 34 3,060

Against other Premier League centre backs, such as Jan Vertonghen at Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool stopper Martin Skrtel and Chelsea rock John Terry, Williams still comes out as the top tackler and blocker, is the most frequent intercepter of the ball and also returns the most touches and pass attempts.

Is Williams worth a punt?

He is 29-years-old, has solid leadership pedigree and is arguably the finest available centre back outside of England's elite-level clubs. At £3m, it may be a deal too good to turn down, which begs the question… why would Swansea City accept?

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