Stats: Would Ben Davies be a better value signing than Luke Shaw?

Luke Shaw

Many will see 19-year-old Shaw as a better player with more potential than Swansea's 21-year-old fullback, but is he £20 million better?

With Tottenham and Liverpool both chasing Swansea's Ben Davies, we ask whether the Welshman would be a better value deal than Manchester United's near £30 million deal for Luke Shaw.

Both young left backs are among the most promising around in their position, but is a £10-12 million deal for Davies, the figure Swansea are rumoured to have accepted for their youngster from Tottenham, better value for money than the huge sum United paid for their man, the highest ever for a teenager?

Davies is about to enter his third season as a Premier League footballer, but is just over two years older than Shaw who is also entering his third season of top flight action. Arguably the Wales international had a stronger player in front of him in Neil Taylor than Shaw, who had long been groomed for first team football at the Saints.

Below we look at the stats for the two according to Opta's data from last season's Premier League.

  TeamTackling Accuracy %Poss Won Def 3rdGround Duels Won %Dribbling Success %AppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton 84.72 106 55.90 50.45 35 2,992
Ben Davies Swansea 77.63 87 47.08 51.72 34 2,873

Shaw comes out on top in several defensive statistics, with a tackling accuracy some 7% higher than Davies, while also winning possession significantly more often than the Wales defender. The now Manchester United left back, a taller and stronger individual, also has more impressive stats when it comes to winning ground duels for possession, coming on top in nearly 9% of contests more than the Swansea player. One area Davies does trump Shaw is when it comes to beating his man successfully, though it is only marginal, and both players beat their man more often than they are tackled. 

  TeamPassing Accuracy %Crossing Accuracy %Goal AssistTotal Att AssistAppsMins
Luke Shaw Southampton 79.10 20.42 1 34 35 2,992
Ben Davies Swansea 84.27 17.72 1 31 34 2,873

Davies has netted 3 goals in his 70 appearances across two seasons, with 2 strikes coming last year. Shaw on the other hand is still yet to register his first professional goal. The Swansea star has a stronger passing accuracy than the United fullback, though Shaw is stronger when it comes to crossing accuracy. Both where fairly even when it came to goal assists (1 each) and attempted assists, with the England man edging Davies on the latter category.

It is clear that there isn't much between the two youngsters, and it is difficult to ignore the fact Shaw is up with Davies already as being an indication of his talent and potential, while at just over two years older and with similar experience, Davies may represent a snip at nearly £20 million less that the former Southampton star, whether he goes to Tottenham or Liverpool.

Shaw has stronger defensive stats though did feature for a higher placed and more defensively sound side than the Welshman, while Davies has stronger attacking stats than his fellow fullback, though again played in a side slightly more accustomed to a possession based game.

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