Phil Jones v Ezequiel Garay: Who's had the best league start?

Ezequiel Garay for Benfica

How does the Manchester United defender compare to the club's reported former target since his move to Russia?

For many years, Manchester United were linked with a move for Ezequiel Garay.  Indeed reports even claimed he was set for a move to Old Trafford following Sir Alex Ferguson's departure only for then-boss David Moyes to pull the plug.

The truth of the matter may never be known, but the simple fact is United needed a new centre-back or two again this summer and so the Garay rumours began again.

In the end the Argentine international did leave Benfica, but not for United.  Instead he headed to Zenit St Petersburg for a bargain £12million, leaving many to wonder why Louis van Gaal did not make a move when he had the chance.

Whatever the reason, United have to make do with what they have got until at least January, so how has one of their centre-backs - Phil Jones - compared with Garay in terms of league performances this season?

The England international has made almost three times  as many tackles per match and more than twice as many interceptions per match as the Zenit star.  Jones has also made double the amount of clearances per game, three times as many blocks and has a superior passing accuracy.

  Tackle per gameInterception per gameClearance per gameBlock per gamePassing AccuracyKey Pass per gameFouls per gameAppearancesMins Played
Phil Jones 3.33 5.67 6 0.33 91% 0.67 1.33 3 270
Ezequiel Garay 1.3 2.4 2.9 0.1 89.6% 0.3 0.9 8 675

In fact the only area where Garay comes out on top is in the number of fouls he averages per match - just 0.9 compared with Jones's 1.33.

But it could of course be argued that Jones has been the busier of the two players because of the disarray that has too often blighted United's defence this season.  After all, the key stat is how many goals the two sides have conceded in the league to date.

But even that area suggests United are far better off when Jones is in the side, having shipped only two league goals when he was on the pitch.  

But Zenit have conceded just three in the eight games Garay has played to date, and the fact that he has already featured so much could be the most important statistic of all, with Jones blighted by injuries that do not appear to significantly impact the older of the two.

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