Why Townsend is sure to bring his England form to Spurs in the long run

Though he scored just once last season, the Tottenham winger was the best in the league in this encouraging statistic.

Andros Townsend remains on the fringes of the Spurs team this season, but there is one statistic that, coupled with the outstanding goalscoring ability he displays from outside the box for England, indicates it would be foolish of the North London club to write him off. 

Though it is easy to say Townsend can only do well against part time opposition, the fact remains that he influenced the game against San Marino as much or more than any other of his more established international teammates.

He hit the best shot of the night just after winning the ball back in his own half and setting England on the attack, and proved that, when on form he is a hugely threatening winger at whatever level he plays at.

Much was made of the amount of attempts on goal Townsend had last season, while only managing to score once, but he still boasted a percentage of 36% when it came to getting his shots on target. That's more than Robin van Persie, more than Oscar, more than Andre Schurrle and more than David Silva.

It was also impressive considering only four players got more shots on target from outside the box than the Spurs winger: Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney, Tom Huddlestone and Jonjo Shelvey. When you look at how much less time Townsend had on the pitch than these players, it's hard to criticise the 23-year-old for not making the goalkeeper work.

In fact, no other player that took 30 or more attempts on goal got a higher percentage of their efforts from outside the box on target than Townsend, essentially making him one of the league's most regular and accurate shooters from distance.

2013/14 Premier League

  TeamPosGoals to Shots PercentageTotal Scoring AttOn Target Shots From Outside BoxPercentage of Long Range Shots On Target (Saved/Goal)AppsMins
Andros Townsend Spurs MF 35.71 56 17.00 30.36 25 1,225
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 31.67 60 18.00 30.00 36 3,144
Charlie Adam Stoke MF 39.66 58 17.00 29.31 31 1,759
Jonjo Shelvey Swansea MF 32.05 78 21.00 26.92 32 2,475
Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 42.57 101 20.00 19.80 29 2,448
Yaya Touré Man City MF 42.19 64 8.00 12.50 35 2,927
Luis Suarez Liverpool FW 44.75 181 22.00 12.15 33 2,964

It emphasises that the England winger has plenty to offer when shooting from range even if all he needs to do is tweak that shooting just a little to make it harder for the goalkeeper to stop his efforts.

Townsend of course remains a work in progress at Spurs, and as many fans observe, can be guilty of trying to do too much or making the wrong decision, but considering he still has under 50 appearances in the Premier League, there is no denying his speed and dribbling ability, alongside his goalscoring threat from distance, could yet become a formidable weapon for the Lilywhites.

Because he has certainly shown that he can be good enough for England, with two stunning long range efforts in just five games, one with each foot no less.

Townsend spoke of the faith Hodgson has in him as being important to his impressive international performances, so perhaps it is time for Mauricio Pochettino to give the former QPR loanee that same vote of confidence.

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