Should Spurs break the bank in a return for Morgan Schneiderlin?

Arsenal v Southampton 2012 Pregame with Schneiderlin

The Southampton star has been in good form this season, while Tottenham's midfield has looked unsettled for the most part.

Southampton fans will be watching proceedings with concerned eyes as Morgan Schneiderlin once again hints at a desire to depart St Mary's in the near future.

The player told the France Football Federation's official website: "A career passes quickly and I want to play for a big club.

"Today I am at Southampton. We are second in the Premier League, it is going well.

“We'll see at the end of the season what will happen if we are still in the Champions League places and I will make the choice. I will see with my club."

The Saints certainly have enjoyed a stunning start to the 2014-15 Premier League season, having avoided defeat since the opening game of the season.

Back then, chairman Ralph Krueger was having to dig his heels in while Morgan Schneiderlin angled for a move away from the club, with former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino heavily linked with bringing the 25-year-old to Spurs.

And both player and club have benefitted from his stay on the South Coast, while Tottenham have flattered to deceive, currently finding themselves stuck in mid table.

But just what would Schneiderlin bring to the Spurs midfield, and does he deserve to be made the club's prime target, at what will surely be an even more inflated price in January or next summer?

Below we look at the former Strasbourg man and Tottenham's existing central midfielders:

  TeamAccurate Passes /  GamePassing AccuracyGoalsGoal AssistGround Duel Won / GameWon Tackle / GameAppearances
Morgan Schneiderlin Southampton 62.27 89.42% 3 0 6.27 3.09 11
Etienne Capoue Tottenham 55.18 87.46% 0 0 4.90 2.09 11
Nabil Bentaleb Tottenham 41.5 86.91% 0 0 2 1 4
Ryan Mason Tottenham 41.5 80.84% 0 1 7.66 3 6
Mousa Dembélé Tottenham 29.42 88.79% 0 0 4.85 2 7

It is some surprise to see Ryan Mason positing stronger stats in winning duels for possession and winning tackles than his Tottenham teammates, and even than Schniederlin when it comes to ground duels. But aside from the 23-year-old Spurs graduate, Southampton midfielder Schneiderlin is ahead in the majority of the basic expectations one would have of those occupying a central midfield role.

The Frenchman is ahead in number of passes per game, the accuracy of those passes, goals scored (no central midfielder has scored for Spurs) and tackles per game, and is way ahead of Tottenham defensive midfielder Capoue in winning ground duels.

Interestingly though not included here, Benjamin Stambouli, a player signed by Spurs once the Schneiderlin deal failed to get off the ground, has positive statistics in his few minutes in the Premier League, with an 86% passing accuracy, 8 duels for possession won, and 4 tackles won in his sole 20 minute appearance. 

The Mail are reporting that Southampton are keen to pursue a new deal for their French international, and the club will likely be fiercely opposed to any prospect of Schneiderlin leaving while the Saints are performing so strongly. What's more, would the player still be as interested in switching to a club apparently in disarray, especially if other ambitious clubs, such as Arsenal, demonstrate an interest? In his words, Schneiderlin emphasised the Champions League as being important - at the moment Spurs are a long way off that.

If nothing else, Schneiderlin's performances this season have shown that Spurs should have perhaps been prepared to push harder for the midfielder in the summer, because it may take a lot of money to convince Southampton, and Schneiderlin, to even consider a switch the way things are going at present.

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