What can £4m former Liverpool target offer Stoke and Hull in January?

A year on from interesting Liverpool, Stoke City and Hull City are reportedly targeting Udinese’s Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.

Still just 23-years-old, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has been at the heart of Udinese’s success for over four years now.

After being handed an integral role with the Zebrette in the 2011-12 campaign following Gokhan Inler’s departure to Napoli, the Ghanaian has come on leaps an bounds.

As so many other youngsters have done in recent times, Badu has built the foundations of his career at Udinese – and consequently been eyed by clubs around Europe.

A year ago the midfielder was heavily linked with Liverpool, who looked in need of an energetic operator in the centre of the park such as himself in January.

Yet the winter transfer window came and went with Udinese holding on to the Ghana international, despite his admission that he’d be happy to move to Anfield.

And with January 2015 approaching, Premier League interest in Badu seems to have risen again. This time around, Stoke and Hull are the suitors.

In truth, Badu hasn’t had his best season in a Udinese shirt this term. His performances have been mixed, some impressive while others have left a lot to be desired.

The Zebrette man has completed 76% of his passes to date and created only four chances, also failing to get on the scoresheet so far under the guidance of Andrea Stramaccioni.

Seven interceptions, nine tackles in 18 attempts and seven successful dribbles aren’t numbers that have seen Badu set the world on fire, either.

In comparison to Hull’s most frequently used central midfield options, Badu is well behind in these statistical areas.

  TeamGoalsChances CreatedDribblesPass AccuracyTackles WonInterceptionsBall RecoveriesAppsMins
Mohamed Diamé Hull City 4 3 15 86% 36 14 49 11 760
Tom Huddlestone Hull City 0 8 7 81% 15 18 106 11 932
Jake Livermore Hull City 0 9 2 85% 19 23 66 11 973

Mohamed Diame, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Liverpool each boast more impressive numbers in almost every category, though have made 11 appearances to Badu’s nine.

Still, Badu is handily outdone by the Tigers’ trio everywhere but dribbling, suggesting that in his current form, there’s not a ton he can add to Steve Bruce’s midfield.

The story is a bit different with Stoke. Badu is dwarfed only by Steve N’Zonzi, whose defensive contribution doesn’t stand head and shoulders above Badu’s.

  TeamGoalsChances CreatedDribblesPass AccuracyTackles WonInterceptionsBall RecoveriesAppsMins Played
Charlie Adam Stoke 2 3 7 77% 19 6 45 9 430
Steven N'Zonzi Stoke 0 12 15 84% 11 11 65 11 990
Steve Sidwell Stoke 0 1 1 85% 8 3 15 4 265
Glenn Whelan Stoke 0 7 3 89% 10 12 30 7 553

The Potters have seen more rotation than Hull among the players compared, with N’Zonzi the only one to have clocked over 600 minutes of action this term.

Should one of the sides move for Badu, it seems there will be more space for him the Britannia Stadium than at the KC Stadium.

It bears repeating, however, that Badu hasn’t exactly been at his best this term.

Getting accustomed to a new coach after the departure of Francesco Guidolin from the bench has slowed him down, as has participation in the World Cup over the summer.

Though Badu would likely have more opportunities at Stoke, there’s no question that he could also be of use to Hull and has the style of play to succeed in the Premier League.

Strong, quick and athletic, the Ghanaian could adjust to the pace of English football with relative ease, always a concern when players arrive from other leagues.

Badu would be good value for the £4 million he’s been quoted at for either Hull or Stoke, it just remains to be seen whether Udinese are open to selling.

The Zebrette paid in the region of £450,000 to sign him initially so would make a decent profit at that figure, though have been known to hold out for the highest return possible.

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