Stats: Does Aston Villa’s Alan Hutton compare with the best right-backs in the Premier League?

Paul Lambert believes that Alan Hutton is currently the ‘best right back in the country’.

Quoted after Aston Villa’s 2-1 victory over Leicester City, Lambert’s praise was in response to Hutton’s first ever goal for Villa since joining the club in 2011.

Having gone behind to the Foxes in the 13th minute through Leonardo Ulloa, Ciaran Clark levelled the scores just four minutes later, before Scottish international Hutton clinched the victory for Villa in the second half with a 71st minute strike. It has been the cap on an impressive season enjoyed by the the 30-year-old this year, who had not played under Lambert until his recall into the first-team fold this term - which earned him a new contract at the club.

Since moving to Villa Park in the Summer of 2011 to join up with former Rangers boss Alex McCleish the full-back had found life hard, enduring two years away from the club on loan, but Lambert took to praising Hutton following his winning goal.

“I’m delighted for Alan because I think he’s playing as well as any right back in the country at the moment, Alan,” Lambert was quoted by the Birmingham Mail.

“It was a brilliant goal, he gives you that strength there, he’s up and down, a really really fit lad. He’s a really good footballer as well.”

Whilst Lambert’s praise of his full-back may have been spoken in the heat of the moment, we take a look at how he compares to the other best right-backs in the Premier League this season.

  TeamTackles Won per GameClearances per GameInterceptions per GameBlocks per GameMins Played
Alan Hutton Aston Villa 1.8 4.1 1.8 0.8 1080

As can be seen, Hutton is a remarkably adroit defensive full-back, completing almost one of every defensive action per game, and excelling at clearing the ball from dangerous areas. Whilst he only completes 0.8 blocks per game, he is actually the best performing right-back at that particular action this season, although he falls down in relation to his peers on every other action.

  TeamTackles Won per GameClearances per GameInterceptions per GameBlocks per GameMins Played
Nathaniel Clyne Southampton 3.1 2.5 1.9 0.2 1260
Branislav Ivanovic Chelsea 2.3 4.1 1.1 0.1 1349
Calum Chambers Arsenal 2 4.1 2.1 0.1 1140
Pablo Zabaleta Man City 2.2 2.7 1.5 0.3 966
Javier Manquillo Liverpool 2 2.3 2.2 0.3 671

Whilst struggling to compare with the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and Nathaniel Clyne, Hutton is performing at a higher standard than Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Liverpool’s Javier Manquillo. However, Lambert’s praise of Hutton came down to his attacking output, and, with the offensive side of the game so important to a modern day full-back, it appears as if the Scotsman has an argument to be named the best attacking right-back in the Premier League.

  GoalsGoal AssistKey Passes per GameDribbles Won per Game
Clyne 2 0 0.6 0.6
Ivanovic 2 0 1 0.9
Chambers 1 1 0.5 0.7
Hutton 1 0 0.7 0.8
Zabaleta 1 2 1 0.3
Manquillo 0 0 0.1 0.2

Whilst Hutton only has one goal and one assist to his name, he registers the second highest amount of key passes per game, and is the second best at completing dribbles. Chelsea’s Ivanovic leads the table on both counts, and he is generally considered as the best in the top flight, but, should Hutton continue in the same manner, he may have a real claim to steal the title from the Serbian international.

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