Zenit St. Petersburg star Axel Witsel sounded out Manchester United as his favourite Premier League side earlier in the week, during an interview with Bleacher Report, and we’ve taken a look at what he would add to the side if signed by Louis van Gaal.
On Tuesday, the Belgium international sparked transfer speculation when he admitted his desire to play for one of Europe’s top clubs and immediately revealed Manchester United to be his preferred choice in England.
"I want to play in one of the top clubs in Europe one day,’’ Witsel told bleacherreport.com
"It’s true I like the Premier League, because it’s one of the best leagues in the world, for me, together with Germany and Spain. It’s a very good league, it’s a crazy league. A lot of my colleagues play there, but we will see.
"I am still young, only 26. We’ll see in the future, I have always liked Manchester United from when I was young.’’
Therefore, we’ve had a look at his statistics and seen which areas Witsel could improve if he was to sign for Manchester United.
|Player||Team||Minutes per Goal||Minutes per Assist||Minutes per Key Pass||Minutes per Tackle Won||Minutes per Interception||Minutes per Successful Dribble||Minutes per Accurate Pass||Minutes per Touch||Mins Played|
|Marouane Fellaini||Man Utd||287.33||N/A||143.67||26.12||53.88||143.67||1.7||1.12||862|
|Daley Blind||Man Utd||900||N/A||112.5||45||27.27||180||1.57||1.11||900|
|Ander Herrera||Man Utd||327||218||50.31||43.6||43.6||65.4||1.53||1.06||654|
|Axel Witsel||Zenit St. Petersburg||412.3||N/A||95.2||61.9||77.3||247.4||1.5||1.04||1237|
As we can see by the numbers, Witsel comes out on top in two areas (accurate passes and touches), Ander Herrera in three (assists, key passes and completed dribbles), Marouane Fellaini in two (goals and completed tackles) and Daley Blind in just one (interceptions).
In summary, it’s easy to say that Witsel may not improve any of the areas dramatically and he may not add to what the side already possess. However, he has shown incredible passing accuracy and movement to get on the ball so much – two traits vital in the Premier League.
If he was to sign for United, it’s hard to predict whether he would be a success but he would certainly be noticeable in the middle of the field and would try and become a lynchpin of the midfield.