Cleverley v Wilshere: How Aston Villa and Arsenal midfielders compare

Wilshere Ramsey

How do Tom Cleverley's performances over the past two seasons for Aston Villa and Manchester United compare to Arsenal's Jack Wilshere?

It is four years since Tom Cleverley broke into the Manchester United first team and was being hailed as a star of the future for the Red Devils.

Jack Wilshere was a year ahead in his development, named in 2010/11 as the Young Player of the Season, before missing the entirety of the next season with an ankle injury.

Cleverley was hailed as United's Wilshere, but is no longer wanted by the club, sent on loan for the year to Aston Villa.

This Saturday he goes head to head with Wilshere, if the Arsenal midfielder is selected, in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Wilshere has had another injury interrupted season, so we have compared the performances of the two players over the past two campaigns, including last year when Cleverley's displays under David Moyes and Manchester United saw him become one of the scapegoats of the team's poor form.

  TeamWon Tackles per gameInterceptions per gamePassing AccuracyShots per gameAppearances
Tom Cleverley Aston Villa / Man Utd 1.85 1.15 88% 0.72 54
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 0.92 0.39 85% 1.03 38

Cleverley tops Wilshere in three key categories, won tackles, interceptions, and passing accuracy. Wilshere is more attack minded, attempting more shots at goal per game.

That is not the be all and end all though. Cleverley was criticised at United for his passing being too pedestrian, and over the past two seasons Wilshere makes more forward passes per game, but not by a lot. The Arsenal star's number of dribbles made per game is more substantial.

  TeamForward Passes per gameDribbles per game
Tom Cleverley Aston Villa / Man Utd 12.33 0.26
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 14.29 2.03

The figures which really make an impact are in terms of goals scored, highlighted especially when Wilshere is able to net spectacular strikes as he did against West Brom at the weekend.

  TeamGoalsAssistsKey Passes
Tom Cleverley Aston Villa / Man Utd 4 0 37
Jack Wilshere Arsenal 5 5 49

Despite playing fewer games, Wilshere betters Cleverley in three important areas, goals scored, assists and chances created.

Both players have a lot to prove over the next few years of their careers, but Saturday's final is a big moment for each, and could be a defining one.

The one statistic which will truly matter will be who comes away from Wembley with an FA Cup winner's medal this weekend, but the game can provide a platform for both to really kick on.

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