James McCarthy vs Ryan Mason: Spurs man comes out on top in three key areas

Tottenham WHL

Spurs have been strongly linked with a move for the Everton midfielder in recent weeks.

Reports have emerged, most recently in the Mirror, claiming Spurs are set to launch an offer worth £20 million for Everton's James McCarthy.

The combative midfielder enjoyed a solid campaign with the Toffees last season and after Spurs confirmed the departures of Paulinho and Etienne Capoue - with Benjamin Stambouli rumoured to follow closely by the likes of Sky Sports - the need for midfield reinforcements are clear.

We've compared a selection of last season's Premier League statistics for rumoured target, James McCarthy, and the man whose place would be most under threat should he arrive: Ryan Mason.

  GoalsAssistsKey Passes (per game)Tackles (per game)Interceptions (per game)Pass AccuracyAppearances
Ryan Mason 1 4 0.9 2.8 1.6 83.6% 31
James McCarthy 2 1 0.6 2.4 1.6 85.6% 28

Neither were prolific in their goal and assist returns from midfield but Mason's four assists hint at the more creative aspects of his game which have been somewhat restrained in his senior breakthrough.

The England international was a free-scoring number 10 in his youth team days but has been guilty of becoming a tad too safe in his play on the big stage, whether by instruction or personal inclination is hard to know.

The Spurs man edges it in terms of key passes and tackles, recording 0.9 key passes per game to McCarthy's 0.6 and 2.8 tackles per game to the Irishman's 2.4.

Interceptions per game were equal at 1.6 each but McCarthy enjoyed a slightly higher pass accuracy, with 85.6% to Mason's 83.6%.

At the rumoured £20 million, James McCarthy represents a sizeable chunk of the Tottenham transfer kitty this summer - even with Aaron Lennon used as a makeweight - and it's not guaranteed that he's the man to haul the club to that next level.

Mason has had his fair share of critics from the Spurs support but performed well in his first full season in the top flight and brought about an energy and progressiveness that had been missing for a few seasons

Reinforcements are still required however, and McCarthy would be a fantastic addition, providing strength in depth and another body in midfield tailor-made for Mauricio Pochettino's system.

The issue is whether £20 million represents value for money and at that rate, a club should be expecting game changers. £20 million for a midfielder about on par with what Spurs already have doesn't make an awful lot of sense.

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