Joey Barton vs Mark Noble: The stats that prove he could be a great signing for West Ham

Reports today have claimed the former Queens Park Rangers captain is close to a West Ham switch.

Reports today, from the likes of BBC Sport, have claimed that Joey Barton is due to undergo a medical in the next 24 hours ahead of a move to West Ham.

The 32-year old was released by QPR in May and has yet to find another club.

We've taken a look at last season's Premier League statistics for Barton and Hammers captain Mark Noble to see just what West Ham could be about to acquire in the former Newcastle and Manchester City man.

  GoalsAssistsKey PassesPass Completion Tackles WonAerial Duels wonInterceptionsBlocksMinutes Played
Joey Barton 1 3 54 74% 52 48.42% 46 22 2,348
Mark Noble 2 3 42 86% 53 41.67% 52 7 2,302

Both players were ever-presents for their respective sides last season and both appeared 28 times, with Barton clocking an extra 46 minutes overall.

They both managed three assists while Noble edged it on the goal front - grabbing two to Barton's one.

Passing ability is vital in central midfield and the spoils were somewhat shared, with Barton making 54 key passes to Noble's 42 but only managing to complete 74% of his passes compared to Noble's impressive 86% pass completion.

Defensively the two players were again neck and neck with the West Ham captain making one more tackle and six more interceptions over the course of the season.

Barton had the upper hand in the air however, winning 48.42% of his aerial battles while Noble only came out on top 41.67% of the time. He also threw his body on the line more, making 22 blocks compared to Noble's 7.

The statistics paint an interesting picture of two players with eerily similar performances and suggest that Joey Barton could be a useful addition to the Hammers squad.

Reece Oxford deputised against Arsenal on Sunday to great effect but cannot be relied upon all season at his tender age. Beyond him, West Ham's options in a defensive midfield role aren't too extensive and with doubts over the future of Kevin Nolan - another body in midfield would be welcome.

It must also be noted that Barton recorded these stats in an ultimately relegated QPR team while Noble had the luxury of mid-table security to ply his trade in.

Experience is crucial in the Premier League and Joey Barton has that in abundance, and a short-term deal while longer-term targets are identified could work.

Despite his fondness for controversy, Barton has proven he is still an effective top flight player and his free transfer - should it materialise - may just prove to be something of a coup in a few months time.

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