AC Milan's Keisuke Honda vs Tottenham's Erik Lamela: Milan star could provide the missing spark

We've taken a statistical look at the merits of Tottenham Hotspur signing the AC Milan playmaker...

Reports in Italy today, via the likes of Tuttomercatoweb, have claimed that Spurs have launched a bid for Milan's Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda.

We've compared a selection of his league statistics from last season with the man he would be in direct competition with should he make a switch to White Hart Lane - Erik Lamela.

 2014/15 GoalsAssistsKey Passes (per 90 mins)Chances Created (per 90 mins)Pass CompletionSuccessful take-onsShot AccuracyTackles Won (per 90 mins)Minutes Played
Keisuke Honda 6 5 1.21 1.42 80% 64% 60% 1.25 2152
Erik Lamela 2 7 2.07 2.35 83% 54.46% 50% 2.54 2300

Honda boasted the better output last season despite seeing less game time than Lamela - grabbing six goals and five assists to Lamela's two and seven, respectively.

The passing statistics are all in the Spurs man's favour, however, with Lamela making more key passes (2.07) and creating more chances (2.35) per 90 minutes than Honda, who managed 1.21 and 1.42, respectively.

Lamela also edged it in his passing accuracy - completing 83% of his passes compared to Honda's 80%.

Mauricio Pochettino's high pressing system demands a defensive shift from his attackers and Lamela impressed in this regard, winning 2.54 tackles per 90 minutes while Honda managed just 1.25.

Honda's increased goal tally suggests a more direct style and his dribbling and shooting stats reflect that. The Japanese playmaker was successful 64% of the time in his take-on attempts - compared to Lamela's 54.46% success rate - and boasted a higher shot accuracy than the Argentine, 60% to Lamela's 50%.

The stats suggest two players fairly evenly-matched overall but with differing skill sets.

Lamela has not been the threat in front of goal that many hoped he would be before his arrival, but his all round game - in terms of creating chances for team-mates and his diligent defensive work - is impressive.

Honda, on the other hand, is clearly the bigger goal scoring threat and his ability to beat players in one-on-one duels is something Spurs have been lacking.

At 29-years old, the signing of Honda would represent a deviation from Daniel Levy's policy for recruiting young talent, but at the right price he could be the man to offer Spurs the attacking spark that has been in short supply recently.

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