Crystal Palace freebie Sako betters West Brom’s Berahino in six key areas

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace’s Bakary Sako and West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino compared...

Crystal Palace host West Bromwich Albion this weekend in an interesting encounter which will see attackers Bakary Sako and Saido Berahino on opposite sides.

The duo had intriguing summers in terms of transfer speculation, with Berahino staying with the Baggies despite heavy interest from Tottenham Hotspur, as reported by the Birmingham Mail.

A number of figures have been thrown about regarding the exact offer Spurs put in, though the latest reports in the Birmingham Mail state that West Brom valued the player at £25 million and were unwilling to sell for anything less.

Sako, on the other hand, joined Palace on a free transfer after seeing out his contract with Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, and he has so far proved to be a fabulous acquisition.

  Goals per GameShots per GameKey Passes per GameTake-ons per GameTouches per GameAccurate Passes per GameBall Recoveries per GameDispossessed per GameAppearances
Saido Berahino 0.4 1.2 0.2 1 34 16.2 4.6 2.6 5
Bakary Sako 0.4 3.8 1 1.6 44.2 19.8 3.8 2.4 5

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Eagles’ star has been instrumental for Alan Pardew’s side and betters his upcoming rival Berahino in six key attacking areas.

Sako, 27, has averaged more shots, key passes, successful take-ons, touches and accurate passes per Premier League encounter than the England man.

Moreover, the French-born Mali international is seemingly more careful with the ball, posting a higher pass percentage rate and being dispossessed less frequently than Berahino.

West Brom’s rising talent may have plenty of potential and age on his side, but such figures illustrate how much work needs to be done before he can be considered a talent worthy of such a hefty price tag.

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