Ross Barkley v Juan Mata: Is the Spaniard an upgrade for Everton?

Ross Barkley v Juan Mata: Head to Head: : 20160709

Everton have been linked with a move for the Manchester United midfielder.

Juan Mata celebrates scoring the first goal for Manchester United

According to the Telegraph, Everton are trying to persuade Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata to join the club.

The Blues are expected to be busy in the summer transfer window, as new manager Ronald Koeman looks to spend the funds given to him by Farhad Moshiri.

One man they have been linked to is Mata, who it has been reported could leave United following the appointment of Jose Mourinho.

West Ham's Pedro Obiang in action with Everton's Ross Barkley

Should the Spaniard arrive at Goodison Park, then he would be competing with Ross Barkley for that coveted number 10 position in the team.

With that in mind, it seems prudent to see how the two players compared in the Premier League last season. We did just that, courtesy of stats provided by Opta, and they produced a very surprising result.

  TeamGoalsOntarget Scoring Att per GameGoal AssistKey
Successful Final Third Passes per GameAccurate Passes per Game Passing AccuracyWon Contest
per Game 
Ross Barkley Everton 8 0.76 8 1.5 14.26 40.76 86% 3.05 38
Juan Mata Man Utd 6 0.58 5 1.39 18.53 42.32 89% 0.79 38

In the eight areas looked at, Barkley came out on top in an impressive five of them to secure a comfortable win over Mata.

He managed more goals and more assists than the Spaniard, while also registering more shots on target, more key passes and more won contests on a per game basis.

Everton's Ross Barkley in action with Manchester United's Jesse Lingard

Mata did come out on top when it came to passing, registering more successful final third passes and more accurate passes per game as well as a better overall passing accuracy.

An interesting victory for Barkley though that suggests that perhaps Everton should stick by their current star rather than looking to bring in someone new.

Manchester United's Juan Mata reacts

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