Idrissa Gueye beat Everton duo in seven key areas last season

Jordan Ayew celebrates with Rudy Gestede (L) and Idrissa Gueye (R) after scoring the second goal for Aston Villa

Everton have been linked with a move for the Aston Villa midfielder and the stats show it would be a smart move.

West Brom's Claudio Yacob in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa GueyeWest Brom's Claudio Yacob in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye

According to the Daily Mail, Everton have activated the release clause of Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye.

The Blues are expected to be busy this summer as Ronald Koeman looks to use the funds provided by Farhad Moshiri.

Manchester City's Fernandinho in action with Everton's Gareth BarryManchester City's Fernandinho in action with Everton's Gareth Barry

One area he appears to be determined to add in is midfield, perhaps to find a replacement for veteran midfielder Gareth Barry.

That has reportedly led to them activating the release clause for Gueye, who was a standout performer despite Villa’s relegation to the Championship last season.

Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action with Everton's James McCarthyLiverpool's Adam Lallana in action with Everton's James McCarthy

But would he represent a smart acquisition for the Toffees? We decided to look at the stats to find out.

  Total Tackle per GameWon Tackle per GameInterceptions per GameInterceptions Won per GameDuel Won per GamePoss Won Mid 3rd per GameBall Recovery per GameAppearances
Idrissa Gueye 4.11 3.09 4.03 4.03 8.43 5.06 9.83 35
Gareth Barry 2.91 2.06 1.61 1.61 5.85 3.88 7.24 33
James McCarthy 2.72 2.1 1.76 1.76 4.28 2.52 4.66 29

And as it transpires he would be, with the Senegal international coming out on top of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy in all seven areas we looked at.

On a per game basis he registered more tackles, more won tackles, more interceptions and more won interceptions than the duo.

He also won more defensive duels per game, as well as winning the ball in the midfield third more often and posting more ball recoveries.

That kind of form is likely to be what has attracted Everton, and on this evidence he would be a very smart purchase for the reported price.

Stoke's Charlie Adam in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa GueyeStoke's Charlie Adam in action with Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye

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