Stats - Did Spurs make a huge mistake by selling £5m star?

Spurs chose to sell Tom Huddlestone last summer, but after a fine season for Hull, did they make a huge error?

The former England Under-21 star was Hull boss Steve Bruce's marquee signing in the summer, and having fallen out of favour under Andre Villas-Boas, many thought it was a wise move for all parties.

But with some impressive displays - as well as Spurs having a relatively disappointing season given the money they spent - it has led to many suggesting that Tottenham made a mistake by selling Huddlestone. This was backed up by ex-Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy, who said Huddlestone is better than any current Spurs midfielder - with that in mind, what do the stats say? 

Total Passing

NameTeamPosTotal Pass / appsAccurate Pass / appsAppsMins
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 51.04 40.22 27 2,342
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 48.70 42.80 10 723
Paulinho Spurs MF 45.10 38.14 21 1,759
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 42.71 38.79 24 1,631
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 35.25 29.67 12 686
Sandro Spurs MF 26.42 22.17 12 565

The stats show that Huddlestone has attempted more passes per game than any of the Spurs midfielders, even to the point where he has almost twice as many passes per game than Sandro. When it comes to how accurate those passes have been, Huddlestone sits second behind youngster Nabil Bentaleb, but Huddlestone has the lowest completion percentage of the six per game, which may be a direct result of his tendency to attempt long passes.


NameTeamPosTotal Scoring AttOntarget Scoring AttGoalsAppsMins
Paulinho Spurs MF 56 18 4 21 1,759
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 49 12 2 27 2,342
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 12 4 1 24 1,631
Sandro Spurs MF 9 3 1 12 565
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 6 1 0 10 723
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 6 3 1 12 686

Huddlestone is known for his long-range shooting and immense power that he packs behind his shots, and has attempted the second most shots of the six players this season, falling just seven behind Paulinho. The Brazilian has also had more shots on target and unsurprisingly scored more goals given those stats, but Huddlestone, whilst not being a goalscoring midfielder, has been more prolific than most of the Spurs midfielders this season.


NameTeamPosTotal TackleTotal ClearanceInterceptionAppsMins
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 71 51 59 27 2,342
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 64 27 16 24 1,631
Paulinho Spurs MF 44 22 21 21 1,759
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 26 9 20 10 723
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 25 23 30 12 686
Sandro Spurs MF 14 18 21 12 565

Huddlestone is an adept defensive midfielder too, and he dominates the current crop of Spurs midfielders in this area. He has by far the most tackles, clearances and interceptions of the six, and for the most part it isn't even close. 59 interceptions is more than Dembele, Paulinho and Bentaleb combined, showing that he can still be an outstanding midfielder in the Premier League in a number of different areas.

After his time at White Hart Lane was plagued by injuries, it's not difficult to see why Spurs cashed in on the former Derby County man, bagging £5m in the process. But instead, Spurs went and brought in a number of midfielders who, according to the stats, simply haven't offered enough as Huddlestone for Hull this season. There is a subsection of fans who believe the 27-year-old should be called up for England's World Cup squad, and with that in mind, did Spurs make a mistake selling Huddlestone?

image: © apasciuto

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