Stats: Comparing Jonjo Shelvey and Jordan Henderson

Liverpool FC - Seeing Is Believing - Jordan Henderson

Liverpool allowed Shelvey to join Swansea in the summer, largely due to the increased importance Henderson had over the team - the right choice?

Liverpool continued their assault on the Premier League top four with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Swansea last weekend at Anfield, and now hold a six-point advantage over Tottenham in fifth place.

Not only was Brendan Rodgers facing his former employers once more, but the fixture brought ex-Red Jonjo Shelvey back to Anfield.

The Charlton youth graduate departed Merseyside for pastures new in the summer, largely due to the number of central midfielders at Rodgers' disposal and the emergence of Jordan Henderson.

However, looking at stats between Henderson and Shelvey this season, was Rodgers right to sell the England under-21 man?

In the fixture in question both showed their considerable attributes. Shelvey only managed 45 minutes before going off with a hamstring twinge, however had a telling impact on the first half.

An immaculate strike for Swansea's first goal was the icing on an accomplished performance, where he took up dangerous positions between the hosts' defence and midfield, and largely gave Steven Gerrard the run around.

Henderson has been one of the Anfield club's driving forces this season, and it was never so apparent as in this fixture. The England international netted two goals and put in a man-of-the-match performance.

Regardless of this one game, it is worth taking a look at how the pair have performed in the Premier League this season.

NameTeamPosGoal Assist / appsTotal Att Assist / appsTotal Tackle / appsAerial Won / appsFouls / appsAccurate Pass / appsPoss Lost All / appsAppsMins
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 0.22 1.81 2.22 1.00 1.00 46.89 11.00 27 2,409
Jonjo Shelvey Swansea MF 0.13 1.26 1.09 0.35 0.74 43.91 15.04 23 1,739

Picking a rounded selection of stats that are relevant to midfielders, it is apparent that Henderson has outperformed Shelvey significantly this season.

Henderson has a higher assist ratio per game than Shelvey and has also set up more shots at goal on average than his Swansea counterpart.

The Liverpool swashbuckler attempts significantly more tackles per game and also wins more aerial duels.

Both players are expected to play important roles when their respective teams are in possession and Henderson once more has the more impressive stats here.

The Liverpool man completes more accurate passes on average per game than Shelvey, while the former Red is guilty of coughing up possession more frequently.

The only area where Henderson is inferior here is in conceding fouls, which will not be a major concern for Brendan Rodgers.

Henderson is obviously in great form and must be in the running for a spot in England's World Cup squad this summer.

That said, despite the stats favouring the Liverpool man, Shelvey has shown in both meetings against his former club this season that he has considerable technical ability on the ball and can still grow into a top-notch Premier League player.

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