Stat analysis between James Maddison and Emile Smith Rowe
Just a few days back, links of James Maddison to Arsenal would have been laughed off in a casual conversation among the club’s faithful.
But here we are. After AFC Bell reported on its official Twitter account that Maddison is a target of Arsenal, other credible journalists came up with their own stories.
Arsenal are considering a move for James Maddison.
As @AdrianJKajumba & others have reported, fee would be in excess of £60m.
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) June 16, 2021
But what will the Leicester man provide different to Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe?
Maddison is obviously a more accomplished midfielder than Smith Rowe, with his figures of Expected Assists (xA) and Expected Goals (xG) being considerably higher at 0.23 and 0.19 than ESR’s 0.19 and 0.13 per 90 minutes.
If Arsenal acquire the services of the former Norwich man, they can become more direct in their final third plays. Maddison is not afraid to let one fly from a distance and the figure of 3.17 Total Shots proves that. If Smith Rowe has an ambition to become one of the best central attacking midfielders, he must increase his output at the final third. On an average, Arsenal’s academy graduate took just 0.81 Total Shots.
Arsenal can become more potent in the freekicks at the final third too, where Maddison took 0.56 Shots from Freekicks. Smith Rowe’s talent on freekick situations is still to be seen, because until now, he has not taken a single one.
This is a department where the duo can look eye to eye. The Arsenal man completed 39.69 passes with a Pass Completion rate of an impressive 87.7%. Maddison was trailing his countryman, with his figures at 37 and 77.3%.
Smith Rowe’s numbers of Short Passes/Medium Passes/Long Passes were 21.81/14.81/1.88 per 90 minutes. While the FA Cup winner with Leicester had a figure of 18.52/13.03/4.59.
In terms of linking up play in the middle of the park and at the final third, Smith Rowe had a better hand than Maddison. But if Maddison is on the pitch for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta can expect someone who can unlock the opposition’s defense from a distance.
The 24-year-old figure of Key Passes/Passes into Final Third/Passes into Penalty Area was 2.23/3.69/1.50. While Smith Rowe stood at 1.50/2.31/0.88.
Quick stat: Maddison’s figure of Key Passes and Passes into Final Third is one of the best in the league and places him in the top 10 percentile of midfielders in England!
Goal and Shot Creation
Smith Rowe had a breakthrough season last year, which started on the Boxing Day. Thus, it is understandable as to why his figures were below average. The young midfielder’s figure of Shot-Creating Actions/Goal-Creating Actions were a lowly 2.69/0.44. While Maddison was at an admirable number of 4.50 and 0.47, which again was one of the best in the Premier League.
The England international’s figure of Touches/Dribbles Completed/Carries into Final Third/Carries into Penalty Area were 60.33/1.37/1.76/0.60. Whereas ESR’s figures were 54.69/0.44/1.81/0.88.
Smith Rowe’s lung-bursting runs into the 18-yard box was a common theme in the second half of the last campaign. This is an area where the young Englishman is not just better than Maddison, but than many established Premier League attacking midfielders.
Smith Rowe was also on average Dispossessed once in a whole match, which places him in the top six percentile of midfielders. While the 24-year-old Leicester star was Dispossessed 1.84 times per match.
The last but still an extremely important factor for Mikel Arteta will be the defensive side of the game of his attacking players. Maddison’s figures of Tackles/Pressures/Blocks/Interceptions stood at 1.54/14.75/0.56/0.47. While Smith Rowe was at 0.88/15.06/1.06/0.88.
If you find an average for the above numbers, both are somewhat equivalent.
If Arsenal end up signing James Maddison from their direct rivals Leicester City, it will show the club’s ambition in the current shop window. The fact that they are even considering of signing players in that price range shows that the Gunners mean business.
After all, it appears like Mikel Arteta was not lying when he said that the club needs to be “ruthless” in terms of squad building.
Maybe this is the New Arsenal.