Is the €25m Arsenal target Aaron Hickey really an upgrade on Tavares? The stats say no…

Comparing Tavares and Arsenal-linked Aaron Hickey

There have been a lot of noise about Bologna’s Aaron Hickey in the media lately. Multiple reports have suggested that the Gunners have agreed a deal with their Italian counterparts.

But does a deal for the young Scotsman really makes sense when we already have Tavares? Can those funds be spent better somewhere else?

Just Arsenal looks at the stats of both the players and based on that our writer will give a personal opinion on it. The article has been divided into four segments of defense, possession, passing and miscellaneous.

Defense

Looking at Tackles made per 90 minutes, Nuno Tavares comes out on top slightly with 1.59 compared to Hickey’s 1.52.

The Scotsman however had a better figure than the Portuguese in terms of getting Dribbled Past. While Hickey’s number was 0.46, Tavares figure was 0.44.

However, the Arsenal man again put out a superior number than his counterpart in terms of Interceptions. His figure was 2.02, whereas the Bologna man stood at 1.19.

Possession

In case of Dribbles Completed Tavares again got the better of Hickey as his number per 90 minutes was 1.67 in contrast to Hickey’s 0.92.

The Portuguese’s Carries figure was also superior at 46.36 than his counterpart’s 33.35.

Despite those good numbers, Tavares was Dispossessed 1.32 times per match on an average while Hickey’s figure stood at 0.86.

Passing

Hickey got slightly better of his counterpart in terms of the Pass Completion metric. The 19-year-old’s number stood at 82% while Tavares’ was at 81.9%.

Whereas Tavares’ figures of Expected Assists (xA) and Passes into the Final Third and Key Passes were at 0.09, 1.84 and 0.70. While Hickey’s similar figures were 0.04/1.02/0.56.

Miscellaneous

Tavares’ figures of Aerials Won, Ball Recoveries, Fouls Drawn, Errors, Expected Goals stood at 2.11, 7.64, 1.05, 0.09 and 0.11, which were all above average numbers.

While Hickey stood at 0.53, 5.74, 2.41, 0.00 and 0.04.

Writer’s opinion

Apart from some metrics, Tavares is clearly outperforming Hickey. Despite Tavares being an inconsistent player on the pitch, he’s still a very good back-up to first-choice Kieran Tierney.

With a season’s experience under his bag, you would think he will be a better player next season. Although Hickey is a very talented full back who’s versatile, spending €25 million on a position we already have good players in doesn’t make much sense.

That money can be better served elsewhere in more priority positions such as central midfield, center forward, attacking wing and even right-back.

What is your opinion on the same topic? Don’t forget to drop your thoughts in the comments section below!

Yash Bisht

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9 Comments

  1. The cash spent on Hickey and Tavares could’ve been blown on a better player for one. Our business ain’t great. Tavares’ positioning can definitely be worked on. I’ve checked Hickey out and he’s massively overrated. AMN is clear of them all and I dont even want him as a defender.

  2. And Odegaard was overpriced. Ramsdale was a serial relegated keeper and nobody else wanted Tomiyasu.

    Lets be honest, most of us have seen no more than snippets of Hickey play. Would it kill us to have a little faith before burying the knife?

    After last summer’s window, I think Edu and Arteta have at least learnt a bit of time.

  3. Anybody is an upgrade on Tavares the boy simply cannot defend but in fairness much of our backline is like that they could probably be all upgraded.

  4. Hickey is a very smart investment.

    He mostly plays in a 3 4 3 system very comfortable on either side, uses both feet well though I think his right foot is stronger.

    He’s certainly an upgrade on Tavares, while Tomi was at Bolonga, Hickey plays to his left in a back four, versatile kid.

    This is going to be a very good signing.

  5. I’ve never seen Hickey play, but this much is clear- Tavares is at least one and probably two seasons loan time off becoming good enough for our match day squad; he makes 1 to 4 potentially goal conceding clearly visible defensive mistakes each match. He’s got admirable attributes and potential- but needs a hell of a lot of work

  6. Can Artets pls just buy attacking players…even the guimaress je spose to buy he didn’t buy, he shuld just focus on what he needs..

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