Arsenal Transfer Target Sime Vrsaljko: Comparing his Stats With the Club’s Current Right Backs

Arsenal are in a rich vein of form heading into the international break and it can be attributed to the collective performances of some of the players that have stood out from the crowd, shining brighter than stars in the Milky Way.

Aaron Ramsey might have missed a penalty for his nation against Macedonia, but his form prior to that game has been phenomenal and the Barclay’s Player of the Month award he just won was well deserved. Olivier Giroud has carried his goalscoring club form to his country and his double salvo against Australia must have done wonders to his confidence.

In other playing positions, there have been some vast improvements as well, but every thoroughbred Arsenal fan out there would know that some room for improvement in the right back position as Carl Jenkinson has shown his naivety and rawness in some games and can only get better with a consistent run out when Bacary Sagna isn’t fit or has to be rested.

Jenkinson has been excellent in some of the games he has played at right back but sometimes his crossing can be a bit erratic. Bacary Sagna on the other hand, is one of Arsenal’s senior figures and most consistent players in the yesteryear but after breaking the same leg twice in one season, his fitness levels aren’t as optimal as they used to be. There’s also the issue of his contract that has to be sorted out because come January 2014, Sagna would be available to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club, and he’s on high demand from the top clubs in his native France.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal is hopeful for Sagna to sign a new deal but the Gunners hierarchy is also aware that Sagna could do a van Persie on them, so they have been monitoring the progress of young Croatian full / wingback Sime Vrsaljko. The youngster began his career in the top club in his nation, Dinamo Zagreb, and won a lot of trophies in Croatian top flight before sealing a move to Genoa this season.

He has also represented Croatia at various youth levels before making his first senior appearance in 2011 against Czech Republic, With Shakhtar Donetsk’s legendary right back, Darijo Srna, ahead of Vrsaljko in the pecking order at national level, this youngster would have to wait for his turn, as Srna is reaching his twilight years and would hang up his international boots sooner rather than later.

Vrsaljko was called up to the Croatian national team setup that featured in Euro 2012 but he was an used substitute in all the games as the Croats crashed out of a tough group that had eventual winners, Spain, eventual finalists, Italy, and the group’s whooping boys, Ireland.

This season, Vrsaljko has featured consistently for Genoa and despite his young age, he has put up some mature performances for his new club, making him a mainstay in the team. With some assistance from stats giants, WhoScored, the table below shows the major statistics Vrsaljko has amassed this season,

 

Serie A

Appearances (subs)

6 (0)

Tackles made (per game)

11 (1.8)

Interceptions made (per game)

21 (3.5)

Fouls committed (per game)

9 (1.5)

Clearances (per game)

21 (3.5)

Blocked shots (per game)

1 (0.2)

Times Dribbled by other players (per game)

6 (1)

Total crosses (accurate crosses)

44 (10)

Total Passes (accurate passes)

207 (166)

Pass Completion percentage

80.2%

Key Passes (Assists)

3 (1)

Total Shots attempted (Goals)

1 (0)

Bookings (Yellow/Red)

-

In just six games for Genoa, Vrsaljko has already made 21 interceptions which shows his ability to read the game, and make vital challenges which is quite impressive for a player his age. He’s also a no-nonsense defender as his 21 clearances in just six Serie A games show that he’s always willing to take a safer option first instead of dallying on the ball.

It’s now time to compare his stats with Arsenal’s incumbent right backs, Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson (League only),

 

Vrsaljko

Jenkinson

Sagna

Appearances (subs)

6 (0)

4 (2)

5 (1)

Tackles made (per game)

11 (1.8)

9 (1.5)

2 (0.3)

Interceptions made (per game)

21 (3.5)

5 (0.8)

7 (1.2)

Fouls committed (per game)

9 (1.5)

3 (0.5)

4 (0.7)

Clearances (per game)

21 (3.5)

16 (2.7)

19 (3.2)

Blocked shots (per game)

1 (0.2)

-

4 (0.7)

Times Dribbled by other players (per game)

6 (1)

1 (0.2)

1 (0.2)

Total crosses (accurate crosses)

44 (10)

20 (3)

23 (16)

Total Passes (accurate passes)

207 (166)

219 (183)

268 (239)

Pass Completion percentage

80.2%

83.6%

89.2%

Key Passes (Assists)

3 (1)

2 (1)

1 (0.2)

Total Shots attempted (Goals)

1 (0)

-

3 (1)

Bookings (Yellow/Red)

-

-

1 / 0

These stats have proven that Arsenal needs to do all they can to secure the services of Bacary Sagna. Sagna is a more accurate passer of the ball than the younger players he’s compared with and he has even sent in more accurate crosses than the two of them put together this season. As the table shows, Jenkinson has to really improve on his crossing because he gets into encouraging positions but his output is below par.

However, if Sagna chooses not to renew his deal with the club, Sime Vrsaljko will not be a bad alternative. For a player so young, his stats are really impressive and he can get even better under the tutelage of Le Professeur himself, Arsene Wenger.

Sayonara.

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About enigma106

An Arsenal fan with a good sense of humor

Posted on October 15, 2013, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Oga, why you no hail my man Bendtner?

    Sagna have to sign ooh. the guy don try for us.

    Like

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