Arsenal Transfer Target Sime Vrsaljko: Comparing His Stats Against Sagna & Jenkinson

By on October 16, 2013

Arsenal have been linked with Genoa full-back Sime Vrsaljko in recent weeks. Here, blogger Gooner Daily compares him to Bacary Sagna and Carl Jenkinson.

Bacary sagna

Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna is in the final year of his contract and will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club in January. According to the Mirror, Arsenal are hopeful that Sagna will sign a new deal but the Gunners hierarchy is also aware that we will be left short at the back if he fails to commit his future to us, 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 whipping 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 current 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.

This post was originally published on Gooner Daily – you can check out their Facebook page here.

2 Comments

  1. Macky

    October 16, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Sagna should be retained,he is a very loyal player, a true gunner & top class with experience.wenger should give him 2year contract & improve his wage,he deserved all that..i believe sagna is important to the team like walcott who got his improved package,sagna is older though but his versatility says it all.

  2. Oduaski

    October 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Sagna has been loyal to Arsenal over the years. He deserves the new improved contract he is asking for!!!

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