This short piece will look at the impact Royston Drenthe has made since coming to the club in the summer. We will track his performance compared to our existing wide midfielders and analyse whether Moyes will look to make his loan move permanent in the summer.
Drenthe is clearly a talent going forward – his explosive pace, ability to dribble and ferocious shot are characteristics we generally lack in our squad’s complexion…..
In terms of wide deliveries, Donovan (36%) makes the most successful cross with Baines in second with 27% and Drenthe coming in with 26%. His playing style is very direct and he will look to shoot more than any of his midfield colleagues – averaging just over 2 shots per game.
As the table (left) shows RD has racked up a fair few assists considering the limited game time he has had since moving from Madrid. He is our most prolific dribbler and responsible for almost a 5th of the entire squad’s dribbles (17%). The other quality he brings to the table is winning useful free kicks – he is fouled every 25mins – comfortably the most of any of his wing colleagues due largely to his quick feet, pace and ability to commit fullbacks. Thus far he has won 1 penalty whilst 2 cert pens at Spurs and Liverpool were not given. Probably the most blatant stat about his importance to us going forward is that with him in the side we score a goal every 58 minutes whilst without him it takes us 135 minutes to score.
Drenthe in defence…
Moyes expects all players to ‘put in a shift’ and Royston – a left back as a youth – is no exception. Statistically we ship more goals with him on the pitch – conceding every 63 minutes when he is playing compared to every 89 mins when he is not on the pitch.
“What we want are players who can make a difference, we want them to entertain but for the right reasons. There will be periods in the game when the defensive side of things is not the biggest part of Roy’s game. But we had to get back into this game and it was the time for Roy to be most effective. Sometimes in the Premier League, the harder side of it is the defending. You are away from home, you have got to dig and keep in the game.”
Moyes after the Norwich draw – December 2011
Moyes anxieties are probably down to the fact that Royston polls the lowest for making interceptions whilst polls the highest for making fouls and being dispossessed in the below chart.
His sending off at home to Chelsea and sloppy play at Eastlands which led to City’s clincher are examples of his rash play. Moyes has implied that his qualities are better suited to playing home games rather than away due to the above but Drenthe has actually played more minutes away from home than at home and has more assists and as many goals away from Goodison Park.
Although he is on a bosman there is no such thing as free transfer really . On his considerable wages on a 5 year deal we would be looking at an investment of around £17m – a sizeable amount given our precarious financial situation. If we can afford it though we simply must make it happen. The qualities he has simply can’t be taught whilst the small issues with his defensive play can be worked on. In a season which has been dire he is one of the few players who does provide genuine class and a buzz when he gets on the ball. Overall Verdict ? Sign him up!