The longest running (and therefore dullest) transfer story of the past six months or so has been the likely transfer of Charlie Adam from Blackpool to Liverpool.
But is he the right man for Liverpool?
Liverpool are crying out for a left footed midfielder. The passing statistics for last season (which will be covered in much greater depth in a future post) illustrated that the Reds passed the ball to the right wing significantly more than they did to the left. This lop-sidedness was presumably down to a dearth of options for left midfield.
Charlie Adam (who will be 26 in December) scored 12 goals in the Premier League last season, all with his left foot, so it’s safe to say he fits the bill on that front at least.
I have recently looked at the top chance creators in the Premier League last season (see here for more info), of which Adam is one. As an additional study, I have looked at the top ten players for key passes, and what percentage of their passes this constitutes:
Name Chances Passes Passes Per Chance
Malouda 113 1661 14.70
Young 68 1141 16.78
Brunt 77 1365 17.73
Downing 78 1487 19.06
Davies 86 1661 19.31
Henderson 78 1643 21.06
Barton 72 1617 22.46
Silva 66 1552 23.52
Adam 64 1883 29.42
Modric 64 2001 31.27
Adam was 9th on the list of chance creators, and maintains that placing for this measure too. Ashley Young is the big mover here, going from 7th in the table of key passes to 2nd here, so it looks like United may have bagged themselves a good deal. See here for a closer look at the merits of Young and Downing.
Of course, with this kind of thing ‘it takes two to tango’. By playing with a lower standard of players, Adam may be on a different wavelength than his colleagues, and so a failed pass may not entirely be his fault.
How does he compare to the top ten chance creators on passing accuracy?
Name Passes Pass Completed % success
Silva 1552 1334 85.95%
Modric 2001 1717 85.81%
Malouda 1661 1305 78.57%
Henderson 1643 1279 77.85%
Downing 1487 1074 72.23%
Brunt 1365 980 71.79%
Barton 1617 1128 69.76%
Adam 1883 1311 69.62%
Young 1141 741 64.94%
Davies 1661 915 55.09%
Again, a fairly lowly placing for the Scotsman, though again, the fact he played with effectively Championship quality players could easily be used to defend him.
The thing that struck me when looking at the above information is that West Bromwich Albion’s Chris Brunt is ahead of him on both charts.
In his Premiership career (across two seasons), Brunt has scored 12 goals, 11 of which were left footed strikes and one header. He would therefore appear to fulfill the ‘left footed midfielder required’ criteria.
He will have played with a similar standard of player as Adam, and yet has out performed him on these two measures.
It’s interesting to note how he also outperformed other Liverpool targets and transfers (such as Henderson and Downing) on the passes per chance ratio.
Turning 27 in December may put him outside FSG’s targeted age bracket, but I would imagine he would be cheaper than Adam, and not a huge expense that requires a decent sell-on value for it to be good business.
Whether or not former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson would want to sell one of his top players to the Anfield club could of course be a major stumbling block.
But if the Adam transfer saga drags on much longer, I think Liverpool could do a lot worse than try for Brunt instead.
Please take a look at my other articles, a list of which can be found here.