The Pochettino dilemma: Barkley or Sigurdsson?

The Pochettino dilemma: Barkley or Sigurdsson?

Last update: 7 July 2017 Tags: Tottenham Hotspur, Ross Barkley, Gylfi Sigurdsson. Categories: Premier League.

It's a popular opinion that Tottenham need to improve squad depth and one position that needs more depth is the 3 attackers behind Harry Kane, especially with the disappointment of the £30 million deadline day signing Moussa Sissoko. Two players strongly linked are Everton's Ross Barkley and Swansea's Gylfi Sigurdsson.

First of all let's compare the versatility of the players, which Pochettino likes in players such as Eric Dier. First of all Gylfi Sigurdsson can play: attacking midfield, left wing and right wing. So he can play anywhere in behind the striker. Moving onto Ross Barkley, the Everton man can play: Central attacking midfield and central midfield. So not as versatile as Sigurdsson but can play central midfield which is currently occupied by Belgian Mousa Dembele who is getting into the latter stages of his career at the age of 29. So Ross Barkley at the age of 23 could be his successor however in that same position Tottenahm already have hot upcoming prospects in Harry Winks and under 20's World Cup winner Josh Onomah. Both Barkley's and Sigurdsson's main position is the attacking midfield role Dele Alli occupies which could be key since Dele Alli is suspended for 3 games in the champions league so these 2 could fill that position.

Moving onto the players statistics from the 2016/17 season. Ross Barkley played 36 games and Gylfi Sigurdsson played 38 games last season. Using let's compare some key stats. First since they're both midfielders let's look at pass completion Ross Barkley- 83% and Gylfi Sigurdsson - 78%, so Ross wins this battle. Now let's look at chances created Ross Barkley - 82 and Gylfi Sigurdsson- 72, so Ross wins another battle. Moving onto assists Ross Barkley - 8 and Gylfi Sigurdsson - 13, so Gylfi wins this one even though he created less chances he got more assists. Now goals scored Ross Barkley - 5 and Sigurdsson - 9, so Gylfi has scored more last season. Now a different stat since Christian Eriksen has been struggling with set pieces let's compare goals from set pieces Ross Barkley - 1 and Gylfi Sigurdsson - 5 so Gylfi is much better from set pieces. So based on key stats for their positions Gyfli had the better season, but you have to bare in mind that Barkley is 4 years younger so hasn't reached his full potential yet.

Now let's talk about likelihood. Ross Barkley is 23 and English which Pochettino both likes youth and has a great track record with English players: Kane, Alli, Dier the list goes on. Also many fans believe Pochettino could do wonders with Ross and help him reach his full potential. Everton's valuation of Ross Barkley was £50 million but ever since Everton signed former Ajax captain Davy Klaassen, Everton's valuation of the player has dropped to £35 million and will continue to decrease since Everton are strong favourites to resign Wayne Rooney. So Everton may be willing to sell Ross Barkley and is 8/11 to join Tottenham based on Sky Bet. Gylfi Sigurdsson is 27 so is older but still has a good few seasons left. A different case to Everton they will be very reluctant to sell their star man. Tottenham hinted the other day on Twitter with some unusual activity showing old goals of Sigurdsson is a Spurs shirt many fans looked into this as a sign but maybe just looked into it too much. Sky Bet rank Tottenham as second favourites behind Everton with Tottenham 9/2 to be Sigurdsson's next destination. Personally I believe Barkley would be the better option with age on his side and I don't believe Sigurdsson would want to come back to Spurs.

Spurs fans, who would you prefer, if any at all? Let us know in the comments below!


featured image credit Liverpool Echo