Dinamo Kiev’s Europa League visit to Everton offered armchair scouts the chance to run the rule over the Ukrainians’ former Basel defender Aleksandar Dragovic.
The Austrian international defender has regularly been linked with Manchester United during the season and it has emerged that Arsenal too are admirers.
Dragovic is 7/1 to be a Gunners player next season, while he is 2/1 to remain in the Ukrainian capital and as short 1/2 to be at any other club.
Against the Toffees it was possible to see just what had piqued Premier League interest.
While the statistical perspective is only half the vista, he didn’t pull up any trees on the numbers as his side went down by two goals to one.
His three tackles equalled central-defensive partner Danilo Silva, but the Brazilian outscored him in both interceptions (2-0) and clearances (11-10), while neither managed to win a single aerial duel all night according to whoscored.com
On the ball his pass accuracy of 88.2% was commendable given Dinamo spent much of the second half under relentless pressure, while four of his six long balls found the mark.
Having interested the likes of Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal, the 24-year-old might have been expected to take a greater responsibility in possession than his partner, yet here too Silva had marginally more touches and passes in the game.
So far so underwhelming it seems, yet, as previously noted, the statistics don’t tell the whole story as far Dragovic’s performance was concerned.
Considering his side spent the majority of the second period under the cosh, the Toffees seldom drew serious saves from Oleksandr Shovkovskiy in the Kiev goal.
Despite failing to win any aerial battles according to the stats boffins, Everton headers from convertable positions were conspicuous by their absence.
Meanwhile Romelu Lukaku’s dominant physicality was there for all to see, yet the Belgian made precious little headway in the 18-yard box.
While he wasn’t conspicuously all-action, the Austrian played his part in a very well organised rear-guard effort that was only undone by a late penalty for a handball.