A first call up for Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater was the standout story when England’s squad for the upcoming friendlies with Germany and the Netherlands was announced.
Drinkwater is 5/2 to play his way in to Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2016, but where does he stand among the box-to-box midfielders available?
Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Fabian Delph of Manchester City, 1/10 and 5/2 for selection in Hodgson’s Euro 2016 raiding party respectively, are arguably the most similar players currently in the Three Lions picture.
Comparing the trio on a quintet of statistics pertinent to the box-to-boxer’s craft, it seems the Foxes workhorse is outperforming the latter, but has yet to reach Delph’s levels of effectiveness.
Delph tops every metric: scoring, tackling, intercepting and completing passes in the final third most often and enjoying the greatest success with his distribution in the opposing half.
Arriving with well-timed runs to score is part of the box-to-box midfielder archetype and is the area news.bwin examined in which Drinkwater performs least well.
He averages more than double the minutes-per-goal ratio of next-least prolific Henderson, a lack of threat that is unlikely to enamor the England manager.
Normally a certain degree of Delph’s dominance of the numbers might be attributed to the fact that he plays for one of the Premier League’s powerhouses.
This year, however, it is Drinkwater’s stats, rather than those of Delph that should be experiencing the boost of playing for the division’s best team.
Further commending the former Aston Villa man is the fact that his influential performances have come despite injuries laying waste to his attempts to hit the ground running in his first campaign at the Etihad.
Expected back from an Achilles tendon mishap in early April, he should arguably head Hodgson’s box-to-box hierarchy if fit.
Drinkwater, by contrast, still needs to up his game and in particular his goal scoring, if he wishes to supplant the former Aston Villa ace.