A new right-back is believed to be high on Manchester United’s priority list this January, with Everton’s Seamus Coleman and Nathaniel Clyne of Southampton the primary targets according to employees of the rumour mill.
There’s a price of even-money to be snapped up about either number two pledging their allegiance to the Red Devils’ cause during this transfer window and with the Old Trafford outfit allegedly armed with £150m to splurge, there’s a distinct possibility that this punt will land.
But which of the international twosome should Louis van Gaal value higher?
Given the Dutchman’s penchant to deploy a 3-5-2 formation, where the onus is on the wing backs to provide attacking width, the player more capable going forward should would be of most use to him.
This statistical comparison of the duo makes it unequivocally clear who that is.
Taken from game week eight of the Premier League campaign (the point when Coleman recovered from the hamstring injury that caused him to drop in and out of the side in the fledgling stages of the season), the table depicts how the Irishman’s adventurousness would be more beneficial to Man Utd.
He has made 58 more touches in opponents’ halves than his English counterpart, who has only kicked the ball seven times in the final third from the point in question.
As Clyne’s defensive stats demonstrate – he out-tackles Coleman and has won the ball back more often – preventing the opposition scoring is where the Saints star’s strengths lie.
While this is important, attacking output is more so in a 3-5-2, especially for a Man Utd side that are going to dominate possession in the majority of their matches.
Coleman, who has been involved in more than one in ten of Everton’s goals across the period in question is definitely the stronger going forward and, therefore, would be the better signing of the two.