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Modric v Nasri v Sneijder – who should Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea buy?

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The hunt is on for creative midfielders this summer as managers across England look for the perfect solution to unlocking packed defences. With Paul Scholes retiring, Frank Lampard ageing and Carlos Tevez agitating for a move, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all looking for a player to shoulder attacking responsibility on the pitch and ‘deliver magic’.

On the other hand, you have Samir Nasri at Arsenal who is in the final year of his contract and has made a quite public stance of ‘wait and see’ this summer, courting United and City while keeping an eye on Arsenal’s transfer policies and of course, whether Fabregas finally leaves Arsenal or not. There were reports at the start of the summer that if Fabregas went Nasri would stay (i.e. Arsenal could afford to break the bank to keep him), but it’s more likely that his future will be independent of Cesc’s.

Then there is Luka Modric at Tottenham, the picture of politeness, who spoke through his agent about wanting to play in the Champions League right after it was clear that Tottenham would NOT qualify for the Champions League next season. He’s also spoken about wanting to play for Chelsea, and despite Ferguson’s interest the option of staying in London and getting a massive pay hike seems to appeal to the Tottenham midfielder. However, Spurs (justifiably) hold all the aces, and may increase his wages but not sell him this summer.

And finally you have Wesley Sneijder at Inter Milan – an ageing Inter Milan that is not only being dragged back into Calciopoli but also desperate to recover their footing after ruling Italy (and at one point Europe and the World) for a few years. Reports from Netherlands strongly suggest that Sneijder has his heart set at a move to United and the only stumbling block remains the transfer fee. Inter want 35m, and if United were to buy Sneijder it would probably be a player + cash deal. Which player? Well, Samuel Eto’o wants to play in the Premier League as well, so maybe there’s a striker going the other way?

It’s still the first week of July, so there’s plenty more to go in the transfer stories for these three players. What I’d like to do is to compare the stats for Modric, Nasri and Sneijder and look at who is, statistically speaking, the most valuable of them all.

Modric v Nasri v Sneijder – 2010/2011 League Stats

Player Luka Modric Samir Nasri Wesley Sneijder
Team Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal Internazionale
Appearances 32 30 25
Starts 32 28 22
Minutes On Pitch 2 800 2 391 1 999
Goal Attempts
Goals 3 10 4
Minutes per goal 933 239 500
Shots 54 81 107
Shots per game 1,7 2,7 4,3
Shooting Accuracy 43% 65% 44%
Chance Conversion 8% 19% 5%
Passing
Touches per game 87 74 82
Touches per game in opp box 2,1 4,6 1,8
Goal Assists 2 1 5
Chances created per game 2,1 1,9 2,9
Total Passes 2 001 1 468 1 503
Passes per game 63 49 60
Pass Completion % 87% 88% 85%
Pass Completion in final third % 77% 83% 79%
Duels
Duels 360 281 182
Duels per game 11 9 7
Duels won % 54% 39% 46%
Crossing
Total Crosses 68 157 154
Crosses per game 2,1 5,2 6,2
Cross Completion % 24% 14% 19%
Dribbling
Dribbles 113 135 51
Dribbles per game 3,5 4,5 2,0
Dribble Completion % 61% 45% 55%
Discipline
Fouls conceded 15 18 15
Fouls conceded per game 0,5 0,6 0,6
Fouls won 46 17 41
Fouls won per game 1,4 0,6 1,6
Offside 3 11 6
Yellow Cards 3 4 1
Red Cards 0 0 0

NASRI AND SNEIJDER LEAD THE WAY IN ATTACK

Stats show that while Luka Modric excels in his role as a deep-laying playmaker and actually wins more one-on-one duels than his more attacking peers, Samir Nasri and Wesley Sneijder dominated their respective leagues last season when it came to delivering balls in the final third.

Luka Modric also managed to make it into the top five in the Premier League rankings, completing 528 passes in the last third of the pitch.

Most successful passes in the final third – 2010/11 Premier League

Player Team Successful Passes Final third
Nasri Arsenal 601
Malouda Chelsea 593
Fabregas Arsenal 548
Silva Manchester City 530
Modric Tottenham Hotspur 528

Most successful passes in the final third – 2010/11 Serie A

Player Team Successful Passes Final third
Sneijder Internazionale 626
Pastore Palermo 591
Robinho Milan 551
Seedorf Milan 492
Hamsik Napoli 486

For a team like City and United, both of whom need more creativity higher up the pitch, Nasri and Sneijder look to be the ideal recruits. On the other hand, United may look at their squad and think that Modric’s arrival would still leave them needing a more attacking midfielder (unless they press Modric higher up the pitch), while Chelsea would look at Modric as the ideal foil for Lampard in the center of the pitch and would be happy to have him sit back and run the show while Torres, Drogba, Malouda and co ran amok up front.

If you were managing United, City or Chelsea, which player would you buy and why?

Comments (34)

  1. ManU – Modric suits best for their style of play. nasri and sneijder are naturally more attacking midfielders but manu perhaps need someone who can control the game from the center as paul scholes used to do…

    Chelsea – They have michael essien and ramires the midfield who are great CDMs n very effective…and then they have lampard for attacking…however lampard is not getin any younger and even had a bad season last time around…Sneijder is perhaps the best option for them

    City – lets leave city, they may think of even buying all 3 of them at once :S….however i think to compete strongly in the champions league they need some1 of highest quality in the center midfield…barry and de jong are not up to the mark..having so many attackers i think Modric again is the perfect man for them…

    • Sneijder Ideal for Man Utd if they buy him kiss goodbye to the 2011-12 title!

      city are yet to bring a team together and if they buy to many players each season may never happen money does buy a good squad but not maybe a good team and the type of players they are buying and putting on big wages (some big names wanting to leave) Tevez! looks like they could have a lot of problem childs just wanting the money don’t see players wanting to leave a trophy winning side even though they are on less wages! Money can de-motivate Players or attract the wrong ones!

    • How can you say de Jong is not up to it? He was by far the best defensive midfielder in the premier league last season. Better than essien, ramires, huddleston, sandro, carrick, fletcher, song, diaby or anyone else.

  2. I prefer Sneijder for Man Utd, he’s more experienced, versatile & energetic.My problem with him is his signing fee & wage demand.We need to cut cost before UEFA’s sanction in a few years.

  3. Modric has been on SAF’s radar for a while now but personally I would like to see Nasri and Sneider on board, both have much better champions league experience and are more dangerous in the final third. Both of them tend to stay injury free. I’ve always thought Modric, as good a player as he is, a little lightweight when it comes to the more physical games and he certainly doesn’t score as many goals as someone with his talent should be netting. Interesting times ahead…

  4. De Jong not upto scratch? No doubt one of the most underated players on citys team, he covers every blade of grass on the pitch. Barry I’ll agree with, needs to go. De jong,Toure with sneijder playign above them and providing for Silva, Mario, AJ down the wings would be amazing.

  5. Wesley Sneijder would be the best transfer out of the three as he has a massive amount of experience and talent.

  6. I say

    Modric: Chelsea

    Man U: Sneijder

    Man C: Nasri

    I think those are the 1st choices of the clubs involved but it all depends on who signs first.

  7. Good stats. Kudos that man

  8. Nasri would be the ideal signing for united, he could operate in the centre of midfield with fletcher just behind, Rooney infront of him, young and Valencia on the wings and Hernandez up front.

    Sneijder is too expensive and old judging by what ferguson has so far spent his money on and Modric won’t be allowed to leave unless it is for a massive amount

  9. Just another hack. I guess IMScouting didn’t steal your money like they did mine. So at least you have numbers.

    But Modric is not leaving. So STFU!

  10. It would have been interesting to compare the stats of Sneijder and Pastore. I think many people know what Sneijder will deliver however my guess is that not quite as many know what Pastore does on the pitch.

  11. senijder 4 man u.modric 4 chelsea.nasri 4 man u also.man city dnt need those players.they hv good mildfiled who can deliver

  12. Man utd:
    I would prefer all 3 to sign for united. If ferguson is looking to get e champions league title then he needs to invest in central midfielder.

    Having carrick in defensive role, adding modric to support the central midfielder to distibute passes to young n nani and sneijder helping rooney in attacking would be e best formation to dokinate epl n even champions league.

    • Carrick in a defensive role? Have you seen his defensive capabilities? For reference watch either of the cl finals against barca and you will see he is not a quality defensive mid. Fletcher would be better in that position or maybe even jones could fit into that role.

  13. sneijder for sure for united, second modric, third nasri because there questions about him i.e. he was showing his form just first half of the season inconsistent for such level player + his attitude is questionable

  14. Just go for it and try and get nasri and fab from the gunners that would really upset them

  15. Modric – Stays at tottenham
    Sneijder and Nasri – Move to man u.

  16. I’d like nasri playing behind rooney and chicharito. Thats a perfect combination to win the champions league next season.
    levi.lusaka99@gmail. com.

  17. man utd – samir nasri would be perfect for the midfield he has a great ability to keep the ball and he is 24 years old which means he has little left to becoming a complete player. and his experience would be ideal for the club. he would cost £25m plus maximum £120,000 per week which utd can definitely afford with the departures of oshea, gibson, brown and maybe berbatov(total around £20m).
    sneijder is a brilliant player but he hasnt been at his best last season and the epl is a far tougher league than serie a so there is a huge risk for utd with at least £35m plus £200,000 per week which i think is a very stupid gamble. i think city should snap him up they have limitless funds and someone that can lead the team of superstars together. a tevez and sneijder swap deal with maybe £10m extra from city would be perfect for both clubs and players as eto’o is signalling a move.
    modric should if he was clever go to chelsea purely on the basis that chelsea midfield isnt young and energetic as it use to be with lampard, malouda essien(out of form). but the problem is that modric has no value, £50m for a player who couldnt be influential against top clubs is an issue but with players like ramires, torres, luiz and likely arrivals of falcao, moutinho would make him a great player.

    so
    Nasri to man utd £25m
    sneijder to man city £10m to £15m plus tevez
    modric to chelsea £30m plus drogba

  18. Although I would love to see all 3 sign for utd, i think it would be unfair to some of of the talented english talent being wasted ie Tom Cleverley. I think they should sign Sneijder definitely, as his experience could help the younger midfielders, and he would be a great asset for the rest of his career there. I would still like to see them sign Nasri as well, as a long term signing, and to produce one of the best central midfield partnerships around (Sneijder and Nasri). As good a player Modric is, I think he would only be a good signing providing they fail with one of the other two.

  19. Ram it the lot of you. Modric is going nowhere. Who ‘should we sign’? Who do you think you are?

  20. Whenever i saw City’s team sheet, i always looked for De Jongs name first, he was a world cup finalist and city had the best defence in the league last year, partly down to our best player, him and Company stopped everything.
    With Silva,Yaya and Nasri passing the ball around to dzeko and Aguerro, and a top class center half, watch us go.

  21. I think a sack letter will be fit for arsene wenger,the guy is a rotten guy.

  22. I think that Sneijder should come to Man Utd .. Since Paul is gone he shout take the responsibility plus we need a guy u could pass and shoot with amazing accuracy hence why sneijder should come to old trafford.Chelsea needs someone like Modric.Frank Lampard isnt getting any younger soo Modric would fit perfectly there :). If Tevez leaves,it doesnt matter.City has BRILLIANT players don’t really think they need another attackin midfielder.

  23. Sneijder to Chelsea….

  24. Sneijder is a mor beta player amogst d 3players anytime anyday n he n nasri wil do vry wel at unitd wt der style of play,modrik sud go 2 chelsea y city sud try n capture btw sneijder n nasri bt i tink unitd stil remains d best positn 4 any of d players. Emecheta chux 4rm lagos, Nigeria.

  25. I am confused on nasri n sneijder for manu cauz nasri is young,energetic n has time 2 b best wid sir alex bt sneijder is jst lyk scholes n bit aged n experienced wid a c l final win n barca beating capacity….i guess it should b sneijder n del rossi for manu

  26. Man U and Man City should stop dreaming of signing Samir Nasir,they should try to make their own stars.Sneijder should stay with Inter and finish up the incomplete job he started.

  27. As a United fan I would be delighted with either Modric or Sneijder. Great article.

    Your readers may be interested in my website on the greatest players and teams of all time:

    http://footballsgreatest.weebly.com/index.html

  28. If i were nasri french i go man u becouse man u is the best team in england this centuary

  29. SEE, the real stuff is that Manchester United are best in defence, but the real thing they require is their creativity upfront. Samir Nasri is an ideal person to perform this.
    On the other hand Chelsea require a replacement for Lampard. Modric comes in to fill the gap. HE’ll learn a lot there and become one of the greatest in midfield in epl.
    Finally, Man City dont require Sniejder & Luka since they have high quality midfielders like Silva. If Tevez leaves, sign Nasri Otherwise improve the defence

  30. all three for man city