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Everton completing the signing of Davy Klaassen from Ajax for £23.6m has cast the spotlight on the Dutchman who is, in all likelihood, going to be the replacement for Ross Barkley. Barkley could be on his way out soon, should a club match Everton’s demands for the Englishman. But are Everton getting an upgrade on Barkley? Let’s take a look at the stats of both the players.
Comparing the two players’ goals and assists, Klaassen outshines Barkley by some distance. One could argue that this could be in some parts due to the Premier League being tougher and more competitive than the Eredivisie but it would be fair to say that Klaassen is a definite upgrade.
While Barkley managed to score 5 goals and rack up 8 assists for Everton in 32 games, Klaassen in 33 games scored 14 goals – 9 more than Barkley, and registered 9 assists for Ajax.
However, Barkley takes more shots per game, at 2.4 and Klaassen has a shots per game ratio of 1.8. But there is no doubt that the Dutchman is far more accurate and takes his chances better. Barkley also leads with more key passes made at 2.3, compared to Klaassen’s 1.8.
Barkley is better at dribbling than the Dutchman, making 1.7 dribbles per game to Klaassen’s poor dribbles per game ratio of 0.4. However, the former Ajax midfielder more than makes up for it with his all-round game and is much more solid defensively.
Klaassen averages 1.6 tackles and 1 interception per game while Barkley’s averages just 0.8 for tackles per game and 0.3 for interceptions. This proves that Klaassen is a much more different player to Barkley and offers more discipline and solidarity to the Everton midfield.
While Klaassen is new to the Premier League and could take some time to adapt and settle in, he is without a doubt a very different player to Barkley. His introduction to the Everton team could create more opportunities for his teammates like Romelu Lukaku, should the Belgian stay with the Toffees mainly because Klaassen offers a more potent goal threat than Barkley with his off the ball movement.
Klaassen will surely be a pivotal figure in Ronald Koeman’s side and while Barkley’s future remains uncertain, Everton fans are getting a more all-round player in the Dutchman. Whether this propels the Toffees to a higher finish than the 6th place finish they managed last season remains to be seen. But Koeman will have his sights set on toppling the balance of the big six next season.