Kyle Walker made 1464 passes last season. Of all of the passes he made, 96 of those were crosses. That’s a cross attempted every 28 minutes.
Of his 96 crosses attempted, just 13 of them were successful – 13 times in all of last season, Kyle Walker crossed the ball and successfully connected with a teammate. That’s a successful cross every 208 minutes. One successful cross every 2.3 matches.
Of his 13 successful crosses, just nine were converted into shots. Walker created 38 shots last season, which is just 1 more than Phillip Lahm, but the important number here is crosses. Because of the 9 shots which came from Walker’s crosses, just three were scored as a goal. He had a total of 5 assists last season but a majority of his assists, as they have done all his career, have come from crosses. He may supply the final ball every once in a while but his real “killer” pass is his cross.
When it comes to his main job, defense, both Nathaniel Clyne and Cedric Soares did more for Liverpool and Southampton respectively than Walker did for Tottenham. In fact, those three players are virtually indistinguishable from each other when I put their basic stats side by side:
Kyle Walker is on the left.
If you want to point to where Kyle Walker stands out on that table you would say dribbles. Kyle Walker made 35/65 dribbles last season. That’s 1 successful dribble every 77 minutes.
Man City have just shelled out £53m for a dribble a game. £53m for a key pass a game. £53m for 9 good crosses a season. £53m for 5 assists. And that’s just nuts. I don’t even know what money’s worth anymore. And surely paying this much money for a player has to have some kind of effect on the British economy. I mean, if Kyle Walker costs £53m, how much is a Mars Bar? £53m?
I know that the owners of Man City probably make £50m a minute. They also probably don’t care how much money they spend on players because they bought Man City as a way to get money out of their country. So when they overpay for a player, it doesn’t matter: if they were going to launder the money the old fashioned way they would get pennies on the dollar, what does it matter if they pay £50m for a player who is only worth £10 or £5m? If they sell him in a rush, they still have £5m! And with Qatar on the verge of war with its neighbors, spending £50m on Kyle Walker so that they can be certain to have £5m in pocket is a great investment.
It’s also possible that this is just what things cost now. I probably sound like Andy Rooney, an old man with bushy eyebrows who used to be on television’s 60 Minutes, complaining about the way things used to be but I remember when gas was less than a buck a gallon. I filled up the tank of my little Ford Fiesta for $10 in 1991.
I also remember when the price of a gallon of gas went over $4 and stayed there. That was between 2008 and 2011. Gas prices are now back down to a “normal” $2.50. But despite the inflated prices, prices inflated by war and greed, when we needed gas, we bought $4 gas.
Man City needed a right back. They got one who is English and helps them with their affirmative action quota for Englishmen. Sure, they paid about 4x too much for him but with all of the TV money coming in to the Premier League even Arsenal are spending ridiculous amounts of money on relatively poor defenders. So while £53m looks like way too much, maybe Kyle Walker is just $4 a gallon gas.
P.S. One odd thing I turned up in my research is the fact that since 2013/14 Arsenal have spent (net) on transfers £260m. In that same time, Man City have spent (net) on transfers £209.5m — just for defenders.
Sources: transfermarkt, whoscored